John Philpot

Human Rights industry opts for turning a blind eye to Nigerian govt's massacre of its people

It is hard to envisage complaints made at the Human Rights Council of the United Nations. The Human Rights Council of the United Nations has Saudi Arabia as a member, a country which is certainly responsible in part at least for the persecution of Sheikh-Zakzaky and Nigerian Shiites.

 

John Philpot is a highly experienced Montreal based criminal lawyer. A member of the Barreau du Qu├ębec since 1984, he has specialized in Criminal Law since 1984 and International Criminal Law since 1998. He is a pioneer in trials in International Criminal Law. He acted at the International Criminal Court in The Hague (ICC) in the Kenya file and at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in three cases. He is a judge at the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal.  In an interview with Khamenei.ir, Mr. Philpot answers to questions on the Nigerian government's crackdown on the popular spiritual leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and the massacre of a religious community:

 

Why do you think no official international organization has reacted to the massacre of the Nigerian people, while it has been an obvious violation of human rights?

 

 

Human Rights organisations are selective in their choice of targets. Many or most are allied with their governments, particularly in the United States, the UK and France. Human Rights with all the nobleness of the cause for human rights has become an industry useful for those who pay. It is hard to envisage complaints made at the Human Rights Council of the United Nations. The Human Rights Council of the United Nations has Saudi Arabia as a member, a country which is certainly responsible in part at least for the persecution of Sheikh-Zakzaky and Nigerian Shiites.

 

In your opinion, why has the Nigerian government not been prosecuted for having jailed a large number of people as well as a popular spiritual leader?

 

It is very difficult to prosecute a government. Nigeria has ratified the Protocol of the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights but has not made the declaration recognizing the competence of the Court to receive cases from NGOs and individuals. As at July 2017, only eight (8) of the thirty (30) States Parties to the Protocol had made the declaration recognizing the competence of the Court to receive cases from NGOs and individuals. If this jurisdiction were available, an appeal may be possible depending on the issues in dispute.

The problem seems to be the Rule of Law in Nigeria since it appears that the Nigerian Government does not respect judgements of its courts ordering the release of Sheikh Zakzaky. The newly reformed African Bar Association is preoccupied with the issue of the Rule of Law.

 

 

In the human rights terminology, genocide is an act intended to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group of human beings. An examination of the Nigerian government's crimes reveals that such attempts are made to eliminate a religious group. Why do you think the UN and the International Criminal Court does not intervene?

 

At the International Criminal Court, I understand that that Islamic Human Rights took the case of the massacre of Shiites in Nigeria to the International Criminal Court in March 2016. The International Criminal Court and its Prosecution team is notoriously biased and notoriously slow. It has not yet ventured to lay charges against Israel in spite of many complaints.

 

Personally, I would mistrust this Court which is biased against Africa and refuses to indict countries and leaders like Tony Blair for crimes committed for which it has jurisdiction. You will note that Burundi, South Africa and Gambia have taken steps to withdraw from the ICC.

The recourse to international criminal courts has been markedly deleterious since 1990. The Courts have been used to further United States foreign policy, the best examples being the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda(ICTR). The US has these courts to further its interests. The ICC is following in the same path

 

 

How is is that that international mainstream media who claim to advocate human rights take no action whatsoever in the face of the imprisonment and massacre of a large number of Nigerians by the Nigerian government?

 

The international media (MSM) is controlled by the US neo-liberal elite. They are interested in what their owners wish to publish.  You can see the reporting on the war in Syria to see their bias. The Role of DAESH, Boko Haram and their relationship to the United States and the CIA is a major challenge to understand and write about. This war as I understand is extending into Africa via the Sahara from Libya.