Amnesty: Nigerian military killed 8,000 prisoners

Amnesty International has said that the Nigerian military is responsible for the death of more than 8,000 prisoners

Amnesty: Nigerian military killed 8,000 prisoners

World Bulletin / News Desk

More than 8,000 people have died while being detained by Nigeria's armed forces during the campaign against militant group Boko HaramAmnesty International said on Wednesday, allegations the military denied.

The group said many of the prisoners were executed and others died due to starvation, overcrowding, torture and denial of medical assistance.

Amnesty said Nigerian troops had rounded up thousands of men and boys, some as young as nine, in Boko Haram strongholds. Many of those held were executed or died in custody if their families were unable to pay a bribe.

Many of the people executed were shot dead inside detention facilities, despite presenting no danger, in violation of international humanitarian laws, Amnesty said.

"These acts, committed in the context of a non-international armed conflict, constitute war crimes," said Amnesty, adding that senior military commanders should be investigated for possible crimes against humanity.

Major General Chris Olukolade said the charity was trying to "blackmail" the country's armed forces and no allegations had been proved against individuals the report identified.

"The Nigerian military.... rejects the biased and concocted report provided by Amnesty International," he said in a statement.

"The Nigerian military does not encourage or condone abuse of human rights, neither will any proven case be left unpunished."

Amnesty's 133-page report was based on about 400 interviews with sources, including victims, eyewitnesses and members of the armed forces, as well as videos and photographs.

Muhammadu Buhari, the new president, has vowed to defeat Boko Haram, calling the group "mindless" and "godless", and was holding talks on Wednesday with his counterparts in Niger and Chad on how best to tackle the insurgency. In his inauguration speech last week, Buhari said allegations of human rights abuses by the military would be addressed.

"We shall improve operational and legal mechanisms so that disciplinary steps are taken against proven human rights violations by the armed forces," he said.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Haziran 2015, 21:01