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    August 23, 2019

    Photo via youtube.com

    DOWNLOAD PDF OF UA 106/19 HERE

    At least 15 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) including two children are suffering from gunshot wounds and need urgent medical attention. The IMN members were injured when police used tear gas and live ammunition to disperse a peaceful protest in which they participated. They have been denied access to medical care and to their lawyers or family members since their arrest on 22 July.

    On 22 July, Nigeria Police arrested at least 18 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) during a peaceful protest in Abuja to demand the release of their leader Sheikh Ibraheem El Zakzaky. The protest turned violent when police fired teargas and live ammunition to disperse the protesters. Some of the IMN members were arrested during the protest, while others were arrested at the University of Abuja Teaching hospital where they were receiving treatment for gunshot wounds sustained during the protest.

    May 06, 2019
    Ruling on Shell a 'vital step towards justice' for Nigerian widows

    On May 1, the District Court of The Hague, Netherlands, issued an interim ruling in the case brought by Esther Kiobel and three other women with regard to Shell’s involvement in the unlawful arrest, detention and execution of their husbands by the Nigerian military.

    It ruled in favour of the plaintiffs: the court does have jurisdiction over the case and that this should not be time barred.

    The court also ruled that Shell should hand over some confidential internal documents to the plaintiffs’ lawyers, and that they would have the opportunity to examine witnesses. The court will address the substance of the case next.

    This decision marks a vital step towards justice for Esther and the others and sends important message to other victims around the world who are seeking to hold powerful corporations to account but struggle to access justice.

    May 01, 2019

    The District Court of The Hague today issued an interim ruling in the case brought by Esther Kiobel and three other women with regard to Shell’s involvement in the unlawful arrest, detention and execution of their husbands by the Nigerian military. It ruled in favour of the plaintiffs, that the court does have jurisdiction of the case and that this should not be time barred.

    The court also ruled that Shell should hand over some confidential internal documents to the plaintiffs’ lawyers, and that they would have the opportunity to examine witnesses.

    Mark Dummett, Amnesty International’s Head of Business and Human Rights, said:

    “This decision marks a vital step towards justice for Esther and the other plaintiffs. It also sets an important precedent for other victims around the world who are seeking to hold powerful corporations to account, and who struggle to access justice.

    “We salute Esther Kiobel, Victoria Bera, Blessing Eawo and Charity Levula. It’s only because of their courage and persistence that we’ve got this far.

    April 28, 2019

    An Amnesty International investigation has exposed sexual violence against children and women by security agents and inmates at two high-security prison facilities in Borno State, Nigeria.

    The harrowing violations took place at Maiduguri Maximum Security Prison and Giwa Barracks, where thousands of civilians arrested due to claimed links to the Boko Haram armed group are being held. Amnesty’s research also found that scores of children are being unlawfully detained alongside adults in Maiduguri prison.

    “This is another sad and disturbing case of human rights violations against civilians caught up in the Boko Haram crisis in Northeast Nigeria,” said Osai Ojigho, Amnesty International’s Nigeria Director.

    “It is inexcusable that children are subjected to such vile treatment under government care, and likewise it is intolerable that women are once again bearing the brunt of abuse by the Nigerian security forces that are meant to protect them.”

    Children detained and abused at Maiduguri Prison

    April 28, 2019

    A Dutch court will this week (Wednesday 1 May) rule on an historic case against Shell, in which the oil giant stands accused of instigating a raft of horrifying human rights violations committed by the Nigerian government against the Ogoni people.

    Esther Kiobel, Victoria Bera, Blessing Eawo and Charity Levula are suing Shell over what they say is its role in the unlawful arrest, detention and execution of their husbands by the Nigerian military, following a brutal crackdown on Ogoni protests against Shell’s devastating pollution of the region in the 1990s.

    “This decision will hopefully mark an important step towards justice for the Ogoni Nine,” said Mark Dummett, Head of Business and Human Rights at Amnesty International.

    “These women believe their husbands would still be alive today were it not for Shell’s relentless pursuit of profit, which encouraged the Nigerian government’s bloody crackdown on protesters even when it knew the human cost.

    April 01, 2019

    The Nigerian authorities must investigate the killing of a man shot dead by the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) police unit while he was watching a televised football match in Lagos yesterday, Amnesty International said.

    Kolade Johnson was reportedly shot accidentally by officers from the Special Anti-Cultism Squad (SACS) – a branch of SARS – who had been pursuing another man at the football viewing centre.

    Amnesty International has documented a pattern of grave human rights violations carried out by SARS since 2016.

    “Kolade Johnson is the latest victim of the SARS police squad, which has become notorious for extrajudicial killings, torture and extortion,” said Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria. “This appears to be an unlawful killing which must be impartially and thoroughly investigated, with any officers suspected of criminal responsibility brought to justice in a fair trial before an ordinary civilian court.

    February 19, 2019

    Responding to today’s arrest of one of the leaders of the #ArewaMeToo movement, Maryam Aiwasu, who is pursuing justice for victims of sexual violence in Nigeria, Osai Ojigho Director Amnesty International said:

    “Authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Maryam Aiwasu who has done nothing more than speaking up for women’s rights. Her arrest appears to be an attempt to intimidate and harass both her and other women supporting #ArewaMeToo – a movement seeking justice for victims of sexual violence in Nigeria.

    “While arresting Maryam, the police attempted to gain access to her laptop and mobile phone by force; this is clearly an effort to access the sensitive evidence she and other human rights defenders have been gathering to seek justice for victims of sexual violence.

    February 14, 2019

    This week, a Dutch court in The Hague heard the first arguments in an historic case against Shell brought by Esther Kiobel, Victoria Bera, Blessing Eawo and Charity Levula. It was a long, challenging, emotional day.

    The hearing started with two powerful statements by Esther Kiobel and Victoria Bera. The widows’ lawyer claimed that Shell was instrumental to the human rights violations of the Ogoni people. They argued that: Shell requested the Nigerian regime to end the peaceful protests against its operations in Ogoniland; provided logistics as well as money to crash the demonstrations; and had a crucial role in the arrest, torture and execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa, Barinem Kiobel, Baribor Bera and the rest of the Ogoni 9.

    Shell challenged these allegations on procedural grounds/jurisdiction, stating that the case should be time barred and should belong to a Nigerian court rather than a Dutch one because the events took place long ago, in Nigeria.

    Esther Kiobel’s lawyer challenged these arguments, and asked the court to order the release of 1000 documents marked as confidential by Shell.

    February 12, 2019

    The Nigerian authorities must protect people from violence and ensure full respect for freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association before, during and after the country’s upcoming general election, Amnesty International said ahead of the votes scheduled for 16 February and 2 March 2019.

    There have been several instances of violence at election campaign rallies in some states in recent months, including the deaths of four people in Kano state in clashes between rival political supporters in December 2018.

    “The election-related violence in states such as Kano, Kwara, Kogi, Rivers, Taraba and Bayelsa is deeply troubling and, if not urgently addressed, will undermine respect for human rights throughout the election period,” said Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.

    “Amnesty International has received reports of supporters of some politicians violently targeting political opponents, real or perceived. The authorities must stamp out any potential impunity by ensuring these incidents are investigated and that those suspected to be responsible are brought to justice.”

    February 01, 2019

    At least 60 people were killed following the 28 January devastating Boko Haram attack on Rann, a border town in Borno state, northeast Nigeria, Amnesty International has confirmed.

    The organization also analyzed satellite imagery which shows hundreds of burned structures in the town. Many of the destroyed structures only date back to 2017, suggesting they were shelters for internally displaced people who came to Rann seeking protection.

    “We have now confirmed that this week’s attack on Rann was the deadliest yet by Boko Haram, killing at least 60 people. Using satellite imagery we have also been able to confirm the mass burning of structures as Boko Haram unleashed a massive assault on Rann, most of which is now destroyed,” said Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.

    “This attack on civilians who have already been displaced by the bloody conflict may amount to possible war crime, and those responsible must be brought to justice. Disturbingly, witnesses told us that Nigerian soldiers abandoned their posts the day before the attack, demonstrating the authorities’ utter failure to protect civilians.”

    January 24, 2019
    Arrests of journalists generates a chilling effect of fear in the media At least 4 journalists arbitrarily detained last year Raiding of media organizations is increasing climate of fear

    The clampdown by Nigerian authorities on the press, including by raiding media organizations and arbitrarily detaining journalists, is having a chilling effect preventing people from freely expressing themselves, Amnesty International said today.

    In 2018, at least four journalists were arrested in Nigeria, double the number in 2017, the organization revealed as it launches “Press For Freedom” a campaign to support freedom of expression in Nigeria. In the first week of 2019 alone, security forces raided the Abuja and Maiduguri offices of the Daily Trust newspaper, arresting two reporters and confiscating computers and mobile phones.

    January 21, 2019

    Responding to an announcement today by the newly-appointed Inspector General of Nigeria Police who ordered the disbandment of Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and other special squads, Osai Ojigho Director of Amnesty International Nigeria said:

    “The disbandment of the notorious Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) acknowledges years of outcry from Nigerians over human rights violations routinely committed by its members. However, disbandment alone is not enough and must be followed with concrete reforms that will end gross violations by the police altogether.

    “Much more needs to be done to end unnecessary and excessive of force, extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary detention and extortion. Wide ranging reforms must be carried out so that Nigerians can trust the police to provide law enforcement according to Nigerian laws and international standards. The toxic climate of fear and corruption perpetrated by the police must end.

    January 18, 2019

    New satellite images analyzed by Amnesty International show the horrific aftermath of a Boko Haram attack that devastated in Rann, north-east Nigeria, displacing more than 9,000 people earlier this week.

    The satellite images reveal the true extent of the devastating attack which took place on 14 January in the Borno State town, which hosted thousands of civilians internally displaced by the conflict with Boko Haram. According to Amnesty International’s analysis, the attack resulted in large areas being burnt in the west and south of Rann, with more than 100 structures destroyed or heavily damaged by fire.

    “Amnesty International condemns Boko Haram’s despicable disdain for life. This attack clearly targeted civilians and, therefore, may constitute a war crime. The organization appeals to the Nigerian authorities to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to the thousands of people who have been displaced,” said Osai Ojigho Director Amnesty International Nigeria.

    “What is happening in Rann shows how vulnerable internally displaced persons are in Nigeria and the need to do more to protect them.” 

    December 16, 2018
    At least 3,641 people killed between 2016 and 2018, most of them this year Failure of security forces allows some attacks to last for days Authorities’ failure to investigate attacks fuels further bloodshed

    The Nigerian authorities’ failure to investigate communal clashes and bring perpetrators to justice has fuelled a bloody escalation in the conflict between farmers and herders across the country, resulting in at least 3,641 deaths in the past three years and the displacement of thousands more, Amnesty International revealed today.

    In a new report, “Harvest of Death: Three Years of Bloody Clashes Between Farmers and Herders”, Amnesty International found that 57 per cent of the 3,641 recorded deaths occurred in 2018. Security forces were often positioned close to the attacks, which lasted hours and sometimes days, yet were slow to act. In some cases, security forces had prior warning of an imminent raid but did nothing to stop or prevent the killings, looting and burning of homes.

    December 14, 2018

    Responding to the Nigerian army’s suspension of UNICEF from operations in northeast Nigeria over allegations of spying and collaborating with Boko Haram, Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, said:

    “Amnesty International strongly condemns attempts by the Nigerian army to demonize UNICEF’s lifesaving work in the northeast of the country, where the Boko Haram conflict has created one of the deadliest humanitarian disasters in the world. We see the suspension of UNICEF as part of a wider drive to intimidate international humanitarian and human rights organizations who are working to save lives in this devastating conflict.

    “The Nigerian army has accused UNICEF of ‘aiding Boko Haram’ – an absurd charge. The suspension of UNICEF will in fact deprive those whose lives have been devastated by the Boko Haram conflict from receiving much-needed humanitarian assistance.

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