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Hundreds Die in Nigerian Prisons


According to a senior officer in the Nigerian army, more than 950 prisoners have died in Nigerian detention facilities so far this year. Amnesty International reports that mass burials of people killed in prison are commonplace in the city of Maiduguri. Most of the dead were members of the Islamic insurgency, Boko Haram. The Telegraph reports:

The group said prisoners had been suffocated, starved and subjected to extra-judicial killings in the army-led operation in the country’s north east….

The Islamist group wants to topple the Nigerian government and impose an Islamic state, and has been responsible for thousands of deaths.

The fight between Boko Haram and the Nigerian army is far from over. The militant group, responsible for murdering 50 students at Nigeria’s Yobe State College of Agriculture in September, has killed more than 4,000 Nigerians since 2009. Now, again, it’s the army’s turn to face public rebuke.

The Nigerian government should make it a priority to rid its country of violent militants, but such cruelty against prisoners is not the way to do it. The government is not doing itself any favors with this approach.

[Photo courtesy of Getty Images]

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  • Corlyss

    You guys at VM are a piece of work.
    You want someone to annihilate Boko Haram because they are agents of evil, chaos, butchery, and vileness on monumental proportions. Then when someone undertakes the job by any means necessary, you go all squishy and Human Right Watch-y. You can’t have it both ways. The forces of darkness have to be annihilated, period. Worry about the moral hazard after the job is done.

    • Jacksonian_Libertarian

      I guess no one will ever call me a Bleeding Heart, because I agree. Anyone associated with Boko Haram and it’s murder of thousands of innocents, should be ruthlessly interrogated and then executed.

  • Herb Suhl

    I would be terrified of being in a Nigerian prison.

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