Nearly 150 individuals, including 11 children, have died this year in Nigeria’s military detention barracks, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] reported [text; press release] Wednesday. According to the report, the Giwa detention barracks detains around 1,200 people, many of whom were arbitrarily detained and are being held without evidence.
The detainees are allegedly housed in dirty, overcrowded cells and struggle with starvation and dehydration. AI claims the overcrowding is “a consequence of a system of arbitrary mass arrest and detention” in the government’s fight against Boko Haram. Netsanet Belay, AI’s Research and Advocacy Director for Africa, called for an immediate closure of the Giwa barracks. Nigeria’s military spokesman Rabe Abubakar rebutted the report, stating that Nigeria has made improvements to the barracks, and the reported conditions are overstated. Read more