Global rights regulator Amnesty International accused Nigeria’s military and its civilian militia of extensive “human rights violations” in their fight against Boko Haram.
Amnesty collected testimonies from witnesses, images and footage, and it was determined that Nigerian troops committed “fresh evidence of extrajudicial executions and serious human rights violations" as they battled extremist groups in the country’s northeast.
"The ghastly images are backed up by the numerous testimonies we have gathered which suggest that extrajudicial executions are, in fact, regularly carried out by the Nigerian military and CJTF," Salil Shetty, Amnesty's secretary general, said. "These are not the images we expect from a government which sees itself as having a leadership role in Africa."
There is video of one man who reportedly had his throat slit before his body was dumped into a mass grave “by men who appear to be members of the Nigerian military and the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), state-sponsored militias,” Amnesty said.
The footage also shows what happened after Boko Haram raided a village, killed nearly 100 people and destroyed scores of buildings and homes. "More than 4,000 people have been killed this year alone in the conflict [between] the Nigerian military and Boko Haram, including more than 600 extrajudicially executed," Amnesty added.
Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 girls from their dorm in April. They still have 219 girls captive. The kidnappings inspired a social media campaign, where Twitter, Facebook and Instagram users used the hashtag “Bring Back Our Girls.” Usually a sign with that phrase was held up. Celebrities, even First Lady Michelle Obama, participated in the craze.
The extremist group has concentrated their attacks on Nigeria’s northeast. One of its most deadly assaults took place in Bama in February. Locals reported nearly 100 people killed and more than 200 people injured.
Amnesty reportedly asked Nigerian authorities to make sure the military stopped committing violations of human rights, a request Nigeria’s ministry defense took “very seriously.”
In reference to the gruesome footage collected as evidence by Amnesty, military denied the actions in the video were in line with their creed. "Allegations of infractions in order to ascertain the veracity of the claims with a view to identifying those behind the acts,” the army said in a statement.
"Much as the scenes depicted in these videos are alien to our operations and doctrines, [they have] to be investigated to ensure that such practices have not crept surreptitiously into the system.”
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