This blog is dedicated to the memory of David Weintraub, who took on insidious astroturfers and won.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Whiteysphere Couldn't Care Less About Massacres In Nigeria

The small news blurb from yesterday's Huffington Post is now buh-bye. Massacre, Scmassacre. How 'bout them Saints! Have you seen Megan Fox's hammerthumb yet?

Nigeria killings caught on video (excerpts)

Nigerian police and military units carried out extra-judicial killings last year in the aftermath of clashes with members of a Muslim group in the north of the country, footage obtained by Al Jazeera appears to confirm.

An estimated 1,000 people were killed as Nigerian government forces fought Boko Haram in Borno, Yobe, Kano and Bauchi states in July and August of 2009.

But the footage obtained by Al Jazeera shows that many of the deaths occurred only after the fighting was over.

Elements of the security forces staged a follow-up operation in which house-to-house searches were conducted and individuals were apparently selected at random and taken to a police station.

'Shoot him in the chest'

In the video, a number of unarmed men are seen being made to lie down in the road outside a building before they are shot.

As one man is brought out to face death, one of the officers can be heard urging his colleague to "shoot him in the chest not the head - I want his hat"....

Two officers seen in the video can be clearly identified by the name tags on their chests.

The family of Baba Fugu Mohammed, a respected community leader, told Al Jazeera that he was among those put to death outside the police station.

"He was killed, he was killed, that's what we believe. He was shot by the police," one relative said.

Fugu Mohammed was the father-in-law of Mohammed Yusuf, the Boko Haram leader whose group had battled the police, but the two had become estranged.

His family said that he had come to help police restore order, but was shot.

In the days following the clashes between the police and Boko Haram, the government, police and military repeatedly denied that civilians had been killed by their personnel....

Aster Van Kregten, a Nigeria expert with rights group Amnesty International, told Al Jazeera that the group's research suggested extra-judicial killings were widespread in Nigeria.

"Our research shows that the Nigerian police are getting away with murder, they killed hundreds of people a year without any investigation - any investigation on whether the use of force was lawful or not," she said.

"What we saw on the footage happened seven month ago and we haven't heard anything from the government whether they have arrested anyone and how far the investigation is going."

Among those killed in the aftermath of the clashes between Boko Haram and the police, was Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf.

In the Al Jazeera footage, he is seen wearing handcuffs and surrounded by heavily armed police officers.

Nigerian police have said that Yusuf was killed while attempting to escape, but he died still wearing the handcuffs.....

For much more information, you can check out this Human Rights Watch page devoted to Nigeria.

related story: Shell to pay $15.5M for Nigeria murders suit

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