IGP. Mohammed Abubakar
Extensive and methodical murder and persecution by Boko Haram will likely amount to crimes against humanity, US-based Human Rights Watch said in a report released Thursday.
According to it, government security forces have also engaged in numerous abuses, including extra-judicial killings, Human Rights Watch said.
The 98-page report, “Spiralling Violence: Boko Haram Attacks and Security Force Abuses in Nigeria,” catalogues atrocities for which Boko Haram has claimed responsibility.
It also explores the role of Joint Task Force (JTF), whose alleged abuses, it said, contravened international human rights law and might also constitute crimes against humanity.
The group estimates that the violence, which first erupted in 2009, has claimed more than 2,800 lives.
“The unlawful killing by both Boko Haram and Nigerian security forces only grows worse; both sides need to halt this downward spiral,” said
Daniel Bekele, Africa Director at Human Rights Watch said: “Nigeria’s government should swiftly bring to justice the Boko Haram members and security agents who have committed these serious crimes.”
The report, which includes a photo essay, is based on field research in Nigeria between July 2010 and July 2012, and the continuous monitoring of media reports of Boko Haram attacks and statements since 2009.
Human Rights Watch researchers interviewed 135 people, including 91 witnesses and victims of Boko Haram violence or security forces abuses, as well as lawyers, civil society leaders, government officials, and senior military and police personnel.
A widow of a police officer killed by Boko Haram said that members of the group attacked a police barracks in the city of Kano in January 2012 while they disguised in police uniforms:
“I was standing in the doorway…. I saw five men in mobile police uniforms. They had AK-47s. They didn’t say anything. One of them shot me in the leg and I fell inside the house. My husband, he was in uniform, came out and saw them. He had no gun.”