• Press Release

Amnesty International Calls on the US and Nigerian Government to Stop Trying to Justify Rights Abuses

November 3, 2018

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
In response to the Nigerian Army’s tweets using President Trump’s words to justify the fatal shooting of rock-throwing protestors. and the subsequent issuing of a statement denouncing Amnesty International’s calls for accountability, Amnesty International Nigeria Executive Director Osai Ojigho said:

“Basic human rights are not subject to whims of the world’s leaders. Rather than engaging in a preposterous competition over who does a better job of violating human rights, the Nigerian government must hold its security forces accountable for the horrific killing of at least 45 peaceful protestors.

Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, Margaret Huang said:

“Donald Trump’s latest statements continue a pattern threatening, encouraging and justifying human rights abuses. No president should be embracing the horrific use of excessive force. The president’s outrageous threats against people fleeing violence and seeking a better life only compound their already precarious situation and exacerbate what he should be recognizing as a human rights crisis.

“Both the US and the Nigerian governments must abide by international human rights law and standards. International law is clear that security forces policing demonstrations must not use unnecessary or excessive force against protesters unless they pose an imminent threat of death or serious injury, and only if there is no lesser way to avert such threat. They must never use firearms as a tactical tool for the management of demonstrations: they may only be used for the purpose of saving another life.”


In a statement responding to Trump’s remarks, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Kumi Naidoo said: “We reject these vicious policies. People seeking protection deserve our compassion, not our contempt. Threatening desperate people with excessive force is horrifying and unlawful. The U.S. government must abide by international law and welcome people seeking safety into the country while their asylum claims are being reviewed.”

An investigation conducted by Amnesty International this week has shown that the horrific use of excessive force by soldiers and police led to the killing of at least 45 supporters of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) over two days, as the Shi’a Muslim group held a peaceful religious procession around Abuja.