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    August 06, 2015

    Shell must match the Nigerian government’s new commitment to tackle oil pollution in the Niger Delta by dramatically improving how it cleans up spills, Amnesty International said today.

    President Muhammadu Buhari’s announcement on Wednesday of a trust fund to pay for the clean-up of the Ogoniland region in the Niger Delta is welcome, but if Shell’s ineffective clean-up methods are not fully overhauled, its impact will be limited.

    “It is scandalous that Shell - which now wants the world to trust it to drill in the Arctic – has failed to properly implement the UN’s expert advice on oil spill response after so long,” said Mark Dummett, Amnesty International’s Researcher on Business and Human Rights, who has just returned from the Niger Delta.

    July 03, 2015

    By Moses Akatugba, Nigeria (30 June 2015).

    June 22, 2015

    By Louisa Anderson and Justine Ijeomah

    After 10 years in jail, and over 800,000 messages from activists around the world, Moses’ life has been spared. Here, we speak to Justine Ijeomah, Director of the Human Rights, Social Development and Environmental Foundation (HURSDEF) in Nigeria and long-time ally in the campaign for Moses’ freedom. He describes Moses’ journey from schoolboy to death row inmate, and how the 26-year-old torture survivor reacted when he found out his life had been spared.

    June 04, 2015

    By Christoph Koettl, Founder and editor of Amnesty's Citizen Evidence Lab. Follow Christoph on Twittwr @ckoettl

    With citizen journalism and the availability of new technologies growing exponentially, human rights investigators are able to locate and review evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity at a speed never before imagined. Amnesty International’s Christoph Koettl explains how it’s done.

    In March 2014 a grainy cell phone video came across my desk that seemed to show a Nigerian soldier murdering an unarmed man in broad daylight. It took me a day and a half to pinpoint the location of this apparent war crime to a specific street corner in Maiduguri, the state capital of Borno and a city of more than 500,000 people.

    Confirming the location of an incident is a crucial step in the authentication process, so finding this fact was highly relevant to reference the footage in a report we published on 31 March 2014, exposing war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Nigerian military and Boko Haram.

    May 29, 2015

    A Nigerian torture victim wrongfully sentenced to death for a crime committed when he was 16 years old has been pardoned following intensive campaigning from Amnesty International supporters across the world.

    Moses Akatugba, who was on death row following his conviction for stealing three mobile phones 10 years ago and was repeatedly tortured into signing a confession, said he felt “overwhelmed” after the outgoing Governor of Nigeria’s Delta State announced last night he had granted him a full pardon.

    “The pardon of Moses Akatugba, who should not have been sentenced to death in the first place because he was a minor at the time of the offence, is a victory for justice and a reminder that people power and human rights campaigning really can make a difference,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa Director.

    “Without the thousands of letters sent in support of Moses by his supporters across the globe, he may never have been granted his freedom.”

    May 28, 2015

    Moses Akatugba, who was sentenced to death by hanging for stealing mobile phones, has been granted a total pardon by Emmanuel Uduaghan, the Governor of Delta State!

    UPDATE - JUNE 2, 2015:  THE RELEASE ORDER ARRIVED AT WARRI PRISON THIS AFTERNOON AND MOSES IS NOW FREE!

    Thank you to the thousands of you who took action for Moses and urged the Governor to show mercy.

    The news of his release comes days after thousands of Amnesty supporters sent Facebook and Twitter messages to Governor Uduaghan asking him to make sparing Moses part of his legacy before he steps down on 29 May.

    Tens of thousands of Amnesty supporters also signed petitions as part of Amnesty's global campaign to Stop Torture and wrote letters as part of Amnesty's global event Write for Rights. Together our voices really can make a difference – thank you.


    Tortured into a ‘confession’

    16-year-old Moses Akatugba was awaiting the results of his secondary school exams when his life changed forever.

    April 29, 2015

    The ‘rescue’ of almost 300 women and girls by Nigeria’s military from Boko Haram is an encouraging development but only a small step in securing the safety of the thousands of women and girls abducted by the armed group since 2014, said Amnesty International today.

    The organization is also calling on the authorities to ensure that the trauma of those ‘rescued’ is not exacerbated by lengthy security screening in detention.

    “This development is just cause for celebration and undoubtedly an immense relief to the women, girls and their families. But this is just the tip of the iceberg; there are thousands more women and girls, and men and boys who have been abducted by Boko Haram,” said Netsanet Belay, Africa Director, Research and Advocacy.

    The military said they ‘rescued’ the women in an offensive against the armed group in the Sambisa forest area in the north-east.

    April 13, 2015

    Posted at 0001hrs BST 14 April 2015

    At least 2,000 women and girls have been abducted by Boko Haram since the start of 2014 and many have been forced into sexual slavery and trained to fight, said Amnesty International on the first anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok school girls.

    April 08, 2015

    On 14 April, the anniversary of the abduction of the schoolgirls from Chibok, Amnesty International will be releasing a report on Boko Haram.

    The report, ‘Our job is to shoot, slaughter and kill’: Boko Haram’s reign of terror in north-east Nigeria, documents war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the armed group. It provides evidence of the scale and depravity of Boko Haram’s human rights abuses, as well as detailed new information about the abduction of women and girls and the conditions faced by those abducted.

    The report catalogues serious human rights abuses which amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity and explores the way in which Boko Haram is structured, operates, recruits, organizes and sustains itself offering chilling insights into life in Boko Haram territories and camps.

    It also includes new satellite images offering evidence of the destruction left by Boko Haram as they retreated from the advancing Nigerian military in March 2015.

    March 18, 2015

    Released  00:01 GMT Thursday 19 March 2015

    Royal Dutch Shell and the Italian multinational oil giant ENI have admitted more than 550 oil spills in the Niger Delta last year, according to an Amnesty International analysis of the companies’ latest figures. By contrast, on average, there were only 10 spills a year across the whole of Europe between 1971 and 2011.

    Shell reported 204 Niger Delta spills in 2014 while ENI, which operates in a smaller area, reported a staggering 349 spills.

    “These figures are seriously alarming. ENI has clearly lost control over its operations in the Niger Delta. And despite all its promises, Shell has made no progress on tackling oil spills,” said Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty International’s Global Issues Director.

    “In any other country, this would be a national emergency.  In Nigeria it appears to be standard operating procedure for the oil industry.  The human cost is horrific – people living with pollution every day of their lives.”

    February 17, 2015
    Nigerian soldiers arrive in Yola, Nigeria, 20 May 2013. (c) EPA

    As Nigerians prepare to go to the polling stations to elect their President on March 28, we take a look at some of the main human rights issues facing people living in Africa’s most populous, oil-rich country.

    How bad is the human rights situation in Nigeria?

    Pretty shocking. Boko Haram’s bloody onslaught in north-east Nigeria and the military’s heavy-handed response has killed thousands of civilians and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Women, men and children live in constant fear of murder and abduction by Boko Haram and of arbitrary arrest, unlawful detention, torture and even execution at the hands of the military.

    But it is not just the violence in the north-east of the country that is extremely worrying. The problems within Nigeria’s justice system, for example, are deeply entrenched.

    January 29, 2015

    The protection of civilians must be central to today’s discussions at the African Union summit on how to tackle the growing threat of Boko Haram, said Amnesty International.

    The situation in north-east Nigeria, including the possibility of the deployment of a regional force against Boko Haram, is expected to be part of the AU’s Peace and Security Council talks this evening, and Amnesty International is calling for African leaders to ensure that the protection of civilian in north east Nigeria is at the top of the agenda.
    “In the face of Boko Haram’s bloody onslaught the protection of civilians is the key priority. Ultimately it is the responsibility of Nigeria’s authorities to take all feasible measures to protect the civilian population including by assisting with an evacuation of those who wish to flee and transporting them to safer areas,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa director.  

    January 28, 2015

    New evidence shows that the Nigerian military were repeatedly warned of impending Boko Haram attacks on Baga and Monguno which claimed hundreds of lives, and failed to take adequate action to protect civilians, said Amnesty International.

    According to a senior military source and other evidence gathered by Amnesty International, commanders at the military base in Baga regularly informed military headquarters in November and December 2014 of the threat of a Boko Haram attack and repeatedly requested reinforcements. Other military sources and witnesses have told Amnesty International that the military in Monguno had an advanced warning of the Boko Haram attack on 25 January.

    “It is clear from this evidence that Nigeria’s military leadership woefully and repeatedly failed in their duty to protect civilians of Baga and Monguno despite repeated warnings about an impending threat posed by Boko Haram,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa director.  

    January 25, 2015

    A failure to protect hundreds of thousands of civilians could lead to a disastrous humanitarian crisis said Amnesty International with reports of two large scale attacks in Nigeria on the major north-eastern city of Maiduguri as well as the nearby town of Monguno.

    “These ongoing attacks by Boko Haram are significant and grim news. We believe hundreds of thousands of civilians are now at grave risk,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa Director.

    “People in and around Maiduguri need immediate protection. If the military doesn't succeed in stopping Boko Haram's advance they may be trapped with nowhere else to turn.”

    Amnesty International has received reports that at 6am on Sunday, gunmen attacked the base of 33 Artillery brigade at Jintilo village, just 6km outside Maiduguri.  There are reports of ongoing fighting at the air force base closer to Maiduguri.

    The Nigerian military has responded with air strikes and moved tanks and troops to the area.

    Civilians have reportedly fled the areas near to Jintilo towards central Maiduguri. However, not all civilians have been able to leave.

    January 21, 2015

    Legal action in the UK has driven Shell to make an out-of-court settlement of £55 million (CAD$83 million) to compensate the Bodo community of Nigeria after the livelihoods of thousands were destroyed by oil spills. The £55 million will be split between £35 million for 15,600 individuals and £20 million for the community.

    Shell’s long-overdue compensation payout is an important victory for the victims of corporate negligence.

    What happened?

    On August 28, 2008, a fault in the Trans-Niger pipeline caused a significant oil spill into Bodo Creek in Ogoniland, Nigeria. The pipeline is the responsibility of Shell. The spill, which was due to equipment failure, resulted in tens of thousands of barrels of oil polluting the land and creek surrounding Bodo, killing the fish that people depend on for food and livelihood. A second major spill began on December 7, 2008.

    How did Amnesty supporters make a difference?

    Amnesty International and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) have worked on the Bodo spills case since 2008, supporting the community to secure compensation and clean up.

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