The Amnesty International human rights organization said Thursday that Nigerian forces have killed at least 150 pro-Biafran activists in the country’s southeast, in addition to hundreds of arbitrary arrests and injuries to nonviolent protesters – and Amnesty released a video it says backs up those claims.
Since October 2015, when separatists seeking an independent Biafran state were further sparked by the arrest of movement leader Nnamdi Kanu, the IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra) activists have been subjected to state repression, the Amnesty report found.
“Supporters of Biafran independence have been shot dead by the Nigerian security forces during raids while they slept, at prayer meetings and remembrance celebrations, and while trying to flee from peaceful marches,” the Amnesty researchers said.
The report documents evidence of extrajudicial killings, including the use of live ammunition to disperse crowds without any meaningful warning. Excessive force used by military, law enforcement and other security personnel is part of an overall pattern of human rights violations, most evident when scores died as forces fired into a crowd gathered for Biafra Remembrance Day on May 30.
“Hardly any allegations of crimes under international law and human rights violations by the Nigerian security forces, and in particular the military, are investigated,” the report said, noting that the problem extends beyond Biafra. “Because no one has been seen to be held to account for serious human rights violations, an already pervasive culture of impunity within the military has been further strengthened.”
The Amnesty organization said it presented photos and other evidence to Nigerian security agencies on September 30 but – although they received responses from the Federal Minister of Justice, Attorney General and Inspector General of Police – the authorities did not answer their specific questions.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is consistent in his opposition to Biafran independence, which has remained an issue in the decades since a civil war ended in 1970.
Image: Amnesty Video