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Amnesty International Calls On Nigerian Government To "Dismantle" Vigilante Groups - 2002-11-19

A new report calls on the Nigerian government to “dismantle armed vigilante groups” and bring to justice members of those groups who have violated human rights.

The report from Amnesty International is entitled: Nigeria – Vigilante Violence in the South and Southeast. Enrique Restoy is the Nigeria researcher for amnesty. From London, he spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about vigilante violence in Nigeria.

The Amnesty report says, “ Armed vigilante groups carry out law enforcement activities in an ever-growing number of states with the tacit, and sometimes explicit, endorsement from the state governments, especially in the South-East of Nigeria.” The report goes on to say that “state-endorsed armed vigilante groups routinely carry out extrajudicial executions and unlawful detentions and inflict torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment to suspected criminals.”

The human rights group is calling on the Nigerian government not only to disarm these groups, such as the Bakassi Boys, but also to prosecute members and state officials who allegedly took part in rights violations. It also says reforms must be made within the police force to ensure public trust and prevent the formation of vigilante groups to deal with crime.

Click above links to hear De Capua interview with Amnesty's Restoy.