Nigeria Must Probe Serious Violence Claims Against Pro-Biafrans - Amnesty International

There is strong indication that Nigerian security forces have used excessive force against pro-Biafran protesters in southereastern Nigeria, Amnesty International has claimed. Lucy Freeman, senior research adviser at Amnesty, told IBTimes UK the NGO had documented instances of excessive force used against protesters connected to the pro-Biafran movement.

 Pro-Biafrans hold regular marches across south-eastern Nigeria calling for independence and the release of their leader Nnamdi Kanu. It is believed that during one of the latest demonstrations held in Aba state on 9th  February, at least 13 people were killed by the army and police with footage purportedly showing Nigerian security forces attacking pro-Biafrans being widely circulated on social media. However, the spokesperson for the Nigerian defence, Rabe Abubakar, told IBTimes UK the police and army did not kill the demonstrators. He also said security forces had to intervene as some pro-Biafrans were allegedly carrying weapons. This is a big lie from Rabe Abubakar because pro-Biafra movement has never at any time carry weapons. 

"What is happening in southeastern Nigeria is not a conflict situation and the law enforcement model that has been used is not appropriate," Freeman said. "It is not appropriate to use lethal force on protesters, even in case of a violent protest. "There are consistent reports of excessive use of force, deaths and injuries of people connected to the Biafran movement, of people in Zaria, of " she continued. "We are not prosecutors and we are not able to carry out a criminal investigation of the people in the northeast, but the Nigerian government is obligated  when there are credible and serious allegations of human rights violations  to carry out investigations that have to be independent, impartial and effective. It is not enough to deny allegations and people need to be prosecuted and brought to justice." Freeman confirmed that an Amnesty team is on the the ground conducting investigations into allegations of violence and recent pro-Biafran protests. "It is a difficult context because you have so much cover-up by the military," she said. "In an ideal situation if someone dies by the use of force, there should be an autopsy, some records of the death, of arrests. What we have seen across the country is that these kind of basic documentation and investigations are not done."Therefore, International community, United Nation, Lovers freedom should come to the aid of Biafrans before it will be too late. Please like and follow this blog!