Army killed 17 unarmed Biafran supporters – Amnesty International

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Amnesty International says its investigation has confirmed that the Nigerian army gunned down 17 unarmed people during last month’s Biafran commemoration events in Onitsha, Anambra State.

In a statement on Friday, the international human rights body said evidence gathered from eyewitnesses, morgues and hospitals confirms that between 29-30 May, 2016, the Nigerian military opened fire on members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), supporters and bystanders at three locations in the town.

“Opening fire on peaceful IPOB supporters and bystanders who clearly posed no threat to anyone is an outrageous use of unnecessary and excessive force and resulted in multiple deaths and injuries. In one incident one person was shot dead after the authorities burst in on them while they slept,” said M.K. Ibrahim, Country Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.

“These shootings, some of which may amount to extrajudicial executions, must be urgently and independently investigated and anyone suspected of criminal responsibility must be brought to justice. The exact number of deaths is unknown, partly due to the fact that the Nigerian army took away corpses and the injured,” it said.

The body said it received reports from various sources on the ground alleging that at least 40 people were killed and more than 50 injured.

“After visits to hospitals and morgues, the organization has confirmed-based on this initial investigation – that at least 17 people were killed and nearly 50 injured. The real number is likely to be higher. Some of the dead and injured IPOB supporters seen by an Amnesty International researcher were shot in the back, an indication that they were fleeing the scene when they were shot,” it said.

The leadership of IPOB claim more than 50 of their members were killed. The Nigerian army has said in a statement that they acted in self-defence, and five …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper