Amnesty International Calls for Independent Probe of Security Force Killings of Men and Boys in Northern Nigeria, One Day After Condemning Abuses in New Report on Security Forces

Press Release
November 2, 2012

Amnesty International Calls for Independent Probe of Security Force Killings of Men and Boys in Northern Nigeria, One Day After Condemning Abuses in New Report on Security Forces

Amnesty International Calls for Independent Probe of Security Force Killings of Men and Boys in Northern Nigeria, One Day After Condemning Abuses in New Report on Security Forces

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, strimel@aiusa.org, 212-633-4150, @strimel

(New York) - Security forces shot dozens of men and boys from Maiduguri in northern Nigeria, Amnesty International reports today, a day after the organization issued a new investigation condemning human rights violations by the security forces in response to the Boko Haram campaign of violence.

Amnesty International received reports that between Tuesday evening and Thursday morning scores of men were taken out of their houses by the Nigerian Joint Task Force (JTF) and the younger men were then shot.

According to information received by Amnesty International at least 30 bodies were deposited at Maiduguri teaching hospital morgue with gunshot wounds.

One eyewitness told Amnesty International that on Thursday she saw dozens of bodies on the floor of the morgue with bullet wounds. Some of the dead were buried on Friday morning.

Amnesty International received the reports as its Secretary General, Salil Shetty, concluded meetings to present the findings of the report to the Nigerian government and civil society members.

"These reports from Maiduguri are shocking," said Shetty. "They underline the importance of Amnesty International’s call for thorough investigation into all reports of human rights violations."

Meeting with Amnesty International on behalf of the President, the Attorney General of the Federation made commitments to investigate all reports of human rights violations by the security forces and said that any state actor found responsible will be brought to justice.

On the same day Amnesty International launched the report, delegates were granted permission to visit the Special Anti-Robbery Squad police station in Abuja to visit Ibrahim Umar, who remains detained there despite a court order for his release issued in August.

SARS police officers told the delegates that he had been transferred to another station. After their departure, Amnesty International received information that Ibrahim Umar had, in fact, been taken to a different location within the station.

"It looks as though Ibrahim Umar was hidden from us with the express intention of concealing his whereabouts. It would be a significant step if the police could now release this man, respecting the court order," said Shetty.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.