The killing of health worker Saifura Husseini Ahmed by Boko Haram is a brazen disregard for the sanctity of life that must not go unpunished, Amnesty International Nigeria has said.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, expressed regrets that humanitarian workers providing health care for victims of insurgency could be targeted.
She called on the government to do more in rescuing hundreds of civilians still held captive by Boko Haram.
“Amnesty International strongly condemns the recent killing of Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa, a midwife and aid worker, by Boko Haram. By this horrific act, Boko Haram has once again proven its brazen disregard for sanctity of life which must not go unpunished,” Ojigho said.
“Under international humanitarian law, aid workers like late Saifura Ahmed and her colleagues must be protected from attack, and must not under any circumstance be targeted. Saifura was providing desperately needed humanitarian services to people affected by the conflict in the northeast and her senseless killing is a war crime.
“Boko Haram must immediately and unconditionally release the remaining two health workers abducted alongside Saifura. Now more than ever the authorities must do more to rescue the hundreds of civilians held by Boko Haram, also including Leah Sharibu who was abducted from her school in Dapchi town and the remaining Chibok girls.
“At Amnesty, we reiterate our calls once again that all those responsible for war crimes and other serious human rights violations and abuses must be brought to justice in a free and fair trial.”
Saifura’s killing came after the three health workers abducted by Boko Haram from Rann, Borno State, on March 1 begged President Muhammadu Buhari to rescue them from captivity, saying the insurgents had given them the “final warning”.
“We were there for the vulnerable, now we are vulnerable,” they said tearily in the audio, produced just before mid-August. “For the sake of God, for the sake of Allah, President Muhammadu Buhari, come and help us. Come and vindicate us from this captivity. We need your help; we need your help. Have mercy and help us.”
On Monday, it was made public that Saifura, mother of a two-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl, had been killed.