Amnesty: Boko Haram has abducted at least 2,000 women since 2014 News
Amnesty: Boko Haram has abducted at least 2,000 women since 2014

[JURIST] Boko Haram has abducted at least 2,000 women and girls in Nigeria since the start of 2014, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] said Monday in a new report [press release] detailing the extreme violence and crimes against humanity committed by the group. The 90-page report [text, PDF] is entitled: “‘Our job is to Shoot, Slaughter and Kill’: Boko Haram’s Reign of Terror.” The document relies on testimonials form more than 377 individuals and nearly 200 witness accounts. The report goes into detail about the tactics used by Boko Haram to impose terror; including abductions, mass killings and general destruction of towns and schools. Perhaps most disturbing is the abduction, forced-imprisonment and forced-marriage of schoolgirls and women. AI noted that actual data is hard to find, but the approximate number of abducted women and girls is likely to exceed 2,000:

It is difficult to estimate how many people have been abducted by Boko Haram. The number of women and girls is likely to be higher than 2,000. According to a human rights defender who has verified and documented many cases of abductions, between November 2014 and February 2015 alone, more than 500 women and 1,000 children were abducted from Gwoza LGA. The majority of people abducted by Boko Haram were unmarried women and girls, many of whom were forced into marriage with Boko Haram fighters. Men and boys abducted by Boko Haram were forced to provide services for Boko Haram or to join them as fighters. Boko Haram also imprisoned thousands of civilians in its camps and in towns under its control, generally holding them in large houses, prisons or other buildings, under armed guard. In Bama town hundreds of men were held by Boko Haram in the town’s prison for several weeks before being executed.

Boko Haram [JURIST news archive; BBC profile], which means “Western education is a sin,” has been fighting to overthrow the Nigerian government in the interest of creating an Islamist state. Two weeks ago, 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 [Washington Times report] 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.