Amnesty report alleges Nigerian security forces killed pro-Biafra protesters
A new report from Amnesty International has claimed that Nigerian security forces killed at least 150 people during pro-Biafra protests in the south east of the country.
During the investigation, the human rights organisation surveyed 87 videos, 122 photographs and 146 eye witness testimonies associated with demonstrations conducted between August 2015 and August 2016.
Amnesty found evidence that the military fired live ammunition with little or no warning to disperse crowds.
The report also claims that security forces are responsible for mass extrajudicial executions, including at least 60 people shot dead in the space of two days in connection with events to mark Biafra Remembrance Day.
Amnesty International Nigeria interim director Makmid Kamara said: “This deadly repression of pro-Biafra activists is further stoking tensions in the south east of Nigeria.
"This reckless and trigger-happy approach to crowd control has caused at least 150 deaths and we fear the actual total might be far higher.”
Members and supporters of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), which seeks the creation of a Biafran state, have been participating in protests, marches and gatherings since August 2015.
On 30 May, security forces allegedly opened fire on 1,000 IPOB members and supporters at a rally in Onitsha, Anambra State.
The night before the rally, the forces raided homes and a church where IPOB members were sleeping, according to the report.
Kamara further added: “Amnesty International has repeatedly called on the government of Nigeria to initiate independent investigations into evidence of crimes under international law, and President Buhari has repeatedly promised that Amnesty International’s reports would be looked into. However, no concrete steps have been taken.”
In addition to investigations, the organisation demanded the Nigerian Government ensure that firearms are not being used as a tool for crowd control.