NLC declares support for Amnesty International

The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has declared support for Amnesty International Nigeria.

The NLC also condemned a group, Global Peace and Rescue Initiative, GOPRI, which last week protested against Amnesty International, AI, asking the global rights group to leave the country.

The group had claimed that an Amnesty report that accused the Nigerian Army of extra-judicial killings was false.

Several civil society groups have since condemned GOPRI and pledged support for Amnesty International.

On Monday, the NLC said it will collaborate with AI to promote the rights of vulnerable groups across the country.

The President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, stated this during a solidarity visit to the Amnesty International in Abuja on Monday.

Mr. Wabba said this had become imperative as rights of Nigerians, especially vulnerable groups such as women, children and the less privileged, were being trampled upon.

“I want to assure you of the support of NLC and the working class because as workers, our rights have been trampled upon several times.

“You are aware of the fact that across the states, salaries, pension and gratuity are not being paid as at when due. This is a violation of the rights of workers.

“Therefore, we need to stand side by side with organisations like Amnesty International to continue to protect the most vulnerable groups against the powerful and the rich in the society.

“We have documented some of these challenges that our people have gone through,” Mr. Wabba said.

He added that NLC would continue to partner with them in the fight for social justice, anti-corruption, good governance, accountability and in the dignity of the human being.

Mr. Wabba condemned the protest by the Global Peace and Rescue Initiative, GOPRI, at the office of the Amnesty International in Abuja on March 21.

He said Amnesty International was an organisation known globally and had worked extensively on human rights in many countries.

“For such issues to arise, especially the hiring of people to come and protest in this office is something that we condemn as organised labour.

“I really sympathise with you on what has happened, certainly Nigerians are already aware that this was a sponsored protest.

“It is something that is condemnable, we should not allow those business persons that have actually privatised protest as a means of getting money to continue in the business’’, he added.

Mr. Wabba urged them not to relent in ensuring that human rights, social justice for the less privileged, among others, were continually promoted.

He said there was need for the organised labour and its civil society allies to continue to build a strong network with the Amnesty International.

“It is very clear that the people who came were on a very destructive mission. They want to destroy the image and the credibility of civil society organisations, but I am happy none of them was associated with that scam.

“It is actually a scam, a rented group; that is why they ended up fighting themselves over the small amount of money promised by their sponsors.

“They want to institutionalise the culture of impunity and they are getting worried that the era of impunity is over, they will account for their actions,” Mr. Wabba said.

He assured that the NLC would not stop the struggle to ensure better living for the workforce adding that it would continue to collaborate with the organised labour to carry out humanitarian services.

Auwal Rafasanjani, Chairman Trustee, Amnesty International Nigeria, commended the NLC for the solidarity visit.

Mr. Rafasanjani said Amnesty International was a reputable organisation that worked on accountability.


Source: Premium Times

Protesters occupy Amnesty International office, say it should vacate Nigeria within 24hrs

Thousands of protesters under the banner, Global Peace and Rescue Initiative (GOPRI) have, Monday, barricaded the Abuja office of the Amnesty International (AI) demanding the international organization to vacate the country within the next 24 hours.

The Executive Director of the group, Comrade Melvin Ejeh, while addressing the protesters, said if in the next 24 hours Amnesty International does not shut down its operations in Nigeria and leave the country, the group as well as other Nigerians shall begin a Five-Day Occupy Amnesty International Protest as a first warning.

He said, “Let us warn at this point that there will be no interval of respite if AI fails to leave Nigeria at the end of the five days as we will activate other more profound options to make the organization leave Nigeria. We therefore use this opportunity to call on Nigerians to join the movement to get this evil out of our land before it plunges us into real war.”

According to Ejeh, well respected organizations including the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Global Amnesty Watch have condemned the recent report by amnesty international which alleged human rights abuses by Nigerian security agencies against arrested Boko Haram suspects.

He said the deliberate attempt by Amnesty International to indict the security agencies working day and night to restore peace in troubled parts of the country without condemning the heinous crimes committed by Boko Haram terrorists proves that the international organization has ulterior motives.
He said, “Previous calls by concerned groups for the government to kick Amnesty International out of Nigeria for the safety of citizens have gone unheeded. Unfortunately, if this organization is allowed to continue carrying out its atrocities here, it will destabilize Nigeria.”

“Unlike our leaders, most of us do not have the resources to relocate our loved ones to other lands if Amnesty International succeeds in ruining this nation down. Like the victims of AI’s operation in the Middle-East, we would be left without a country and we would not be welcomed in other nations. We will become mere footnotes in its next annual report since it stops showing interest in places it has successfully destroyed.”

Speaking further, he said recent revelation by Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper, has indicated that Israel used Amnesty International as a front for its foreign ministry.

Quoting the report, ha said according to Haaretz, “The documents reveal how some heads of Amnesty International Israel were allegedly in regular contact with the Foreign Ministry from the late 1960s to the mid -1970s, reporting on their activities in real time, consulting with officials and taking instructions from them.”

“The Amnesty office in Israel received regular funds transferred through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which reportedly included hundreds of Israeli pounds for flights abroad, per diem allowances, registration fees and dues payments to the organization’s headquarters.”

He said though the Nigerian authorities might not be unaware of the evil machinations of this organization, but it may have opted to treat it with diplomatic considerations. He however said that, “This in our consideration is not the right approach to dealing with this demonic entity. Its evil contaminates any country it chooses to work against. Its destructive touch leaves countries in failed state.”

Amnesty International hails army over decision to probe abuse of human rights

Amnesty International has commended the army for setting up a panel of inquiry to look into alleged human rights violation by its officers.

Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, who established the panel, mandated it to investigate all allegations of extra-judicial execution, arbitrary arrests, detention as well as enforced disappearance of Boko Haram insurgents.

In a statement, Makmid Kamara, Amnesty International Nigeria’s interim director, said the step by the army is not only encouraging, but shows willingness to bring those responsible for such violations to book.

Kamara recommended the prosecution of all those found guilty, and suggested that they should be tried before civilian courts without recourse to the death penalty.

“This commitment from the Nigerian army to investigate human rights violations carried out by military personnel is encouraging,” the statement read.

“With our research showing that members of the Nigerian security forces continue to commit serious violations including extra-judicial executions, enforced disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment, such an investigation is sorely needed.

“The military’s announcement indicates its willingness to bring those responsible for such violations to account, and deliver justice for the many victims.

“While this is clearly a positive step, Amnesty International repeats its long-standing recommendation that any inquiry into human rights violations by the Nigerian army should be independent of the military, impartial and thorough, and its findings made public.”

Amnesty International has consistently accused the army and other security agencies of human rights violation.


Source: The Cable

AI Report: Nigerian Army sets up committee to investigate rights violations

The Nigerian Army on Wednesday set up a seven-member “Special Board of Inquiry’’ to probe alleged cases of human rights abuse level against its personnel in the ongoing counter-insurgency operations.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the board, inaugurated by the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, a lieutenant general, would be headed by Ahmed Jibrin, a retired major general.

Other members are Dadan Garba and Abdulqadir Gumi (both retired brigadiers general); O.L. Olayinka, a brigadier general; L.B. Mohammed and U.M. Wambai (both colonels); while C.M. Akaliro, a lieutenant colonel, would serve as secretary.

Mr. Buratai said that in spite of the success recorded by troops in the ongoing counter-terrorism operations in the North East, some individuals and organisations had expressed concerns.

He explained that the individuals and organisations alleged cases of misconduct and human rights abuses by personnel of the army, “especially in the early days of the counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations.”

The army boss said “notably, the Amnesty International reports, Indigenous
People of Biafra (IPOB), other groups and individuals have made allegations of human rights violation of arrested Boko Haram terrorists against some of our senior officers and commanders.’’

He said based on those allegations, some officers were already suffering discrimination in some quarters.

“The allegations range from extra-judicial executions, arbitrary arrests, detention, torture and enforced disappearance of suspected Boko Haram terrorists.

“These allegations are not good for civil-military relations and are capable of demoralising Nigerian army personnel in the performance of their constitutional roles.”

According to him, it is expedient to thoroughly and impartially investigate the allegations in order to find out the facts of the matter to enable relevant authorities to take appropriate actions.

He said the board was, therefore, set up to investigate the matter and establish the true situation of the whole allegations.

The chief of army staff said that the board was set up in line with the provision of Section 172(1) of the Armed Forces Act CAP A20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Mr. Buratai, however, called on the board not to probe or revisit cases of abuse that had been investigated by state governments or the National Human Rights Commission.

He also urged members of the board to justify the confidence reposed in them as they were selected based on competence and merit to serve.

“I implore you to leave no stone unturned to come up with a report that will elucidate the facts to all and assist the Nigerian army in taking appropriate actions,” he said.

Mr. Jibrin, the head of the board, assured that members would do an objective job.

He said “we will travel to all the necessary places; we will also invite and interview all stakeholders to ensure that we get to the root of the matter.

“The allegations are many and the places to go are also many, people to talk with also are many but we will do everything possible to ensure that we finish our task as quickly as possible.

“We will be objective in all that we would do to ensure that we produce a credible report that would make the army headquarters proud because the allegations are not against retired officers but serving officers who were doing very important job for the country.

“So, it is very important our report is objective.”


Source: NAN

IPOB: Amnesty International fabricated report of extrajudicial killings – Army

The Nigerian military has accused human rights organisation, Amnesty International (AI), of fabricating its latest report about extrajudicial killings and torture of 240 people in the country’s north-east and 177 pro-Biafran agitators.

In a statement signed by acting director defence information, Rabe Abubakar, a brigadier general, the military described the report as a continuation of AI’s “series of spurious fabrications aimed at tarnishing the good image of the Nigerian military.”

Amnesty International has been relentless in its exposure of human rights abuses allegedly perpetrated by Nigerian soldiers in the country’s war against Boko Haram and the military’s ruthlessness in quelling protests in other parts of Nigeria.

The organisation’s latest reports stated that 240 people including infants died in a dreaded military detention centre in Borno in 2016 while 177 pro-Biafran agitators were extra-judicially killed same year.

“At the military detention facility at Giwa barracks, Maiduguri, cells were overcrowded. Diseases, dehydration and starvation was rife. At least, 240 detainees died during the year. Bodies were secretly buried in Maiduguri’s cemetery by the Borno State Environmental Protection Agency staff. Among the dead were, at least, 29 children and babies, aged between newborn and five years.”

On the killings of pro-Biafra agitators, the report alleged that, “Since January, in response to the continued agitation by pro-Biafra campaigners, security forces arbitrarily arrested and killed, at least, 100 members and supporters of the group, Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB. Some of those arrested were subjected to enforced disappearance.

“On February 9, soldiers and police officers shot at about 200 IPOB members, who had gathered for a prayer meeting at the National High School in Aba, Abia State. Video footage showed soldiers shooting at peaceful and unarmed IPOB members; at least, 17 people were killed and scores injured.”

However, the military, like it has repeatedly done in the past, denied the claims contained in the report saying “they were contrived lies orchestrated to blackmail and ridicule the Nigerian Armed Forces.”

Mr. Abubakar said AI is in the habit of encouraging “activities of non-state actors who take up arms against the state, killing, maiming and destroying public property.”

“In as much as the Nigerian military acknowledges and respects the views and constructive criticism of individuals, groups or even international organisations including Amnesty International, it will not fall for nor accept the deliberate falsehood that have no bearing with the fact or reality on ground.

“The truth is that the Nigerian military has always been open in its operations and do not hide its activities from the probing eye of the public. Amnesty International chose to bandy fabricated reports and concocted stories instead of seeking clarifications from the relevant authorities.”

“It smacks of mischief for the AI to insist on publishing unverified and unsubstantiated report as it is only them that knows why it embark on such dishonourable venture over a period of time,” he said.

“The Nigerian military rejects this AI reports in its entirety and appeals to all well meaning Nigerians to disregard the report and discountenance its contents as they were meant to paint Nigeria in bad light. We reassure our citizens of our commitment to terminate these myriads of security challenges facing our country, mindless of unfounded reports and cheap blackmail by AI,” he added.

Amnesty International Declares Interest In Death Of Desmond Nunugwo

Amnesty International Nigeria, has declared interest in the alleged murder of one Desmond Nunugwo while in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in June 9, 2016.

The organisation has insisted that the matter would not be swept under the carpet, after the family of the deceased had gone to them and demanded justice.

Mr Nunugwo, who was a Chief of Protocol Officer to the Minister of State for Defence, died in EFCC custody hours after he was picked up for questioning for alleged fraud.

Amnesty International slams Shell ruling against Nigerian communities.

A UK High Court ruling that two Niger Delta communities devastated by oil spills cannot have their claims against Shell heard in the UK could rob them of justice and allow UK multinationals to commit abuses overseas with impunity, Amnesty International said Tuesday.

The High Court ruled on Thursday that Royal Dutch Shell cannot be held responsible for the actions of its Nigerian subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd. This is despite the company having profited from decades of abuses and environmental destruction in the Niger Delta. The communities are expected to appeal.

“The Ogale and Bille communities have been hit by multiple Shell spills, threatening their health and drinking water. The UN found groundwater contamination in Ogale was more than 450 times the legal limit – when Amnesty investigators went back four years later, Shell still hadn’t cleaned up the pollution. This ruling could mean that the communities will never receive meaningful compensation, and that the oil spills will be not be properly cleaned up,” said Joe Westby, Campaigner on Business and Human Rights at Amnesty International.

“This ruling sets an especially dangerous precedent. If it stands, then the UK Courts have given free rein to multinational companies based in the UK to abuse human rights overseas. Poor communities and developing countries will pay the price. This is a deeply depressing reminder of the impunity enjoyed by powerful corporations, and a blow to other communities in the Niger Delta who are still awaiting justice.

“We hope and expect that the court of appeal will overturn this decision to show that the UK justice system will provide remedy to impoverished communities who suffer serious abuse caused by UK corporations.”

Two Nigerian communities brought separate legal actions against Royal Dutch Shell and its Nigerian subsidiary in 2016. The first claim was brought on behalf of 2,335 people from the Bille Kingdom, a fishing community whose environment has been devastated by oil spills over the past five years.

The second claim was on behalf of the Ogale Community in Ogoniland which consists of around 40,000 people. Over several years there have been repeated oil spills from Shell’s pipelines in Ogoniland which have still not been cleaned up.

Evidence presented before the court and Amnesty International’s years of experience working on the issue show that Royal Dutch Shell, an Anglo-Dutch company, has significant direct involvement with its Nigerian subsidiary. However, Shell disputed the jurisdiction of the UK court, arguing that the case concerned Nigerian plaintiffs and a Nigerian company.

The judge today struck out the claims against Royal Dutch Shell and its Nigerian subsidiary, but gave the communities permission to file an appeal.

“The judge’s decision is blatantly at odds with how multinationals like Shell work in today’s globalized world. Too often they hide behind the legal fiction that their subsidiaries operate completely separate to them. If multinationals are allowed to reap profits from their companies around the world without being held responsible when they commit human rights abuses, then abuses can – and will – take place,” said Joe Westby.

Communities affected by oil spills in Nigeria are usually forced to negotiate directly with the company and are at a huge disadvantage, which invariably means they are cheated. For rural communities taking a claim to the Nigeria courts is extremely difficult because only federal courts can deal with oil cases and few lawyers are willing to take on the major oil companies. The rare cases that do make it to court languish for years in the Nigerian justice system with no resolution.

In January 2015 a UK law firm won a landmark settlement agreement from Shell to pay £55 million to the Bodo community in Niger Delta after the case was brought to the UK court. Shell had originally offered just £4,000 compensation. As part of these legal proceedings Shell was forced to admit it had understated – for years – the size of the oil spills.  Only the UK court process was able to bring this to light.

“It is shocking that Shell is trying to deny it is responsible for its 100% owned subsidiary. Shell has profited from decades of human rights abuse and environmental damage in the Niger Delta and both Royal Dutch Shell and Shell Nigeria should be held legally accountable,” said Joe Westby.


In 2011 the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) documented the appalling environmental damage and oil pollution in Ogoniland. Its study described public health as seriously threatened by oil spills and said that environmental restoration of the area could prove to be the world’s most wide-ranging and long term oil clean-up exercise ever undertaken.

At the time, Shell stated it accepted the findings and the recommendations of the UNEP Report. However, a 2015 investigation by Amnesty International revealed that claims by Shell that they had cleaned up heavily polluted areas were blatantly false. Researchers observed ongoing oil pollution at four locations where UNEP found contamination – including Okuluebu in Ogale, one of the sites included in the legal claim. The Nigerian government regulator certified the area as clean in 2012, but researchers saw patches of black oil covering the ground and observed a strong smell of petroleum.

Amnesty International calls for release of Shiite leader El-Zakzaky, as deadline ends today

The Federal Government must immediately comply with a High Court order and release the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife from detention, Amnesty International has said.

El-Zakzaky and his wife, Malama have been in detention without charge for more than a year following a clash between his supporters and the Nigerian military in which lives were lost. The authorities claim the Muslim cleric is being held in “protective custody.”

As the pressure mounts on the government, it is left with the option of releasing El-Zakzaky and his wife to avoid fuelling the allegation of illegal detention. The government may then expedite their prosecution to determine their guilt or innocence.

“El-Zakzaky is being unlawfully detained. This might be part of a wider effort to cover up the gruesome crimes committed by members of the security forces in Zaria in December 2015 that left hundreds dead.”

On 2 December 2016, the Federal High Court in Abuja ruled that El- Zakzaky and Malama should be released within 45 days. The court described their detention, which began in December 2015, as illegal and unconstitutional. The deadline for the court order expires today.

Amnesty International also called on the authorities to release other IMN supporters arrested at the same time as El-Zakzaky and his wife, who likewise remain in detention without charge.The group said its research showed that more than 350 IMN members were killed by security forces between 12 and 14 December 2015 in Zaria, Kaduna State.

The IMN is a Shit’ite religious organisation whose leader, El-Zakzaky, has been a proponent of Shi’a Islam in Nigeria since the 1980s.Processions, demonstrations and other activities organised by the IMN, usually without obtaining the necessary permits and at times blocking public roads, have resulted in confrontation with the Nigerian authorities and strained relations with other communities.

The controversy leading to the arrest of El-Zakzaky, his wife and hundreds of his disciples started with the clash between members of the Islamic group and soldiers late December, 2015, leading to the death of scores of the victims.

Specifically, on December 11, the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Tukur Buratai, was on its way to the Zaria depot of the Nigerian Army to review a parade of the 74 Regular Recruits and also later, to pay a courtesy call on the Emir of Zazzau, when it ran into the Islamic group who were on a procession.

The attempts by the COAS armed convoy to disperse the crowd were said to have been rebuffed and this led to a shootout and deaths of some Shiites members.The events that followed the bloody crisis led to the demolition of El-Zakzaky’s residence in Gyelesu area, IMN religious centre in Hussainiya, while the Shiites leader also lost one of his wives, Zeenat and his son, Sayyid Aliyu with several other members of the movement.

Besides, the outcry that followed the clash made the Kaduna State government to set up a commission of Inquiry, led by Justice Muhammad Garba Lawal to unravel the immediate and remote causes of the confrontation and make recommendations on how to avert such an incident in future, and further come out with punishment against anyone or group found guilty.

The Shiites who were enraged at the killings of their members and arrest and detention of El-Zakzaky, wife and other members of the group decided to embark on a series of protests. They boycotted the commission of inquiry set up by the state government, citing “lack of confidence” in members of the panel as one of the reasons for their action.

However, after several sittings by the Justice Lawal’s commission of
Inquiry, the panel finally released its report to the state government. One of its recommendations was the proscription of the religious body.

As the embattled IMN members continued to agitate for the release of their leader and other members, the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja came out with a judgment, urging the Federal Government to release El-Zakzaky within 45 days, and pay a compensation of N50 million to him and his wife.

Since the judgment by the Federal High Court, the government is yet to abide with it, while members of the IMN have continued to mount pressure for the release of El-Zakzaky and his wife.

Uganda rejects Amnesty’s accusation of extra-judicial killings

Uganda on Tuesday rejected charges by rights group Amnesty International that security forces carried out extra-judicial killings during clashes with the royal guards of a tribal king at the weekend.

Officials say no fewer than 46 guards and 16 police died when security forces stormed the palace of Charles Mumbere, the King of the Rwenzururu region, near Uganda’s border with Congo.

Jeje Odongo, Uganda’s Internal Affairs Minister, told a press conference in Kampala that security forces were being attacked, they had to defend and protect themselves.

“Security agencies do not have a shoot-to-kill policy. What happened is a situation of self-defense,” Mr. Odongo said.

Uganda has several tribal kings, who have a largely ceremonial role with some modest regional powers.

The Bakonzo, the dominant tribe in Rwenzori, have longstanding, colonial-era grievances against Uganda’s central government.

However the latest wave of unrest began shortly after Uganda’s disputed presidential elections in February.

Voters in the area overwhelmingly favoured Kizza Besigye, who ran against long-ruling President Yoweri Museveni.

Museveni was declared the winner, but Besigye rejected the results and his supporters insist he won the overall poll.

On Monday, rights group Amnesty International accused security forces of using disproportionate force, saying “many people appear to have been summarily shot dead”.

The organisation said the government should ensure that “police and soldiers observe restraint and desist from extra-judicial executions.”

International rights watchdog Human Rights Watch also said on Monday that the government needed to investigate the conduct of security forces during the clashes.

Some opposition officials and critics have accused Museveni’s government of provoking unrest in the region as punishment for its support for Besigye.

Mumbere who was detained on Sunday, is being held at a prison in eastern Uganda and 149 of his guards have been arrested.

When asked what the king’s fate was, Odongo said that they were investigating the circumstances, adding that “if we are able to establish responsibility, charges will be preferred.”

Army, Amnesty International, Trade Words Over Alleged Killing Of 150 Pro-Biafra Activists

Amnesty International, yesterday, came out with a report stating that the Nigerian security forces led by the military, embarked on a chilling campaign of extrajudicial executions and violence resulting in the deaths of at least 150 peaceful pro-Biafra protesters in the South Eastern part of the country.

Attributing their findings to an indepth investigation it carried out, the international body stated that analysis of 87 videos, 122 photographs and 146 eyewitness testimonies relating to demonstrations and other gatherings between August 2015 and August 2016, consistently showed that the military fired live ammunition with little or no warning to disperse crowds. It also finds evidence of mass extrajudicial executions by security forces, including at least 60 people shot dead in the space of two days in connection with events to mark Biafra Remembrance Day.

“This deadly repression of pro-Biafra activists is further stoking tensions in the South East of Nigeria. This reckless and trigger-happy approach to crowd control has caused at least 150 deaths and we fear the actual total might be far higher. The Nigerian government’s decision to send in the military to respond to pro-Biafra events seems to be in large part to blame for this excessive bloodshed. The authorities must immediately launch an impartial investigation and bring the perpetrators to book,” said Makmid Kamara, Interim Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.

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Singapore: Execution of Chijoke Obioha violates international law – Amnesty International

Reacting to the executions of Chijioke Stephen Obioha, a Nigerian national, and Devendran Supramaniam, a Malaysian national, by the Singapore authorities, Josef Benedict, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said:

“The Singapore authorities have brazenly violated international law with these shameful executions. The death penalty is a cruel and irreversible punishment that most of the world has turned its back on. Singapore continues to remain an outlier, executing people for crimes that do not meet the ‘most serious’ threshold to which the death penalty must be restricted under international law.

“The executions took place secretively, with some details only emerging at the eleventh hour. When a person’s life is involved, the authorities must be fully transparent about their actions, to ensure that everyone has a right to a fair trial and due process is followed, allowing the families and the public at large can have easily access to all information on the case.

The death penalty is never a solution. It will not rid Singapore of drugs or serve as an effective deterrent.”

Fayose urges ICC, Amnesty International to investigate Shi’ites killings.

Governor of Ekiti Ayodele Fayose, says the killing of members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) should be investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and Amnesty International (AI), Daily Trust reports.


Fayose who spoke on Thursday through his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said, “The murder of over 300 Nigerians, who are members of the IMN in one day and their burial in mass graves, as well as continuous murder of the Shi’ite sect should attract the attention of the ICC.”


He queried the use of firearms by the police during the recent clash in Kano, saying, “Under international human rights law governing the use of firearms during policing operations, the intentional use of lethal force is only permitted when strictly unavoidable, to protect life.”


Fayose said the detention of Ibrahim Zakzaky, leader of the sect since last December as unacceptable.


“In a month time, it will be exactly one year since Ibrahim Zakzaky was arrested and detained without trial. This is unacceptable in a democratic society where there should be strict adherence to the rule of law.”


He added, “Democracy guarantees freedom of religion, movement, association, opinions and thoughts. It is, however, worrisome that inspite of these inalienable rights, members of the Shi’ite Muslim sect are still being persecuted and alienated.


“Therefore, the ICC, Amnesty International and other relevant international organisations must intervene in the killings of the Shi’ite Muslim group with the aim of bringing those found culpable to justice, thereby putting a permanent stop to the inhuman acts,” the governor said.

Amnesty International Moves To Stop Nigerian’s Execution In Singapore

Amnesty International (AI) has called on the president of Singapore to intervene in the case a Nigerian, Chijioke Stephen Obioha, who is facing death sentence in the Asian country.
A statement emailed to Daily Trust by AI’s Media Manager in Nigeria, Isa Sanusi, said the execution of Obioha has been set for 18 November after he was convicted of drug trafficking.
The statement added that the convict has applied to the president of Singapore for a new clemency after an earlier one was rejected in 2015.
AI urged the president to immediately halt Obioha’s execution and grant him amnsety, saying drug-related offences do not meet the threshold of the “most serious crimes.”
Obioha, a graduate of Industrial Chemistry from University of Benin, was convicted on 30 December 2008 after he moved to Singapore in 2005, seeking to join a football club.
Credit: dailytrust

Amnesty International: Privacy of 21 Chibok Girls released should be a priority

Responding to the announcement by Nigerian government that secured the release of 21 Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Regional Advocacy Director, said:


“The release of 21 of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls by the armed group Boko Haram is a big relief. However, it is vital now that they receive adequate physical and psychosocial counselling and support so that they can fully reintegrate in their communities. The government should also respect their privacy and ensure that the released girls are reunited with their families and not kept in lengthy detention and security screening which can only add to their suffering and plight.


Boko Haram members have executed and tortured thousands of civilians and raped and forced into marriage girls and women. They have been indoctrinated and even forced to fight for Boko Haram.


The Nigerian authorities must now do more to ensure the safe return of the thousands of women and girls, as well as men and boys abducted by Boko Haram.”

Nigerian Army Replies Amnesty International On Pro-Biafra Killings

The Nigerian Army has rejected a report by Amnesty International on Friday accusing Nigerian troops of killing at least 17 unarmed pro-Biafra supporters in south eastern states.

Amnesty International said it conducted extensive research on the attacks and could confirm 17 killings, but said the number could be as high as 50.

In a statement following the report, H.A. Gambo, a colonel and deputy director, Army Public Relations, accused Amnesty International of not verifying its claims and seeking to discredit the Nigerian Army.

“The attention of 82 Division Nigerian Army has been drawn to insinuations of misdeed being leveled by Amnesty International against security forces during the MASSOB/IPOB violent protests in Onitsha and environs on 31 May 2016. Accordingly, it is deemed imperative for the wrong and misleading impressions with which the public is being fed to be corrected once and for all,” the statement said.

“The synopsis of occurrence on that fateful day is that elements of MASSOB/IPOB engaged in violent protests which were featured with outright disregard for law and order. In the scenario of anarchy that ensued, the pro-Biafran protesters who had chosen the day to mark the 50th Anniversary of Biafra perpetrated a number of unimaginable atrocities to unhinge the reign of peace, security and stability in several parts of Anambra State.

“A number of persons from the settler communities that hailed from other parts of the country were selected for attack, killed and burnt. 2 personnel of the Nigeria Police were killed, several soldiers were wounded, a Nigeria Police vehicle was completely burnt down while another of the Nigerian Army was vandalized.

“The strategic Niger Bridge at Onitsha was at the verge of being captured particularly with the coordinated reinforcement of the violent protesters from the Asaba end of the Bridge. In addition, wanton destruction of lives and properties were brazenly carried out by the protesters who employed firearms, crude weapons as well as other volatile cocktails such as acid and dynamites. In consequence, law, order and security were grossly threatened across the State and beyond.

“The Nigerian Army in synergy with other security agencies under its constitutional mandates for Military Aid to Civil Authority (MACA) and Military Aid to Civil Power (MACP) acted responsively in order to de-escalate the deteriorating security scenario in-situ. Instructively, the military and other security agencies exercised maximum restraints against the odds of provocative and inexplicable violence that were employed against them by the pro-Biafran protesters.

“The military and of course the other security agencies acted professionally within the extant Rules of Engagement to successful de-escalate the budding anarchy in-situ. It is rather inconceivable for any individual or group to have decided to inundate the general public with an anecdote of unverified narratives in order to discredit the Nigerian Army in the course of carrying out its constitutional duties despite the inexplicable premeditated and unprovoked attacks in the hands of the violent pro-Biafran mob.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

Nigerian Military Must Come Clean On Slaughter Of 347 Shi’ites- Amnesty International

Revelations of the slaughter and secret burial of 347 members of a Shi’ite religious group in mass graves by the Nigerian army must be urgently investigated, said Amnesty International today, and anyone suspected of criminal responsibility for these crimes must be brought to trial.

The acknowledgment of the extrajudicial killings which took place between 12-14 December 2015 in Zaria, were made by a Kaduna government official at a Public Hearing of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry and echoes Amnesty International’s own findings.

“The horrific revelation by the Kaduna State government that hundreds of Shi’ites were gunned down and dumped in mass graves is an important first step to bringing all those suspected of criminal responsibility for this atrocity to trial,” said Country Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, M.K. Ibrahim.

“It is now imperative that the mass grave sites are protected in order that a full independent forensic investigation can begin. The bodies must be exhumed and Nigerian authorities should immediately reveal the whereabouts of those held in unacknowledged detention and either charge or release them.”

Amnesty International has been conducting research in the Zaria killings since January 2016. A comprehensive report will be published in the near future.

The Kaduna State Government on Monday announced that 347 persons were killed during the December 12 Shiite/Nigerian Army clash in Zaria.

The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Balarabe Lawal, disclosed this in a government submission at the ongoing Public Hearing of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the clash.

The burial of the victims was done in secret, and this is the first time the state government was explaining how the remains of the killed shiite members were disposed.

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UN: Amnesty International Commends ICC Verdict On DRC Rebel

Amnesty International (AI) has commended the International Criminal Court (ICC) guilty verdict on DR Congo (DRC) rebel leader, Jean-Pierre Bemba, describing it as “a historic step forward for victims of sexual violence’’.


AI Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Samira Daoud, said this in a statement in New York on Monday.


“Today’s unanimous guilty verdict by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Jean-Pierre Bemba is an historic moment in the battle for justice.
“Also accountability for victims of sexual violence in the Central African Republic and around the world.

“Not only is it the first time that the ICC has convicted someone for rape as a war crime but it is also the first ICC conviction based on command responsibility,’’ the statement said.
According to the statement, the judgment sends a clear message that impunity for sexual violence as a tool of war will not be tolerated.


It noted that the military commanders and political superiors must take all necessary steps to prevent their subordinates from committing such heinous acts and would be held accountable if they fail to do so.


Reports say the ICC Trial Chamber III has unanimously declared Bemba “guilty beyond any reasonable doubt” of two counts of crimes against humanity (murder and rape) and three counts of war crimes (murder, rape, and pillaging).


Bemba was charged with two counts of crimes against humanity (murder and rape) and three counts of war crimes (murder, rape, and pillaging), allegedly committed during the conflict in Central African Republic (CAR) in 2002 to 2003.



Human Rights Abuse: Army Chief, Amnesty International Hold Talks

The Chief of Army Staff in Nigeria, General Tukur Buratai, on Thursday told a delegation from the Amnesty International that the military is making conscious effort to check human rights abuse by officers.

General Buratai’s statement is made in response to accusations by the rights advocacy group that personnel of the Nigerian Armed Forces carried out extra-judicial executions.

According to Amnesty International, about 20,000 cases of extra-judicial executions had occurred in Nigeria since 2012.

The Director Of Research Africa, Amnesty International, Netsanet Belay, told General Buratai that there was a serious concern that Nigeria needed to address.

“Its military is implicated in committing serious forms of war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity.

“We have looked into various aspects of this. We have documented over 20,000 cases of extra-judicial executions and we believe that over 1,200 men and boys may have been extra-judicial executed since 2012.

But General Buratai insisted that officers were trained to discharge their responsibilities professionally.

He told the group that the Nigerian Army had set up an internal Human Rights Desk to receive reports of human rights violation by officers.

“Before the establishment of the Human Rights Desk in the Army Headquarters, we had established a contact group between the Nigerian Army and the National Human Rights Commission. All issues of human rights that have been forwarded to the attention of the Nigerian Army we have investigated them and followed them to their logical conclusions.

“Similarly, all the issues that were brought to the Army, where human rights were alleged to have been violated, we have equally investigate them,” the Army chief told the human rights advocacy group.

He assured members of the public, the local and international human rights bodies that the Nigerian Army, under his leadership, would investigate all complaints of human rights violation brought before it.

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Amnesty International Condemns The Reinstatement Of Nigerian General Accused Of Possible War Crimes

Human Rights group, Amnesty International (AI), has condemned the reinstatement of a former commander of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Ahmadu Mohammed, who the organization accused of possible war crimes following the alleged execution of suspected Boko Haram detainees in Giwa Barracks, Maiduguri, Borno State.

Amnesty implicated Mr. Mohammed, a Major General, alongside other serving and retired military chiefs for possible war crimes following the alleged torture and extra-judicial killings of more than 8,000 suspected Boko Haram detainees.

Mr. Mohammed was specifically accused of overseeing the killing of 640 detainees at Giwa Barracks, Maiduguri, Borno State on March 14, 2014 after the Barracks’s detention centre was attacked by Boko Haram.

Mr Mohammed was retired in 2014 after a mutiny by soldiers who accused him of knowingly leading them into a Boko Haram ambush around Chibok on May 12, 2014.

More than 70 soldiers were killed in the ambush. Mr Mohammed, whose vehicle was shot at by the angry soldiers during the mutiny, has been quietly reinstated after he allegedly wrote several letters to the army authorities asking to be recalled.

In a statement Monday, Amnesty International described the reinstatement of Mr Mohammed as a “monumental failure of the government to stamp out impunity for wars crimes at the highest level.”

“Major General Mohammed must be investigated for participating in, sanctioning or failing to prevent the deaths of hundreds of people,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

 “Young men and boys, rounded up by the military, were either shot, starved, suffocated or tortured to death and no one has yet been held to account. It is unthinkable that Major General Muhammed could resume command of troops before an investigation has even begun,” Mr. Shetty added.

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Shell’s Claim On Niger Delta Pollution Blatantly False– Amnesty International

Multi-national oil company, Shell, lied when it claimed it had cleaned up heavily polluted areas of the Niger Delta, Amnesty International and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) said in a new report published on Tuesday.

The report titled, “Clean it up: Shell’s false claims about oil spills in the Niger Delta”, documents ongoing contamination at four oil spill sites that Shell said it had cleaned up years ago.

Amnesty said the report was published to mark the 20th anniversary of the execution of the environmental activist and writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa.

Mr. Saro-Wiwa, who campaigned relentlessly against damage caused to the Ogoni area of Rivers State, was executed by the Sani Abacha junta on November 10, 1995.

“By inadequately cleaning up the pollution from its pipelines and wells, Shell is leaving thousands of women, men and children exposed to contaminated land, water and air, in some cases for years or even decades,” said Mark Dummett, Business and Human Rights researcher at Amnesty International.

“Oil spills have a devastating impact on the fields, forests and fisheries that the people of the Niger Delta depend on for their food and livelihood. Anyone who visits these spill sites can see and smell for themselves how the pollution has spread across the land,” he said.

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Amnesty International Opens Office In Nigeria

As part of its commitment to increase the impact of human rights work in Nigeria, global rights organisation, Amnesty International has announced the opening of its Nigerian office on Tuesday.

The new Nigerian office, which will be headed by M.K. Ibrahim, a former career diplomat, will bolster “ongoing campaigning and research on Boko Haram, military abuses, use of torture, forced evictions and the right to adequate housing and oil pollution in the Niger Delta”, the organisation said in a statement.

Amnesty International said it intends to “campaign with and mobilise civil society, activists and members across Nigeria”.

According to the statement, henceforth all responsibilities previously held in London will be transferred to the new Nigeria office in Abuja.

M.K Ibrahim will be assisted by six other employees to drive the organisation’s research, campaign and communications work addressing human rights violations in Nigeria.

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Apologize To Nigerian Army, Gowon Tells Amnesty International

Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, has demanded an apology from Amnesty International to the Nigerian military over accusations of inhuman treatment in its fight against the Boko Haram sect.

The elder statesman admitted that there might exist instances where military operations have raised human right concerns but said that the military never engages in ‘slitting of throat’ of any person whether civilian or terrorist as peddled by the international human rights group.

General Gowon was speaking at the National Defence College Course 24 inauguration lecture.

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FG Probes Amnesty International’s Allegation Against Military

The Federal Government has constituted an investigation into the allegations leveled against the Nigerian military by the Amnesty International. This is contained in a statement issued by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Bulus Lolo and made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja. Lolo, in the statement, described the allegations leveled against the military as “serious”.

“Due to the magnitude of the allegations, the President Buhari-led government is looking into the report with a view to establishing the fact of the matter. “The government has, therefore, instituted an investigation and assures that there will be no cover-up,” he said.

The permanent secretary also said that the military, conscious of its constitutional mandate, had undertaken an ongoing investigation into the allegations of wrongdoing by its personnel.

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Nigerian Army Accuses Amnesty International of Shunning Investigation

The Nigerian Army says international human rights group, Amnesty International (AI), has failed to honour its invitation to join its investigative panel on the alleged human rights abuse in the North East.

Reacting to a report by the international human rights group on June 3, the Chief of Administration of the Nigerian Army, Major-General Adamu Abubakar, explained that the essence of inviting Amnesty International officials to join its investigative panel was to guarantee fairness and justice while proving that the military has nothing to hide.

Even though the military had reacted in various press statements, it has found time to detail its activities following the release of the report.

Major-General Adamu Abubakar denied claims that the military did not cooperate with the rights group in the process of its investigation.

The military, according to him, has zero tolerance for human rights abuses and other war crimes, promising to investigate thoroughly the investigation by the human rights group.

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Group Wants Badeh, Minimah To Step Aside Over Amnesty International Report

A human rights advocacy group, Access to Justice, has called on the Chiefs of Army and Defence Staff to step aside to allow an impartial investigation into allegations of war crimes levelled against the Nigerian military in a new report by Amnesty International.

In a statement Sunday, the group called on Alex Badeh and Kenneth Minimah, the Chiefs of Defence and Army Staff respectively to immediately step down from office or proceed on compulsory leave to make way for investigations into the allegations contained in the AI report.

“All the serving military officers named in the AI report (must) proceed on compulsory leave from their current duties to safeguard against risks of interference with any investigations that would be conducted into the allegations,” Access to Justice said in the statement signed by Joseph Otteh and Jessica Imuekemhe, Executive Director and Programme Officer respectively.

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Buhari To Probe Amnesty International Report On Torture

President Muhammadu Buhari has acknowledge the receipt of the Amnesty International report on Nigeria titled “Nigeria: Stories of horror in their own words” and has promised to investigate the report.

A statement by the senior Special Assistant (Media & Publicity), Mal. Garba Shehu in Niamey, Niger Republic on Wednesday, said that President Buhari has received the report which he says contains many disturbing allegations.

According to Shehu, President Buhari assured his administration will study the document and act appropriately. “I assure you that your report will be looked into,” President Buhari said.

He said without meaning to prejudice the outcome of any investigation, Nigerians needed to be reassured that “this administration will leave no stone unturned to promote the rule of law, and deal with all cases of human rights abuses.

“Respect for human rights and adherence to the rule of law are the life and soul of the democratic system. We will not tolerate or condone impunity and reckless disregard for human rights.”

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Nigerian Military Blasts Amnesty International, Says Report Is “Concocted, Biased”

The Defence Headquarters has noted with dismay the gruesome allegations made by the Amnesty International against some senior military officers serving and retired of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

It is unfortunate that all effort made in the allegation was geared towards continuation of blackmail against the military hierarchy in which the organisation had embarked upon as far back as the inception of military’s action against terrorist in the North East.

The officers mentioned in the report have no reason, whatsoever, to indulge in the allegation made against them. It is unfortunate that the organisation just went out to gather names of specified senior officers, in a calculated attempt to rubbish their reputation as well as the image of the military. The action, no doubt, depicts more of a premeditated indictment aimed at discrediting the country for whatever purpose.

Each of the previous allegations had been thoroughly responded to and cleared in the public and officially. The title down to the body of the allegation smacks of the extreme bias, which is disturbing coming from an otherwise reputable organisation that is expected to be just and fair to all. Unfortunately in this case, has taken a premeditated position, which is far from noble.

It is curious that a body that has never been able to seriously condemn terror in Nigeria now claims to have done an extensive research with the aim of discrediting the nation’s effort at curtailing terror.

It is clear that Amnesty International (AI) becomes more active in presenting distractive allegations whenever the terrorists are losing ground in the battle. It is very unfortunate that Amnesty International has used this report to further confirm its questionable interest in the counter-terrorism effort in Nigeria.

It will be recalled that the Joint Investigation Team was set up by the Defence Headquarters as part and parcel of efforts to ensure that no detainee suffer unjustly. The detention facilities were thrown open for visits and inspections by independent bodies such as International Committee of the Red Cross and other reputable international organisations and personalities.

Amnesty International is advised to stop playing the role of an irritant coming up loudly only when the terrorists are losing out and remaining silent or complacent whenever the terrorist heightens its atrocities. It is unfair to persist in effort to discredit Nigerian military by seeking all avenues to stigmatise individual officers of the nation’s military purely to satisfy an agenda against the security agencies and image of Nigeria before the international community.

The Nigerian Armed Forces is quite conscious of the fact that the operation has prompted the need to save citizens from abuse of their rights by mindless terrorists. Accordingly, the forces have continued to state and restate its commitment to the rights of Nigerians and all its citizens while prosecuting its anti-terrorism campaign. It is very unfortunate that Amnesty International has chosen to ignore all the responses and clarifications provided to its enquires by the authorities.

It is unfair to rely on records or reports provided by certain disgruntled elements or faceless collaborators who have axe to grind with the system as evidence against officers who have been conscientiously doing their duty to defend the nation and her citizens.

For avoidance of doubt, the Nigerian military does not encourage or condone abuse of human rights neither will any proven case be left unpunished. The kind of impunity being alleged by Amnesty International has no place in the Nigerian military. Every officer in the field is responsible for his action and is duly held accountable. So far, no allegation has been sufficiently proved against those whom Amnesty International is so desperate to convict.

The statistics are largely spurious or manipulated to satisfy a clandestine motive. Indeed, the loud publicity given to these damning allegations suggests an intention to blackmail the military and particular senior officers rather than a sincere advice to the government. This cruel tendency is not new, despite the timing.

The Nigerian military therefore rejects the biased and concocted report provided by Amnesty International. Additional definite response will be provided subsequently as deemed necessary.


Senior Members Of Military Must Be Investigated For War Crimes – Amnesty International

Press Release 3 June 2015

· horrific war crimes committed by Nigeria’s military including 8,000 people murdered, starved, suffocated, and tortured to death;
· senior military commanders, named by Amnesty International, must be investigated in relation to war crimes and possible crimes against humanity;
· new government needs to ensure the protection of civilians and bring to an end the culture of impunity within the Nigerian armed forces.

The Nigerian military, including senior military commanders, must be investigated for participating in, sanctioning or failing to prevent the deaths of more than 8,000 people murdered, starved, suffocated, and tortured to death, according to a comprehensive report by Amnesty International.

Based on years of research and analysis of evidence – including leaked military reports and correspondence, as well as interviews with more than 400 victims, eyewitnesses and senior members of the Nigerian security forces – the organization outlines a range of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity committed by the Nigerian military in the course of the fight against Boko Haram in the north-east of the country.

The report, Stars on their shoulders. Blood on their hands: War crimes committed by the Nigerian military, reveals that, since March 2011, more than 7,000 young men and boys died in military detention and more than 1,200 people were unlawfully killed since February 2012.

Amnesty International provides compelling evidence of the need for an investigation into the individual and command responsibilities of soldiers, and mid-level and senior-level military commanders. The report outlines the roles and possible criminal responsibilities of those along the chain of command – up to the Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Army Staff – and names nine senior Nigerian military figures who should be investigated for command and individual responsibility for the crimes committed.

“This sickening evidence exposes how thousands of young men and boys have been arbitrarily arrested and deliberately killed or left to die in detention in the most horrific conditions. It provides strong grounds for investigations into the possible criminal responsibility of members of the military, including those at the highest levels,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

“Whilst an urgent and impartial investigation of these war crimes is vital, this report is not just about the criminal responsibility of individuals. It is also about the responsibility of Nigeria’s leadership to act decisively to end the pervasive culture of impunity within the armed forces.”

Amnesty International is calling for Nigeria to ensure prompt, independent and effective investigations of the following military officers for potential individual or command responsibility for the war crimes of murder, torture and enforced disappearance detailed in this report:

* Major General John A.H. Ewansiha
* Major General Obida T Ethnan
* Major General Ahmadu Mohammed
* Brigadier General Austin O. Edokpayi
* Brigadier General Rufus O. Bamigboye

Amnesty International is further calling for Nigeria to ensure prompt, independent and effective investigations of the following high-level military commanders for their potential command responsibility for crimes committed by their subordinates. They would be responsible if they knew or if they should have known about the commission of the war crimes and failed to take adequate action to prevent them or to ensure the alleged perpetrators are brought to justice:

* General Azubuike Ihejirika ­- Chief of Army Staff, Sept 2010 – Jan 2014).
* Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim ­- Chief of Defence Staff, Oct 2012 – Jan 2014).
* Air Chief Marshal Badeh ­- Chief of Defence Staff, Jan 2014 – time of writing

* General Ken Minimah ­- Chief of Army Staff, Jan 2014 – time of writing

Mass deaths in custody

In their response to Boko Haram’s attacks in the north-east, the Nigerian military have arrested at least 20,000 young men and boys since 2009, some as young as nine years old. In most cases they were arbitrarily arrested, often based solely on the word of a single unidentified secret informant. Most were arrested in mass “screening” operations or “cordon-and-search” raids where security forces round up hundreds of men. Almost none of those detained have been brought to court and all have been held without the necessary safeguards against murder, torture and ill-treatment.

Detainees are held incommunicado in extremely overcrowded, unventilated cells without sanitary facilities and with little food or water. Many are subjected to torture and thousands have died from ill-treatment and as a result of dire detention conditions. One former detainee told Amnesty International: “All I know was that once you get detained by the soldiers and taken to Giwa [military barracks], your life is finished.”

A high-ranking military officer gave Amnesty International a list of 683 detainees who died in custody between October 2012 and February 2013. The organization also obtained evidence that in 2013, more than 4,700 bodies were brought to a mortuary from a detention facility in Giwa barracks. In June 2013 alone, more than 1,400 corpses were delivered to the mortuary from this facility.

A former detainee who spent four months in detention described how on arrival “The soldiers said: “Welcome to your die house. Welcome to your place of death”. Only 11 of the 122 men he was arrested with survived.

Starvation, dehydration and disease

Amnesty International researchers witnessed emaciated corpses in mortuaries, and one former Giwa detainee told the organization that around 300 people in his cell died after being denied water for two days. “Sometimes we drank people’s urine, but even the urine you at times could not get.”

The evidence gathered from former detainees and eyewitnesses is also corroborated by senior military sources. One senior military officer told Amnesty International that detention centres are not given sufficient money for food and that detainees in Giwa barracks were “deliberately starved.”

Disease – including possible outbreaks of cholera – was rife. A police officer posted at a detention facility known as the “Rest House” in Potiskum told Amnesty International how more than 500 corpses were buried in and around the camp. “They don’t take them to the hospital if they are sick or to the mortuary if they die,” he said.

Overcrowding and suffocation

Conditions of detention in Giwa barracks and detention centres in Damaturu were so overcrowded that hundreds of detainees were packed into small cells where they had to take turns sleeping or even sitting on the floor. At its peak, Giwa barracks ­– which was not built as a detention facility ­–­ was accommodating more than 2,000 detainees at one time.

“Hundreds have been killed in detention either (by soldiers) shooting them or by suffocation,” a military officer told Amnesty International, describing the situation in Sector Alpha detention centre (known as ‘Guantanamo’). Amnesty International has confirmed that on a single day, 19 June 2013, 47 detainees died there as a result of suffocation.


In order to combat the spread of disease and stifle the stench, cells were regularly fumigated with chemicals. Fumigation may have led to the deaths of many detainees in their poorly ventilated cells. One military official based at Giwa barracks told Amnesty International: “Many Boko Haram suspects died as a result of fumigation. They fumigated with the chemicals you use for killing mosquitoes. It is something very powerful. It is very dangerous.”


Amnesty International has received consistent reports as well as video evidence of torture by the military during and after arrest. Former detainees and senior military sources described how detainees were regularly tortured to death, hung on poles over fires, tossed into deep pits or interrogated using electric batons. These findings are consistent with widespread patterns of torture and ill-treatment documented by Amnesty International over a number of years, most recently in the 2014 report, ‘Welcome to hell fire’: Torture in Nigeria.

Extrajudicial executions

More than 1,200 people have been unlawfully killed by the military and associated militias in north-east Nigeria. The worst case documented by Amnesty International took place on 14 March 2014 when the military killed more than 640 detainees who had fled Giwa barracks after Boko Haram attacked.

Many of these killings appear to be reprisals following attacks by Boko Haram. A senior military official told Amnesty International that such killings were common. Soldiers “go to the nearest place and kill all the youths… People killed may be innocent and not armed,” he said.

In a so-called “mop up” operation following a Boko Haram attack in Baga on 16 April 2013, a senior military official told Amnesty International how the military “transferred their aggression on the community”. At least 185 people were killed.

Detainees were also routinely killed. One military officer based in Giwa Barracks told Amnesty International that since the end of 2014, very few suspects were even taken into custody but were immediately killed instead. This was confirmed by several human rights defenders and witnesses.

High level military commanders knew of the crimes

The highest levels of Nigeria’s military command, including the Chief of Army Staff and Chief of Defence Staff, were regularly informed of operations conducted in north-east Nigeria.

Evidence shows that senior military leaders knew, or should have known, about the nature and scale of the crimes being committed. Internal military documents show that they were updated on the high rates of deaths among detainees through daily field reports, letters and assessment reports sent by field commanders to Defence Headquarters (DHQ) and Army Headquarters.

Amnesty International has seen numerous requests and reminders sent from commanders in the field to DHQ warning of the rise in the number of deaths in custody, the dangers of fumigation and requesting a transfer of detainees. In addition, reports by teams sent by DHQ to assess military facilities and “authenticate data”, highlight death rates and warn that overcrowding was causing serious health problems and could lead to “an epidemic”.

Amnesty International has verified this knowledge and failure to act from a number of sources, including interviews with senior military officers. One military source told Amnesty International: “People at the top saw it but refused to do anything about it.”

Need for action

“Despite being informed of the death rates and conditions of detention, Nigerian military officials consistently failed to take meaningful action. Those in charge of detention facilities, as well as their commanders at army and defence headquarters, must be investigated,” said Salil Shetty.

“For years the Nigerian authorities have downplayed accusations of human rights abuses by the military. But they cannot dismiss their own internal military documents. They cannot ignore testimonies from witnesses and high-ranking military whistle blowers. And they cannot deny the existence of emaciated and mutilated bodies piled on mortuary slabs and dumped in mass graves.”

“We call on newly-elected President Buhari to end the culture of impunity that has blighted Nigeria and for the African Union and international community to encourage and support these efforts. As a matter of urgency, the President must launch an immediate and impartial investigation into the crimes detailed in Amnesty International’s report and hold all those responsible to account, no matter their rank or position. Only then can there be justice for the dead and their relatives.”

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:

+ 44 (0) 20 7413 5729 or 07778 472126

+ 234 (0) 7035801786 or + 44 (0) 7904398319

The report and media materials can be downloaded here:

AV materials (11 and 5 minute video, B-roll, and images) can be downloaded here:


Between 2013 and 2015, Amnesty International delegates conducted six field investigations in north-east Nigeria and one in northern Cameroon.

This report is based on 412 interviews with victims, their relatives, eyewitnesses, human rights activists, doctors, journalists, lawyers and military sources. Amnesty International also analysed more than 90 videos and numerous photographs.

Amnesty International repeatedly shared findings with the Nigerian authorities. The organization has held dozens of meetings with government authorities and has written 57 letters to the federal and state authorities, sharing research findings, raising concerns about ongoing violations and requesting information and specific action, such as investigations.

Government responses are reflected in relevant sections of this report.

Amnesty International has also shared the findings of this research and relevant evidence, with the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The organization has also submitted to the ICC a list of names of military officers who should be investigated for their possible role in the crimes under international law and serious human rights violations documented in this report.

This report follows on from other Amnesty International reports published about human rights violations committed in the context of the conflict in north-east Nigeria. The most recent of these, published on 14 April, ‘Our job is to shoot, slaughter and kill’: Boko Haram’s reign of terror in north east Nigeria”

At Least 2,000 Women And Girls Kidnapped By Boko Haram – Amnesty International

Boko Haram has kidnapped at least 2,000 women and girls since the beginning of last year, Amnesty International said on Tuesday, a year on from the mass abduction of 219 Nigerian schoolgirls.

A screengrab taken on May 12, 2014, from a video of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram obtained by AFP shows girls, wearing the full-length hijab and praying in an undisclosed rural location. Boko Haram released a new video on claiming to show the missing Nigerian schoolgirls, alleging they had converted to Islam and would not be released until all militant prisoners were freed. A total of 276 girls were abducted on April 14 from the northeastern town of Chibok, in Borno state, which has a sizeable Christian community. Some 223 are still missing.

The kidnapping of the teenagers from Chibok, in the northeastern state of Borno, on April 14 last year brought unprecedented world attention to the brutality of the insurgency.

But the human rights group said it had documented 38 cases of abduction by the Islamists, based on testimony of dozens of eyewitnesses as well as women and girls who eventually escaped.

“It is difficult to estimate how many people have been abducted by Boko Haram,” Amnesty said in the report, “‘Our job is to shoot, slaughter and kill’: Boko Haram’s reign of terror”.

“The number of women and girls is likely to be higher than 2,000.”

On the Chibok girls, Amnesty quoted a senior military source as saying they had been split into three or four groups and held at different Boko Haram camps.

Somewhere in its Sambisa Forest stronghold in Borno state, others around Lake Chad, in the Gorsi mountains in Cameroon while about 70 girls were thought to be in Chad.

Nigeria’s military has previously said it knows where the girls are but ruled out a rescue operation as too dangerous.

The 219 teenagers have not been seen since Boko Haram released a video message in May last year, showing about 100 of the girls in Muslim dress and reciting verses of the Koran.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has said all of the teenagers had converted to Islam and been “married off”.

Amnesty reports provides fresh testimony to Boko Haram’s use of mass kidnapping, cataloguing the frequent abduction of young women and girls, as well as the forced conscription of men and boys.

Women and girls interviewed recounted being held in atrocious conditions, including in overcrowded prisons, being forced to cook and clean for as well as marry Islamist fighters.

One human rights activist who interviewed more than 80 abducted women and girls after their escape said in 23 cases, they had been raped either before arrival at camps or after forced marriage.

One 19-year-old woman who was abducted in September 2014 said: “I was raped several times when I was in the camp. Sometimes five of them. Sometimes three, sometimes six.

“It went on for all the time I was there. It always happened in the night… Some were even my classmates from my village. Those who knew me were even more brutal to me.”

One woman said Boko Haram fighters came to her house in the border town of Gamboru to rape her lodger, a woman in her late 20s, and that fear of HIV was widespread.

Elsewhere others spoke of being forced to train to shoot guns and make bombs, while one said she was sent on operations, including to her own village.

Amnesty, which wants Boko Haram investigated for war crimes and crimes against humanity, estimates that more than 4,000 people were killed in 2014.

At least 1,500 civilians lost their lives in the first three months of this year, it added.

– Source –

Defence Hqrts Accuses Amnesty International For Misleading Allegations

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) said allegations by Amnesty International that military top brass were warned of Boko Haram’s attack on Baga and Monguno but failed to take action, were misleading, unfair and distractive.

This is contained in a statement issued by Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, Director of Defence Information in Abuja on Wednesday.

Amnesty International on Wednesday claimed that Nigeria’s military top brass were warned of brutal Boko Haram attacks on the northeast towns of Baga and Monguno but failed to take action.

The statement said the conclusions by Amnesty International were misleading and could have been avoided if it had made meaningful efforts to verify the inciting allegations.

“Whatever be the intention, the allegations, at best can only constitute a distractive and misleading commentary or interpretation of the terrorists’ activities,” it said.

Credit: NAN

Satellite Images of Baga Attacked by Boko Haram

Satellite images of Nigerian towns attacked by Boko Haram show widespread destruction and suggest a high death toll, Amnesty International says. The images show some 3,700 structures damaged or destroyed in Baga and Doron Baga this month, Amnesty said.

Nigeria’s government has disputed reports that as many as 2,000 were killed, putting the toll at just 150. Amnesty cited witnesses saying that militants had killed indiscriminately. It said the damage was “catastrophic”.

There has been a surge in violence linked to Boko Haram. In the past week there have been several attacks, including by suspected child suicide bombers. Nigeria is to hold elections next month, amid growing doubts whether they can successfully go ahead in all parts of the country.

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Boko Haram ‘Killed Woman in Labour’ During Attack: Amnesty Intl.

Boko Haram fighters killed a woman as she was in labour during what is feared to be the deadliest attack in the militants’ six-year insurgency, Amnesty International claimed on Thursday.

The human rights group said one witness to the assault on Baga, on the shores of Lake Chad in northeast Nigeria, told them the woman was shot by indiscriminate fire that also cut down small children. “Half of the baby boy (was) out and she died like this,” the unnamed witness was quoted as saying.

Amnesty said this week that hundreds of people, if not more, may have been killed in the attack, which began on January 3 and is thought to have targeted civilian vigilantes helping the military. “They killed so many people. I saw maybe around 100 killed at that time in Baga. I ran to the bush. As we were running, they were shooting and killing,” a man in his fifties was quoted as saying. Another woman added: “I don’t know how many but there were bodies everywhere we looked.”

The testimony chimes with claims from local officials that huge numbers were killed and that of witnesses spoken to by AFP, who described seeing decomposing bodies littering the streets. One man who escaped from Baga after hiding for three days said he was “stepping on bodies” for five kilometres (three miles) as he fled through the bush. Nigeria’s military, which often downplays death tolls, said this week that 150 people died, dismissing as “sensational” claims that 2,000 may have lost their lives.

Human Rights Watch said the exact death toll was unknown and in a statement published on Thursday quoted one local resident as saying: “No one stayed back to count the bodies. “We were all running to get out of town ahead of Boko Haram fighters who have since taken over the area.”

Credit: Yahoo/ AFP