Human rights organization, Amnesty International, has accused Nigerian security operatives of killing 115 people in the south-east from March to June 2021.
The organisation accused the country’s security agencies of deploying “excessive and unlawful force, torture and other ill-treatment” to tackle the rising violence in the region.
“Amnesty International documented at least 115 persons killed by security forces between March and June 2021. Many relatives of the victims told Amnesty International that they were not part of the militants that were attacking security agents,” Amnesty said.
“Many of the victims were deposited at government hospitals in Imo and Abia state. According to several hospital sources all the victims deposited by the police had bullet injuries.
“Eyewitnesses told Amnesty International that the security forces have engaged in excessive use of force, physical abuse, secret detentions, extortion, burning of houses, theft, and extrajudicial executions of suspects.
“Human rights groups estimated that the death toll of violence between January and June 2021 in Anambra, Imo, Abia, and Ebonyi states might run into the hundreds. The police said ESN fighters killed 21 of its personnel in Imo state alone.
“In May 2021, the Imo state government announced the arrest of at least 400 people allegedly linked to the violence. Amnesty International’s investigation indicates that most of them were randomly picked up in their homes and off the street and had nothing to do with ESN.
“Some victims told Amnesty International that they were arrested while walking in the street, at a public bar or simply for having birth marks or tattoos on their body.”
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