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

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states 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.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid