0647 GMT August 19, 2018
“The letter follows reports from the ground that the armed forces are preparing to exhume approximately 1000 bodies in a bid to destroy evidence from the massacre,” the London-based rights groups said after it wrote to the ICC, IRNA reported.
The mass graves are all located around Zaria where the December 2015 killings took place, IHRC said in a press release.
“It is imperative that any exhumation does not go ahead under the authority of the Nigerian government or army, as vital evidence will be removed or destroyed. The victims’ bodies should be exhumed under the supervision of an international organization, like the ICC, so that evidence can be preserved and the victims’ bodies returned to their families.”
“If steps are not taken immediately to secure the mass graves so as to preserve evidence, the perpetrators of the 2015 attack will be able to evade accountability and responsibility for their crimes,” read the press release.
In March 2016 IHRC petitioned the International Criminal Court to open a preliminary inquiry into the December 2015 killing of IMN members.
“IHRC petitioned the ICC in March 2016 to open an investigation into the massacre in which thousands of civilians were brutally shot, hacked, burnt or beaten to death by soldiers in a pre-planned attack against the IMN, a popular opposition movement headed by Sheikh Ibrahim el-Zakzaky,” the press release said.