[JURIST] Around 8,000 Nigerian civilians have been killed since 2011 as a result of abuses by military forces, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] reported [materials] Wednesday. The report attributes civilian deaths to torture, starvation, suffocation and executions by military forces at detention camps. AI’s Secretary General Salil Shetty said, “[t]he previous Nigerian administration’s utterly callous ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’ attitude when it comes to the hundreds of stories of death coming out of the military detention centers beggars belief.” AI says the military’s actions at the detention camps are part of a “witch hunt” in an effort to locate and fight members of Boko Haram, who threaten the security of the nation. AI is calling for Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate into any possible crimes against humanity committed at the camps and to bring justice to the victims of violent crimes.
Boko Haram [JURIST news archive], 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.