A report (PDF) released Sept. 16 by Amnesty International (AI) details the atrocities committed by Boko Haram in northern Cameroon, resulting in the killing of some 400 civilians since January 2014. The report details the extensive human rights violation, including shootings and suicide bombings, which have largely targeted civilians. Boko Haram has reportedly recruited child soldiers and destroyed private and religious property. The report states that it appears that the acts of terror are a part of a "systematic…attack against the civilian population across north east Nigeria and the Far North of Cameroon." The report also discusses the response by security forces, which AI labeled as "heavy-handed," as security forces have arrested and detained more than 1,000 civilians. The poor conditions of the detention facilities have led to overcrowding and, in some cases, death.
Boko Haram, which means "Western education is a sin," has been fighting to overthrow the Nigerian government in the interest of creating an Islamist state. Earlier this year the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raad al-Hussein, reported that Boko Haram militants in Nigeria have been murdering women and girls previously taken captive by the group. At the end of March Nigeria held its presidential and gubernatorial elections in spite of violent attacks directed towards voters by Boko Haram. The elections, originally scheduled for Feb. 14, were postponed as Nigeria attempted to eradicate Boko Haram after reports that the group had acquired military-grade weaponry, including armored personnel carriers.
From Jurist, Sept. 16. Used with permission.