Amnesty International Calls Giwa Barracks ‘a Place Of Death’


SAN FRANCISCO, May 11, (THEWILL) – Rights group, Amnesty International, AI, has alleged that no fewer than 149 detainees have died “in horrendous conditions” at a military detention centre in Maiduguri, Borno State, since this year, calling the centre “a place of death” which should be closed.

In a report, Amnesty said 11 of those who died at the Giwa barracks were young children, including four babies, stressing that evidence gathered through interviews with former detainees and eyewitnesses, and supported by video and photographs, shows that many detainees may have died from disease, hunger, dehydration, and gunshot wounds.

The BBC reports that it is the latest in a series of damning reports on the Nigerian military's treatment of suspects.

The army has not commented on the latest report but has previously said it has set up a human rights department to check claims of abuse.

In the report, Amnesty's research and advocacy director for Africa, Netsanet Belay said, “the discovery that babies and young children have died in appalling conditions in military detention is both harrowing and horrifying.

“We have repeatedly sounded the alarm over the high death rate of detainees in Giwa barracks but these findings show that, for both adults and children, it remains a place of death.”

The report called for the barracks to be closed immediately and all detainees released or transferred to civilian authorities.