An Amnesty International report yesterday said at least 149 people, including 11 children under the age of six, had died since February this year while more than 1,200 people remained in detention in Giwa Barracks, Maiduguri, Borno State.
But army spokesman, Colonel Sani Usman, said “the allegations are very far from the truth and the AI knows this.”
Amnesty said in the report that children were among the 149 people who died in “harrowing and horrifying” conditions at the Giwa barracks.
“Evidence gathered through interviews with former detainees and eyewitnesses supported by videos and photos, shows that many detainees seem to have died from diseases, hunger, dehydration and gunshot wounds,” the report said.
It said the report contained satellite images of recently dug graves which corroborated witness testimonies concerning the disposal of bodies from the barracks.
It said the 149 deaths occurred between January and April 28 this year, with the deadliest month being March, which had 65 deaths.
“Amnesty believes that some 1,200 people are still detained at Giwa barracks in extremely overcrowded and highly unsanitary conditions. Many of Giwa’s detainees had been arbitrarily rounded up during mass arrests in Borno State during the Nigerian military’s operations against the Boko Haram armed group,” the report said.
It further said men and teenagers had been arrested after they fled to towns such as Banki and Bama, or after spending time in internally-displaced people’s camps. Amnesty said it had documented three cases of such mass arbitrary arrests in 2016 involving several hundreds of people.
“Arrests appear to be arbitrary, involving random profiling based on an individual’s sex and age rather than any evidence of criminal wrongdoing. Once inside Giwa barracks, detainees have been denied all access to the outside world or trial proceedings,” the report added
Read more at http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/general/amnesty-149-died-in-giwa-barracks/146445.html#UtMP1GYO5SGXfLjy.99