Nigerian security forces have carried out serious human rights abuses in their campaign against the terrorist Boko Haram sect, Amnesty International says.
The rights group, in a report released Thursday, said Nigerian security forces have extrajudicially executed, detained without trial or charge and forced the disappearance of hundreds of people accused of links to the Boko Haram sect.
Since July 2009, the Boko Haram Islamic sect have carried out increasingly deadly terror attacks across Northern Nigeria and the capital city, Abuja. Their targets are mainly churches, government establishment, media houses and security agents. The group claimed responsibility for the August 2010 bombing of the United Nation’s headquarters in Abuja.
A rough estimate of the deaths resulting from the group’s attacks is put at over 1500. But the amnesty International said the cycle of attacks and counter attacks has been marked by unlawful violence on both the government and the terrorist group’s side, leading to a devastating human rights abuses on the people trapped in the middle.
The rights group blamed the Nigerian government of failing to adequately prevent or investigate attacks or to bring perpetrators to justice. It also accused the government of neglecting victims.
“People are living in a climate of fear and insecurity, vulnerable to attack from Boko Haram and facing human rights violations at the hands of the very state security forces which should be protecting them,” the group’s secretary general, Salil Shetty said.
Reports of people being shot dead by the army or beaten to death in detention were particularly common in Borno and Yobe states, Amnesty said.
“We are in the middle of two things. If you take a look at your right or you take a look at your left, both of them they are deadly. It is a lose lose situation,” a civil engineer, aged 32 from Maiduguri, whose brother was killed by security forces in June 2012 told Amnesty.
– Premium Times