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Amnesty criticizes investigation into Nigeria military human rights abuses

[JURIST] Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] on Thursday called on [press release] the government of Nigeria to conduct an investigation into the actions of the military that occurred during and throughout the conflict with Boko Haram. AI issued a comprehensive report [PDF] in 2015 detailing the alleged abuses thousands have suffered by the hand of the Nigerian military due to the conflict, and the most recent call to action is in response to an investigative panel the Nigeria government put together that AI claims is neither independent nor impartial. Responding to a report the panel submitted, AI said:

We stand by the findings of our research and our call for an investigation that is independent, impartial and thorough; criteria that this panel clearly does not meet. We maintain that the nine senior commanders named in our report should be the subject of an effective and independent investigation. To this end we welcome the panel’s recommendation that there should be a Presidential Commission of Inquiry into these allegations of horrific war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in north east Nigeria.

The Boko Haram/Nigerian conflict has been ongoing for several years and has led to the deaths of thousands; Boko Haram [BBC backgrounder] is a militant Islamic group, whose name means "Western Education is a Sin," and has been fighting in the interest of creating an Islamist state. In January, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, sharply condemned [JURIST report] the bombing of refugee camps as a means of counter insurgency against Boko Haram. In April 2016, the UN urged [JURIST report] the Nigeria government to escalate efforts to locate and rescue people abducted by Boko Haram. In February 2016 UN human rights advocates asked [JURIST report] the Nigeria government to guarantee the safety of areas liberated from Boko Haram through military maneuvers. In October 2015 AI announced it was setting up an office in Nigeria [JURIST 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.

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