News / Africa

Human Rights Watch Warns Against Abuses in Nigeria

A soldier searches a car in Kaduna, Nigeria, April 21, 2011
A soldier searches a car in Kaduna, Nigeria, April 21, 2011

Human Rights Watch wants Nigerian leaders to ensure that security forces act responsibly in stopping post-electoral violence. Supporters of a former military ruler have clashed with riot police in protests against the election of President Goodluck Jonathan.

President Jonathan is sending more security forces to some northern states where Muslim supporters of defeated presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari attacked churches, homes and police stations, sparking reprisal attacks by Christians.

"Sadly, some misguided elements do not share in the spirit of our democratic achievement," said Jonathan. "They formed into groups of miscreants and struck with deadly and destructive force in some parts of the country. They killed and maimed innocent citizens. They set ablaze business premises, private homes, and even places of worship."

Buhari says the vote was rigged through electoral commission computers and is calling on his supporters to stay calm while his party challenges the results in court.

President Jonathan says these disturbances are more than mere political protest. He says they are clearly aimed at frustrating Nigeria's remaining elections, and that is not acceptable.

"The perpetrators of these dastardly acts of violence and all those who seek to continue to breach the peace and stability of this nation must be fished-out [exposed] and made to face the full weight of the law," Jonathan stated.

As security forces move to stop violence that the Red Cross says has already displaced more than 40,000 people, Human Rights Watch says the Jonathan government must ensure that those forces do not make things worse by using excessive force.

"The Nigerian security forces have a history of carrying out abuses when responding to sectarian clashes or responding with excessive use of force," said Eric Guttschuss, a researcher for Human Rights Watch in Nigeria. "The first steps that really need to be taken are that within these communities that have been affected by rioting and protests, they need to beef-up security and ensure that all citizens within those locations are provided security in a neutral manner to ensure that the security forces are not using excessive use of force while responding to these clashes."

Media reports say more than 100 people were killed in post-election violence, though officials have declined to give a death toll for fear of prompting more attacks. The International Criminal Court says it is investigating whether crimes committed during the unrest are within its jurisdiction.

Nigeria's electoral commission is delaying state-wide voting in the mainly-Muslim states of Kaduna and Bauchi. Electoral commission Chief Attahiru Jega says he hopes that will allow for the "further cooling of tempers and for the security situation in those states to continue to improve."

Gubernatorial elections in other states will go ahead as scheduled on Tuesday.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid