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    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.

    January 14, 2015

    Satellite images released by Amnesty International today provide indisputable and shocking evidence of the scale of last week’s attack on the towns of Baga and Doron Baga by Boko Haram militants. 

    Before and after images of two neighbouring towns, Baga (160 kilometres from Maiduguri) and Doron Baga (also known as Doro Gowon, 2.5 km from Baga), taken on 2 and 7 January show the devastating effect of the attacks which left over 3,700 structures damaged or completely destroyed. Other nearby towns and villages were also attacked over this period. 

    January 09, 2015

    Following reports of the massacre of large numbers of civilians by armed group Boko Haram in north east Nigeria, Amnesty International has expert spokespeople available to comment.

    “The attack on Baga and surrounding towns, looks as if it could be Boko Haram’s deadliest act in a catalogue of increasingly heinous attacks carried out by the group. If reports that the town was largely razed to the ground and that hundreds or even as many as two thousand civilians were killed are true, this marks a disturbing and bloody escalation of Boko Haram’s ongoing onslaught against the civilian population,” said Daniel Eyre, Nigeria researcher for Amnesty International.

    “We are currently working to find out more details of what happened during the attack on Baga and the surrounding area. This attack reiterates the urgent need for Boko Haram to stop the senseless killing of civilians and for the Nigerian government to take measures to protect a population who live in constant fear of such attacks,” said Daniel Eyre.
     

    January 06, 2015

    Released  00.01 GMT 7 January 2015

    Oil giant Shell’s long-overdue compensation pay out to a community devastated by oil spills in the Niger Delta is an important victory for the victims of corporate negligence, said Amnesty International and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development today.

    Six years after two oil spills destroyed thousands of livelihoods in the Bodo area, legal action in the UK has driven Shell to make an out-of-court settlement of £55m to compensate the affected community. The £55m will be split between £35m for 15,600 individuals and £20m for the community.

    “While the pay-out is a long awaited victory for the thousands of people who lost their livelihoods in Bodo, it shouldn’t have taken six years to get anything close to fair compensation,” said Audrey Gaughran, Director of Global Issues at Amnesty International.

    November 12, 2014

    Court documents revealed by Amnesty International today expose the fact that Shell has repeatedly made false claims about the size and impact of two major oil spills at Bodo in Nigeria in an attempt to minimize its compensation payments. The documents also show that Shell has known for years that its pipelines in the Niger Delta were old and faulty.

    The potential repercussions are that hundreds of thousands of people may have been denied or underpaid compensation based on similar underestimates of other spills.
    The irrefutable evidence that Shell underestimated the Bodo spills emerged in a UK legal action brought by 15,000 people whose livelihoods were devastated by oil pollution in 2008. The court action has forced Shell to finally admit the company has underplayed the true magnitude of at least two spills and the extent of damage caused.

    “Amnesty International firmly believes Shell knew the Bodo data were wrong. If it did not it was scandalously negligent – we repeatedly gave them evidence showing they had dramatically underestimated the spills,” said Audrey Gaughran, Director for Global Issues at Amnesty International.

    October 27, 2014

    The release of a man who spent 19 years on death row in Nigeria and was seconds away from execution last year painfully illustrates the inherent brutality and unfairness of the death penalty, said Amnesty International today.

    ThankGod Ebhos was released under an order issued by the governor of Kaduna State based on his age. He had been tried and sentenced to death by a military tribunal in Kaduna in May 1995, accused of an armed robbery that had taken place in 1988.

    Amnesty International raised questions about the fairness of military tribunals in Nigeria at the time.

    “The release of ThankGod Ebhos brings great hope to the many hundreds who are languishing on death row across Nigeria,” said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa Director, Research and Advocacy.

    September 18, 2014

    By Jacqueline Hansen, Major Campaigns and Women’s Rights Campaigner

    The disappearance of more than 270 Nigerian schoolgirls in April 2014 led to a worldwide social media campaign to #BringBackOurGirls. Tens of thousands of Amnesty International supporters signed our petition targeted at the Nigerian authorities. The world watched, and waited. Then the social media campaign faded and the issue disappeared from the headlines. Five months later the girls are still missing. And in the intervening months many more girls, boys, women, and men have been kidnapped by Boko Haram fighters.

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