Paris attacks should not eclipse the horrors of Boko Haram in Nigeria

Press release

For immediate use

Global Minorities Alliance, a Glasgow based human rights organisation, has called on world leaders not to ignore the horrors of Boko Haram amid reports that around 2000 people were killed in Nigeria in the most recent spate of violence.

The carnage is reported to have occurred in the Nigerian town of Baga, on the border with Chad, where the militant group seized a military base on 3 January. The clashes between security forces and militants continued throughout the first week of January.

Eyewitnesses recall scenes of violence during the attack which has been branded Boko Haram’s ‘deadliest massacre’. The victims include children, women and elderly people who could not run fast enough when insurgents attacked the town spraying grenades and bullets.

The human carnage perpetrated by Boko Haram in Baga was enormous. Mr Abba Gava, a spokesperson of an armed civilian group that fights Boko Haram, told Associated Press: “No one could attend to the corpses or the seriously injured ones who also may have died by now.”

The Alliance’s Chief Executive, Manassi Bernard, lambasted the West’s half-hearted attempts to intervene and assist the military forces and local defence groups who are ill-equipped to counter any assault by Boko Haram, who have modern and hi-tech weaponry.

“The Paris attacks should not eclipse the horrors done by Boko Haram who attack and kill innocent people at whim,” he further stressed.

“As we have witnessed world leaders in the million march in Paris, we urge them to unite to combat terrorism in Africa as well.”

The Alliance’s Director of Diplomatic Affairs, Rebecca Gebauer, condemned the abuse of girls and women to further the terror agenda of militants and fundamentalists around the world. As an example she mentioned the recent suicide bomb attack in a Nigerian market in Borno state. A 10-year-old girl was strapped with bombs and detonated in the middle of the market, which killed 19 people.

“Girls are often easy targets for these fundamentalists who use them for their nefarious propaganda,” Ms Gebauer said. She also called for people to remember the more than 276 school girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram in April 2014.

Following an international outcry and the popular social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls, which generated more than 4 million tweets and among others was supported by the US First Lady Michelle Obama, today the girls are a forgotten story.

The majority of the girls have not returned since and are thought to have been married off, leaving behind traumatised parents and families.

“It is disappointing to realise that the cost of human life varies in different parts of world,” Ms Gebauer said. “Had this tragedy occurred in the West, every effort would have been put into to make sure girls are safe and with their families.”

Around 10,000 people have been killed alone in last year as the result of the Boko Haram quest to carve out an Islamic caliphate in a religiously diverse Nigeria.

 

Global Minorities Alliance laments news of Sikh man shot dead in Pakistan

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Use

A young Sikh man, Jagmohan Singh was killed on Wednesday in the northwestern city of Peshawar, Province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). The tragic incident has angered already beleaguered minority community of Pakistan.

According to Pakistan police the two armed assailants opened fire in Hashtnagari on three defenseless Sikh men as they opened a cosmetics shop.

The three men were rushed to hospital where one teenager, Jagmohan Singh, died from his injuries. The other two victims, Manmit Singh and Param Singh, remain in hospital in critical condition.

India Taliban Protest

The Sikh community have reacted passionately to this act of apparent religiously-motivated violence, blocking roads and burning tyres in protest. The body of Jagmohan Singh was placed in the middle of a road by his family and other community members in order to protest against this senseless act of violence.

The Chief Minister of KPK Province, Pervez Khattak, held talks with Sikh delegation which consisted of 14 members. Mr Khattak promised that foolproof security will be provided to Sikh community.

Global Minorities Alliance Chief Executive, Manassi Bernard lamented Pakistan Government inability to protect minorities who continue to face all forms of violence, intimidation and persecution under one pretext or other.

He expressed his condolences to the bereaved family and demanded that the Pakistan Government punish the culprit as soon as possible.

He further added: “Sikh community are the peaceful citizens of Pakistan who are working hard to feed their families through the sweat of their brow. The Pakistan Government should ensure that protection be provided to its own citizens”

“The elements of hatred and intolerance should not break the bond that binds people of all faiths together” he said.

Global Minorities Alliance stands alongside Sikhs in demanding government intervention and justice for a community too often subjected to persecution. This is not the first time that a Sikh community member has been attacked in Pakistan, with kidnappings in the Peshawar region meaning that many have relocated to Rawalpindi, which is considered much safer.

The Times of India reported in their article that around 520 Sikh families live in Peshawar with 380 of them living in Mohalla Jogan Shah. Several Sikh families have migrated from tribal religions to settle here.

Pakistan has become increasingly unsafe for minorities. In recent years, minorities who make up 3% of Pakistan’s 180 million people including Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, Shias, and Ahmadis have become the target of ongoing violence and persecution across the country.

Jack Telford contributed the press release for Global Minorities Alliance. He can be reached at info@globalminorities.co.uk 

Press Release: Commonwealth states should uphold charter values, says Global Minorities Alliance

Speakers: L to R: Mridul Wadhwa, Deirdre Flanigan, Shahid Khan and Peter Tatchell

Speakers: L to R: Mridul Wadhwa, Deirdre Flanigan, Shahid Khan and Peter Tatchell

The Commonwealth theme of ‘welcome’ is a distant dream for some citizens in commonwealth states, says Global Minorities Alliance.

Global Minorities Alliance (GMA), a Glasgow based human rights organisation which fights for the rights of the minorities worldwide, organised a discussion panel at Glasgow University Memorial Chapel to discuss the human rights issues present in member states of the commonwealth.

The talk was the part of GMA’s campaign to raise awareness of human rights abuses, from the anti- conversions laws in India to the criminalisation of LGBTI communities in a number of the African countries represented at the Commonwealth Games.

The event was an opportunity to create a space for concerned people to share and learn from each other’s experiences as well as to discuss human rights issues at home and abroad.

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