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Nigeria

    May 15, 2014

    The pain of torture is unbearable. I never thought I would be alive till this day. The pain I went through in the hands of the officers was unimaginable. In my whole life, I have never been subjected to such inhuman treatment. –Moses Akatugba, February 2014

    On November 27, 2005, Moses Akatugba, then only 16 years old, was awaiting the results of his secondary schools exams when he was arrested by the Nigerian army and charged with stealing three cell phones and various other communication-related items.

    Moses describes being shot in the hand and soldiers beating him on the head and back during his arrest. He was initially held at the army barracks, where he said soldiers showed him a corpse and when he was unable to identify the dead man, he was beaten.

    After being transferred to Epkan police station in Delta State he suffered further torture and ill-treatment. Moses told one human rights defender that the police severely beat him with machetes and batons, tied and hanged him for several hours in interrogation rooms, and used pliers to pull out his finger and toe nails in order to force him to sign two confessions.

    May 12, 2014
    Members of civil society groups sit to protest the abduction of Chibok school girls during a rally pressing for the girls’ release in Abuja on May 6, 2014

    by Salil Shetty, Amnesty International's Secretary General

    On Friday night, Nigerian information minister Labaran Maku went on the radio to denounce evidence obtained by Amnesty International which, we had said, showed the Nigerian security forces received advance warning of the impending Boko Haram attack on Chibok but failed to act on it. Other officials said they doubted “the veracity” of the revelations. The defence ministry described them as “unfortunate and untrue”.

    Later, though, the government softened its position. Musiliu Olatunde Obanikoro, the country’s minister of state for defence, told CNN that “we must investigate and ensure we get to the root of it”.

    As well he might, because we stand by our evidence.

    May 09, 2014

    Damning testimonies gathered by Amnesty International reveal that Nigerian security forces failed to act on advance warnings about Boko Haram’s armed raid on the state-run boarding school in Chibok which led to the abduction of more than 240 schoolgirls on 14-15 April.

           

    After independently verifying information based on multiple interviews with credible sources, the organization today revealed that the Nigerian security forces had more than four hours of advance warning about the attack but did not do enough to stop it.

    May 05, 2014
    Nigerians attend a demonstration to demand government to rescue schoolgirls abducted by suspected Boko Haram militants two weeks ago
    By Adotei Akwei, Guest Writer - originally published on Amnesty USA Blog.

     

    On April 14, 234 school girls between the ages of 16 and 18 were abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok in Northern Nigeria by the Islamist armed group Boko Haram.

    Boko Haram, which is opposed to any form of western education, has waged a brutal insurgency destabilizing different states in the northern part of the country at various points since 2009 with bombs, attacks on schools and the killings of thousands of individuals. Amnesty estimates that 2,300 people have died as a result of the armed conflict since 2010, with 1,500 being killed between January and March of 2014 alone.

    March 30, 2014

    Released 00.01 GMT on 31 March 2014

    An increase in attacks by Boko Haram and uncontrolled reprisals by Nigeria’s security forces has seen the death toll in North East Nigeria rise to at least 1,500 people, more than half of whom are civilians, in the first three months of 2014, Amnesty International said in a briefing published today.

    At a Glance:

    February 28, 2014

    Amnesty International is alarmed by the increase in attacks by unknown gunmen on people in north-east Nigeria and called on the government to take effective measures to protect the people and prevent further human rights abuses.

    Early Thursday morning saw the latest attack, on Shuwa, Kirchinga and Michika villages in Adamawa State, north-east Nigeria, in which at least 40 people were slaughtered.

    “Since the beginning of this year the attacks have intensified. Over 600 people have been killed by gunmen, often suspected to be Boko Haram.” said Makmid Kamara, Nigeria researcher for Amnesty International.

    “The Nigerian government’s continued failure to protect ordinary people from attacks and unlawful killings is shocking. The authorities have an obligation to protect people’s lives and properties under all circumstances. All armed groups operating in northern Nigeria must immediately stop these horrific attacks”

    On Monday where at least 29 students and teachers at a college were murdered in Yobe state north-east Nigeria. Some injured students later died in hospital increasing the death toll to over 40.

    February 21, 2014

    A year after bulldozers razed the homes of 9,000 people in a community meant to benefit from a World Bank funded project in Lagos, the state government and the World Bank are failing miserably to live up to their promise to adequately compensate and resettle them, Amnesty International said.

    “Hundreds of women, men and children from the Badia East community have been homeless for a year, with many families separated, children unable to attend school and parents struggling to work,”  said Oluwatosin Popoola, Nigeria Researcher at Amnesty International.

    “The community is suffering because of the reckless actions of the Lagos state government and the World Bank’s failure to ensure that those meant to benefit from its projects are not forcibly evicted from their homes.”

    Residents of Badia East were not genuinely consulted or given adequate notice before bulldozers and armed police entered the community on 23 February 2013. Most of them had no time to salvage any belongings from their homes before the demolitions began.

    January 15, 2014

    Nigeria must immediately release the more than 10 people already arrested under a deeply oppressive new law that runs roughshod over a range of human rights and discriminates based on real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity, Amnesty International said.

    The arrests have been made in several Nigerian states such as Anambra, Enugu, Imo and Oyo states since Monday, when it was revealed that President Goodluck Jonathan had signed the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act into law.

    “Those arrested under this draconian new legislation must be released immediately and the charges against them dropped. Locking someone up for their sexual orientation violates the most basic human rights standards,” said Makmid Kamara, Amnesty International’s Nigeria Researcher.

    “Reports that the police in one state are apparently drawing up lists of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community to target are extremely worrying.”

    November 07, 2013

    Shell has manipulated oil spill investigations in Nigeria, with the company’s claims on oil pollution in the region deeply suspect and often untrue, said Amnesty International and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD).
     

    A new report published today uncovers specific cases in which Shell has wrongly reported the cause of oil spills, the volume of oil spilt, or the extent and adequacy of clean up measures.

    “Shell is being disingenuous about the devastation caused by its Niger Delta operations. This new evidence shows that Shell’s claims about the oil spills cannot be trusted,” said Audrey Gaughran, Director of Global Issues at Amnesty International.

    New analysis from an independent expert found that so-called official investigation reports into the cause of oil spills in the Niger Delta can be “very subjective, misleading and downright false.”

    The report highlights systemic weaknesses in the way the cause of a spill and the volume are determined – with some significant errors in the volumes that are recorded as spilt.

    October 15, 2013

    The deaths of hundreds of people in detention facilities run by Nigeria’s military Joint Task Force (JTF) must be investigated as a matter of urgency, Amnesty International said today.

    Amnesty International has received credible information from a senior officer in the Nigerian Army that over 950 people died in military custody in the first six months of 2013 alone. Most of the reported deaths occurred in facilities used by the military to detain people suspected of being members of or associated with the armed Islamist group Boko Haram.

    “The evidence we’ve gathered suggests that hundreds of people died in military custody in 2013 alone. This is a staggeringly high figure that requires urgent action by the Nigerian government,” said Lucy Freeman, Amnesty International’s deputy Africa director.

    “The details of what happens behind locked doors in these shadowy detention facilities must be exposed, and those responsible for any human rights violations brought to book.”

    October 04, 2013

    In the week that saw over 50 students killed by gunmen in an agricultural college in Yobe State, Amnesty International publishes a new report assessing attacks on schools in northern Nigeria between 2012 and 2013.

    “Hundreds have been killed in these horrific attacks. Thousands of children have been forced out of schools across communities in northern Nigeria and many teachers have been forced to flee for their safety,” said Lucy Freeman, Amnesty International’s deputy Africa director.

    “Attacks against schoolchildren, teachers and school buildings demonstrate an absolute disregard for the right to life and the right to education.”
     
    According to the report Education under attack in Nigeria this year alone at least 70 teachers and scores of pupils have been slaughtered and many others wounded. Some 50 schools have been burned or seriously damaged and more than 60 others have been forced to close.

    The Islamist group commonly known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for many, but not all, of the attacks.

    September 30, 2013

    Authorities in Nigeria must take urgent measures to protect schools and students in the north-east of the country following a fresh attack by unknown gunmen that left dozens dead, Amnesty International said.

    “Since 2012, we have seen an escalation of lethal attacks against students and schools. On top of the tragic loss of life children are being prevented from accessing education. It is high time for the authorities not only to investigate these deplorable incidents and take those responsible to justice but to take measures to prevent them,” said Lucy Freeman, Africa Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

    The attack took place at around 1:00 am on Sunday when gunmen entered the compound of the College of Agriculture in Yobe state and opened fire on students.

    Several individuals told Amnesty International the attackers ordered students to assemble and then opened fire on them.

    One resident of Damaturu said that on Sunday they counted 62 bodies at the Sani Abacha General Hospital mortuary in Damaturu, Yobe state.

    September 24, 2013

    By Audrey Gaughran, Director of Global Thematic Issues at Amnesty International

    There are currently two competing narratives about oil pollution in the Niger Delta.

    The first is that oil companies, particularly Shell, are responsible for massive pollution caused by leaks from their operations and for the failure to clean up spills and protect their infrastructure from damage.

    This narrative acknowledges that oil theft and sabotage of oil infrastructure occur and contribute to pollution; however it cautions that theft and sabotage, as causes of pollution, are over-stated by oil companies in a bid to deflect criticism about their environmental impact.

    The second narrative claims that almost all spills are caused by oil theft and sabotage and that companies are doing their best to combat this scourge. It goes on to say that the failure to clean up properly is generally due to the communities not letting the oil companies into the area to do the cleanup.

    August 14, 2013

    Nigeria’s ratification of the landmark global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) on Tuesday is a welcome move that should pave the way for more African nations to get behind the treaty, Amnesty International said.

    “By signing and ratifying the lifesaving Arms Trade Treaty, Nigeria has indicated its willingness to join the global society in ensuring strict control of the international trade in conventional arms,” said Lucy Freeman, Deputy Africa Program Director at Amnesty International.

    “As one of the first handful of nations to ratify, we hope that Nigeria will promptly implement the treaty’s provisions at home and play a leading role in encouraging other African states to get behind the treaty.”

    The ATT would prohibit states from transferring conventional weapons to countries when they know those weapons would be used to commit or facilitate genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.

    At least 500,000 people die every year on average and millions more are displaced and abused as result of armed violence and conflict.

    August 12, 2013

    New evidence from satellite images reveals the true extent of a forced eviction in Badia East, Lagos – one of Africa’s two megacities. The pictures, taken before and after demolitions carried out by the Lagos state government on 23 February 2013, clearly show that a densely populated area containing concrete houses and other structures was razed to the ground.

    It is estimated that close to 9,000 residents of Badia East lost their homes or livelihoods. However senior officials in the Lagos state government had claimed that the area was a rubbish dump.

    “The effects of February’s forced eviction have been devastating for the Badia East community where dozens are still sleeping out in the open or under a nearby bridge exposed to rain, mosquitos and at risk of physical attack,” said Oluwatosin Popoola, Amnesty International’s Nigeria researcher.

    A new report by Amnesty International and the Social and Economic Rights Action Centre (SERAC) looks at the impact of the demolitions and documents the failings of the Lagos state government

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