News / Africa

Nigeria Urged to Investigate Detainee Deaths

Security forces try to protect a Nigerian man accused of kidnapping a child from an angry crowd in Bissau, Oct. 8, 2013.Security forces try to protect a Nigerian man accused of kidnapping a child from an angry crowd in Bissau, Oct. 8, 2013.
x
Security forces try to protect a Nigerian man accused of kidnapping a child from an angry crowd in Bissau, Oct. 8, 2013.
Security forces try to protect a Nigerian man accused of kidnapping a child from an angry crowd in Bissau, Oct. 8, 2013.
Heather Murdock
Amnesty International says hundreds of people have died in Nigerian military detention centers from mistreatment or neglect this year. The group says the detainees are usually suspected of being associated with Boko Haram, a militant group that has been terrorizing northern Nigeria for nearly four years.
 
Last May, Nigeria began its largest-ever assault on Boko Haram after President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in three northeastern states.
 
Officials say Nigeria is at war with Boko Haram, an Islamist militant group blamed for thousands of deaths since 2009.  
 
Amnesty International researcher Makmid Kamara says Nigeria's prisons are full and that crowds of Boko Haram suspects are being packed into rooms meant to accommodate 20 or 30 people.
 
“When mass arrests are conducted people suspected are put in those small rooms," he said. "Up to 100, 150 people at one time and most of these people they are not fed well.”

Worse than bad food, he says, is that the rooms have no beds or toilets and sometimes no ventilation. And in northern Nigerian heat, former detainees say some people literally suffocate from the poor conditions.  
 
“During interrogations we are told that some suspects are shot in the leg and they are left to bleed to death and they are brought back into the cells without any medical care, without any medical treatment,” he said.

The Nigerian military has repeatedly denied accusations from both international and Nigerian rights groups that soldiers are responsible for killing some suspects and arresting others without charges.
 
Some analysts say these Amnesty accusations are unfounded because soldiers are often the targets of the insurgency and they constantly have to defend themselves.  

Military officials have also said they do investigate occasional individual cases of excessive force.
 
However, Amnesty International says a wider investigation is needed.

Kamara said, “We think that these allegations of people that died in detention must be investigated as a matter of urgency and that those who are found as suspected perpetrators must be brought to justice in a fair trial.”
 
Boko Haram has attacked churches, mosques, schools, markets, communications networks, government buildings and the local U.N. headquarters.  
 
The former detainees that spoke to Amnesty International were mostly in Borno and Yobe states, the heart of the insurgency.  But Kamara says many reported that although they were locked up, they were not formally charged with a crime.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: donik from: Nigeria
October 15, 2013 2:14 PM
Amnesty watchdog sees only maltreatment of detained terrorists but hardly comment on wanton killing of innocent people by the dastardly jihadists. I hope some of your members are not moslem fanatics who believe that 72 virgins are reserved for them in heaven if they die in the course of killing people here on earth.

In Response

by: Truesage Idowu from: Lagos Nigeria
October 16, 2013 12:32 PM
Amnesty International on the issue of boko-aram have always being biased. Thank God I am not alone in their criticism. As far as we are concerned, a terrorist has no right.
Amnesty International should take their campaign to somewhere else. Nigeria needs the co-operation of Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic to defeat this scumbags.
Thanks you.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid