HUNDREDS DEAD IN NIGERIA DETENTION, AMNESTY SAYS From: BBC news 14 October 2013


Most of the dead are thought to be
connected to the militant group
Boko Haram
Hundreds of people have died in
detention facilities in north-east
Nigeria as the army tries to crush
an Islamist militant rebellion there,
according to Amnesty International.
The human rights group said some
detainees died from suffocation in
overcrowded cells, others from
starvation and extra-judicial
killings.
It is calling for an urgent
investigation into the deaths.
There has not yet been an official
response to the report.
But the Nigerian army has rejected
all previous accusations of human
rights abuses.
A senior Nigerian army officer told
Amnesty that at least 950 people
had died in military custody during
the first half of this year.
Most had been accused of having
links to the Islamist militant group
Boko Haram, Amnesty said.
Boko Haram is fighting to
overthrow Nigeria’s government to
create an Islamic state, and has
launched a number of attacks on
schools.
About 50 students were shot dead
earlier this month in their hostel, in
an attack blamed on Boko Haram.
A state of emergency was declared
in three northern states in May –
Yobe, Borno and Adamawa – in
response to thousands of deaths in
militant attacks.
But while most of the recent news
from has been about these civilian
killings, the BBC’s Nigeria
correspondent Will Ross says this
latest Amnesty report shines a light
on another grim side of life in
northern Nigeria.
At times, the number of people
killed in these detention centres
was so high that there were regular
mass burials, Amnesty said.
The BBC has seen photos of
bodies reportedly dumped outside
the mortuary in the city of
Maiduguri by the military.
The bodies showed no obvious
signs of having been killed in
combat.
Amnesty has called for an urgent
investigation, but those who follow
events closely in Nigeria will know
that such an investigation is highly
unlikely to happen, our
correspondent says.

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