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Amnesty sets up Nigeria office to investigate rights abuses

[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] announced Tuesday it is setting up an office in Nigeria [AI report] to investigate human rights abuses. In a showing of "solidarity with the victims of human rights violations," AI has established a permanent base in Abuja that will serve as the "main base for the global movement's research, campaign and communications work" for the nation. AI has moved many of its responsibilities from its London office to the one in Abuja. Remarking that the Nigerian government has made promises to investigate abuses and hold accountable violators, AI believes that this step will help hold the nation to its word.

This move comes after AI reported in June that around 8,000 Nigerian civilians had been killed [JURIST report] since 2011 as a result of abuses by military forces. Boko Haram [JURIST news archive], which means "Western education is a sin," has also been fighting to overthrow the Nigerian government in the interest of creating an Islamist state. In May the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raad al-Hussein, reported that Boko Haram militants in Nigeria have been murdering women and girls [JURIST report] previously taken captive by the group. At the end of March Nigeria held its presidential and gubernatorial elections in spite of violent attacks directed towards voters [JURIST report] by Boko Haram. The elections, originally scheduled for February 14, were postponed as Nigeria attempted to eradicate Boko Haram after reports that the group had acquired military-grade weaponry, including armored personnel carriers. In February the UN reported that girls have been attacked [JURIST report] and been subjected to gender oppression in at least 70 countries for seeking an education. In January the UN Security Council condemned attacks by Boko Haram in Nigeria [JURIST report] and called for an end to terrorist attacks and the release of abducted child soldiers. The hostilities included mass killings, destruction of civilian homes and suicide bombings where children where induced to carry out the attacks.

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