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Nigeria

    March 20, 2018

    Nigerian security forces failed to act on advance warnings that a convoy of Boko Haram fighters was heading towards a town where they abducted 110 schoolgirls last month, an investigation by Amnesty International has revealed.

    The military failed to respond while Boko Haram conducted an armed raid on the Government Girls Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe state, on 19 February in an assault with chilling echoes of the infamous Chibok girls’ abduction of 2014.

    “The Nigerian authorities must investigate the inexcusable security lapses that allowed this abduction to take place without any tangible attempt to prevent it,” said Osai Ojigho, Amnesty International’s Nigeria Director.

    “As an even greater priority, the government must use all lawful means at its disposal to ensure that these girls are rescued.

    “The authorities appear to have learned nothing from the abduction of 276 schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno state in 2014 and failed to ensure protection for civilians in northeast Nigeria, specifically girls’ schools.”

    March 15, 2018
    A groundbreaking research project by Amnesty International has exposed evidence of serious negligence by oil giants Shell and Eni, whose irresponsible approach to oil spills in the Niger Delta is exacerbating an environmental crisis.   Through the Decoders network, an innovative platform developed by Amnesty International to crowdsource human rights research, the organization enlisted thousands of supporters and activists to collect data about oil spills in the Niger Delta. Their findings were then analyzed by Amnesty International’s researchers and verified by Accufacts, an independent pipelines expert.   According to this publicly available data, Amnesty International found that Shell and Eni are taking weeks to respond to reports of spills and publishing misleading information about the cause and severity of spills, which may result in communities not receiving compensation.  
    March 14, 2018

    This is part 1 of 6 of the blog series: 25 years working for human rights in the Niger Delta

    Written by Amnesty's Businses and Human Rights volunteer, Ian Heide

    On November 10, 1995, Amnesty International released this statement: “AI has learned with dismay that Ken Saro-Wiwa and the eight other Ogoni supporters were executed on 10 November 1995.”

    The world was shocked. The trial was widely criticized by human rights organizations and the governments of other states The Commonwealth of Nations, which had pleaded for clemency, suspended Nigeria's membership. The United States, the United Kingdom, and the EU all implemented sanctions—but not on petroleum.

    What was the role of Shell oil in this? And how has the situation evolved since then? This six-part blog series explores the human rights impact of oil pollution in the Niger Delta, the mounting evidence against Shell, the courageous activism of affected communities,  and the on-going fight for justice.

    February 22, 2018
    Amnesty International publishes State of the World’s Human Rights report for 2017 to 2018 “Last year our world was immersed in crises, with prominent leaders offering us a nightmarish vision of a society blinded by hatred and fear. This emboldened those who promote bigotry, but it inspired far more people to campaign for a more hopeful future,” says Salil Shetty, head of Amnesty International

    The world is reaping the terrifying consequences of hate-filled rhetoric that threatens to normalize massive discrimination against marginalized groups, Amnesty International warned today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights.

    Nevertheless, the organization found that a growing movement of both first-time and seasoned activists campaigning for social justice provides real hope of reversing the slide towards oppression.

    The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, covers 159 countries and delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.

    January 30, 2018
    Communal clashes leading to killings with impunity At least 35 killed as military launches air attacks on villages beset by communal violence

    The Nigerian authorities’ response to communal violence is totally inadequate, too slow and ineffective, and in some cases unlawful, Amnesty International said today, as clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Adamawa, Benue, Taraba, Ondo and Kaduna have resulted in 168 deaths in January 2018 alone.

    “The government must totally overturn its response to these deadly clashes to avoid this crisis getting out of control. They need to investigate and bring suspects to justice,” said Osai Ojigho Director Amnesty International Nigeria.

    “Hundreds of people lost their lives last year, and the government is still not doing enough to protect communities from these violent clashes. Worse, the killers are getting away with murder.”

    “In some cases where the Nigerian security agencies did respond to communal violence, they used excessive or unlawful force resulting in even more deaths and destruction.”

    January 18, 2018

     

    By Ian Heide, Business and Human Rights Coordinator

    Amnesty International is calling on the Governments of Nigeria, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands to launch investigations into the role of Shell Oil regarding the horrific crimes committed in Ogoniland by the Nigerian military during the 1990s. In 1995, nine men from Ogoniland were executed. The executions of the Ogoni Nine, after an unfair trial, were the culmination of a much broader crackdown on the Ogoni people by the Nigerian military government. Amnesty`s latest report focuses on widespread human rights violations including unlawful killings, torture, rape and the destruction of homes and property, carried out by the military in the years leading up to the executions in 1995.

    Amnesty International has reviewed thousands of pages of internal company documents and witness statements in order to reach this conclusion. The evidence shows that Shell repeatedly encouraged the Nigerian military to deal with community protests, even when they knew it would lead to massive human rights violations.

    December 05, 2017

    Responding to the recent video circulating on social media, apparently showing the aftermath of an alleged killing of a young man by the country’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria said:

    “The scale of the reaction to this incident shows that the concerns of the Nigerian people are reaching boiling point. All incidents of violence meted out by this notorious police unit must be independently investigated, and those found to be responsible must be prosecuted in fair trials.”

    “The #EndSARS hashtag is rightly gaining the attention of the police and Nigerian government and now officials must do more to end these horrendous abuses of power. Amnesty International highlighted such abuses more than a year ago and yet these shocking incidents still continue. Restructuring SARS is not enough, the government must take concrete steps to protect Nigerians.”

    Background

    November 28, 2017

    Oil giant Shell has a case to answer for its role in human rights violations including murder, rape and torture committed by the Nigerian military government in the 1990s.

    The victims were the Ogoni people, whose land has been devastated by pollution from Shell’s operations. When the Ogonis organized in peaceful protest, the Nigerian government unleashed a campaign of appalling violence against them.

    Despite a raft of evidence linking Shell with the government’s actions, no company executive has ever been made to answer for its involvement.

    The fact that Shell has never been held to account for this is an outrage, and one that sends a terrible message: if companies are rich and powerful enough, they can get away with anything.

    So, for the first time, Amnesty International has brought together the available evidence to paint a damning picture of Shell’s role.

    November 27, 2017
    Massive cache of internal documents and other evidence points to Shell’s complicity in horrific crimes committed by the Nigerian military in the 1990s New Amnesty International report calls for a criminal investigation

    Amnesty International is calling on Nigeria, the UK and the Netherlands to launch investigations into Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell, over its role in a swathe of horrific crimes committed by the Nigerian military government in the oil-producing Ogoniland region in the 1990s.

    The organization has released a ground-breaking review of thousands of pages of internal company documents and witness statements, as well as Amnesty International’s own archive from the period.

    The Nigerian military’s campaign to silence the Ogoni people’s protests against Shell’s pollution led to widespread and serious human rights violations, many of which also amounted to criminal offences.

    November 14, 2017
    Over 30,000 forcibly evicted from settlements in Lagos state in defiance of court orders 11 people unlawfully killed and at least 17 missing after violent evictions by security forces and unidentified armed men 300,000 others are under threat of further forced evictions Evicted residents not provided with consultation, compensation or alternative housing

    Nigerian authorities must halt a violent, unlawful campaign of demolitions and forced evictions of waterfront communities in Lagos State which has so far left more than 30,000 people homeless and 11 dead, Amnesty International said today.

    October 11, 2017

    As the mass trial of Boko Haram suspects on terrorism-related charges continues in Nigeria, Amnesty International Nigeria Director Osai Ojigho said:

    “These trials should provide a much-needed opportunity to deliver justice for the many victims of human rights abuses and crimes allegedly committed by Boko Haram members. However, the fact the trials are taking place behind closed doors, with no access for the media or the public, raises huge concerns. Public hearings are crucial for protecting an individual’s right to a fair trial and due process.”

    “The Nigerian authorities must ensure that all fair trail rights are respected. Defendants must have access to lawyers and interpreters if required, and that witnesses and victims are protected from potential reprisals.”

    Amnesty International has repeatedly documented how thousands of people have been rounded up in mass arbitrary arrests with little or no evidence and held in detention for years.

    “In instances where no prima facie case has been established, as is reportedly the situation in some of the cases, detainees should be immediately released.”

     

    June 29, 2017

     

    New case could put an end to decades of impunity for Shell Esther Kiobel has fought for justice for her husband for more than twenty years

    Oil giant Shell stands accused of complicity in the unlawful arrest, detention and execution of nine men who were hanged by Nigeria’s military government in the 1990s, Amnesty International can reveal today, following the launch of an explosive new case against the company in the Netherlands over four of the executions.

    The civil case has been brought by Esther Kiobel, the widow of Dr Barinem Kiobel, and three other women. Esther Kiobel has pursued Shell for 20 years over the death of her husband. He was hanged in 1995 along with the writer and human rights activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, and seven other men, collectively known as the Ogoni Nine. At the time the executions sparked a global outcry. 

    May 30, 2017

    The Nigerian security forces must exercise restraint when policing demonstrations marking the 50th Anniversary of the end of the Biafra War on 30 May, and avoid a repetition of the bloodbath caused by their heavy-handed response last year when more than 60 people were gunned down, said Amnesty International today.

    “Last year’s heavy-handed response against pro-Biafra activists further stirred up tensions in the south east of Nigeria. The reckless approach to crowd control favoured by the security forces when policing peaceful pro-Biafra protests has left more than 150 dead since August 2015, not to mention cases of enforced disappearance and unlawful detention,” said Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.

    “We urge the Nigerian security agencies to conduct themselves in a manner that will ensure public order without resorting to force.”

    April 21, 2017

    The Nigerian authorities must immediately scrap plans to execute death row inmates in Kirikiri prison in Lagos, Amnesty International said today amid macabre reports from inmates that the prison’s gallows were being prepared and one inmate had been isolated possibly in preparation for execution.

    This follows a statement by the Attorney General of Lagos State during a press briefing on 18 April indicating that the state government would soon start signing execution documents.

    “The indications that Kirikiri prison authorities may be gearing up for a string of executions are deeply alarming. The death penalty is an outdated and cruel punishment which violates the right to life,” said Damian Ugwu, Amnesty International’s Nigeria Researcher.

    April 13, 2017

    Nigerian authorities must ramp up efforts to secure the release of the remaining Chibok girls and thousands of others abducted across the northeast by Boko Haram, said Amnesty International on the third anniversary of the armed group’s chilling abduction of 276 Chibok schoolgirls.

    “Boko Haram continues to abduct women, girls and young men who are often then subjected to horrific abuses, including rape, beatings and being forced into suicide bombing missions. Sadly, many such abductions go unnoticed and unreported by the media. This has left many parents and relatives without any hope of being reunited with their loved ones,” said Interim Country Director Amnesty International Nigeria, Makmid Kamara.

    “These appalling abductions and other attacks, some of which constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity, are carried out by Boko Haram on an almost daily basis. They must stop. Today we remember and lend solidarity to the families of the Chibok girls as well as the thousands of other women, girls and men abducted, killed or displaced by Boko Haram.”

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