Pro-Biafra Protesters: Amnesty International Accuses Military of Killing 150
The Nigerian military has been accused by Amnesty International of killing 150 peaceful pro-Biafra protesters.
The international NGO also accused Nigerian security forces of intimidating media professionals and activists in the country.
According to Amnesty International, security forces led by the military in south-east Nigeria, embarked on a “frightening campaign of arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances.”
This was made known by the non-governmental organization focused on human rights in a report on Wednesday.
The report further reveled:
“Many individuals are still being detained incommunicado while state security agents have killed at least 150 peaceful pro-Biafra protesters.”
It also accused politicians of wielding “a toxic, dehumanising ‘us vs them’ rhetoric” and the Nigerian government of using “harsh, disproportionate measures to respond to legitimate security fears”.
Media Manager at Amnesty International Nigeria, Isa Sanusi, said:
“2016 was the year when the cynical use of ‘us vs them’ narratives of blame, hate and fear took on a global prominence to a level not seen since the 1930s.
AI accuses Military of Killing Pro-Biafra Protesters
“Across the world, and in Nigeria specifically, we witnessed governments responding to legitimate dissent with extreme measures that had devastating impacts on the civic space,”
Responding to the accusations, Defence Head Quarters describes Amnesty’s claims as fabrications.
AI also warned of a serious crackdown on freedom of expression and assembly, saying:
“The past year has also seen a disturbing rise in arrests and intimidation of media professionals and activists in Nigeria.
“At least ten journalists and bloggers were arrested in 2016, some for alleged connections to Boko Haram, in a crackdown that appears to have been orchestrated to suffocate freedom of expression.”
AI further explained citing the case of the raid of the offices of Premium Times in January by the police and arrest of the Publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi, and judicial correspondent Evelyn Okakwu.
According to AI, this “sent a clear message to intimidate journalists and the media”.