[JURIST] A report [text, PDF] released [press release] Wednesday by Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] details the atrocities committed by Boko Haram [JURIST news archive] in Northern Cameroon, resulting in the killing of at least 400 civilians. The report details the extensive human rights violation, including shootings and suicide bombings, which have largely targeted civilians. Boko Haram has reportedly recruited child soldiers and destroyed private and religious property. The report states that it appears that the acts of terror are a part of a “systematic … attack against the civilian population across north east Nigeria and the Far North of Cameroon.” The report also discusses the response by security forces, which AI labeled as “heavy-handed,” as security forces have arrested and detained more than 1,000 civilians. The poor conditions of the detention facilities have led to overcrowding and, in some cases, death.
Boko Haram, which means “Western education is a sin,” has been fighting to overthrow the Nigerian government in the interest of creating an Islamist state. Earlier this year the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raad al-Hussein [official profile], 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.