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Al Jazeera: Nigeria killings caught on video

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Submitted by Amir “MR”

The Nigerian government might want to try to combat email scams instead of going to a village and killing people at random.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1hc1zKnLr0[/youtube]

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”.

As the executions continue another man is told: “Sit properly we want to take your picture.”

The shootings continue as a crowd gathers further up the street in front of the police station.

Voices can be heard saying: “No mercy, no mercy.”

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.

‘Killings of the innocent’

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.

But Nigerian officials have since acknowledged that extra-judicial killings took place and an inquiry was set up to investigate the incident.

“It was obvious [from] what we have seen and from the eye witnesses that the government police were doing the killings of the innocent,” Abubakar Umar Garda, a senator and a member of Nigeria’s ruling People’s Democratic party, told Al Jazeera.

“The government is investigating the incident and as we go along the perpetrators will be put in front of the law and the law will take its course … the government acknowledged that this was a crime against humanity … you cannot shoot an unarmed civilian.”

Fugu Mohammed’s family have given their story to the government commission set up to investigate the events that took place, but they are still waiting to receive an official explanation for the deaths.

Senator Umar Garda could not confirm to Al Jazeera whether there had been any arrests relating to the killings and there have been few tangible signs of the inquiry bringing anyone to account.

Boko Haram leader killed

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.

In another video, which was made available shortly after last year’s fighting, Yusuf is shown inside the police station, his body covered with marks and bruises, as he is questioned about the organisation that he led.

It is not known whether the injuries were caused during the fighting, arrest, or detention.

‘Extra-judicial killing’

The New York-based Human Rights Watch described Yusuf’s death as “an extra-judicial killing”.

“The extra-judicial killing of Mr Yusuf in police custody is a shocking example of the brazen contempt by the Nigerian police for the rule of law,” Eric Guttschuss, the organisation’s Nigeria researcher, said.

Boko Haram, which means “Western education is prohibited” in the local Hausa dialect, has called for the nationwide enforcement of a strict interpretation of Islamic law, or sharia, even among non-Muslims.

Last year’s clashes took place after suspected Boko Haram members, armed with machetes, knives, bows and arrows, and home-made explosives, attacked police buildings and officers.

Nigeria’s 150 million people are nearly evenly divided between Christians, who dominate the south, and the primarily northern-based Muslims.

Islamic law was implemented in 12 northern states after Nigeria returned to civilian rule in 1999 following years of military rule.

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Source: Al Jazeera English

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Muslim American born in Brooklyn, NY with Guyanese parents currently living in Virginia working full-time as a web developer.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Angel45

    March 24, 2011 at 12:55 AM

    Oh my gosh you sorry no good for nothing police killers lifeless dogs you kill good people for the hell of it.
    I hope some one will do this to the all of you that did this offer thing.
    just what did these people do and these young children woman men do for you policemen to do this sinful
    killings.
    You need to go where the real crimes are taken place. You sorry S.O.B.’s may you burn in HELL !
    You just show showed how heartless you dogs really are.
    You need to take your butts and get these SCAMMERS !.
    I wouldn’t want to be in your shose when GOD ALMIGHTY !! steps in.
    What goes around comes around for what you have done it’s gone to come back to yous double fold !!
    You need to go back to the GUNTER ! where yous came from.
    Your the SEED of the DEVIL !!
    GO BACK TO YOUR FATHER ! THE DEVIL !!.

  2. Angel45

    March 24, 2011 at 1:08 AM

    When I seen this i cried how can these cops call them self s as police offericers when their no more then killers !. They need to be burned alive ! .
    It’s dogs like them that make a bad name for nigeria and the people that have to live there.
    To all you good decent people i’m so deeply sorry for your loved ones that was killed by scum of the earth.

    May God be with you and keep you safe from those evil cops..
    I feel for each one of you good people.
    And with all this evil acts thats been done to the ones that lost their lifes.

    I must go now be carefull stay as close to God as each and every one of you can.

    Sincerity,
    Your Friend ! .

  3. St1ngR

    March 24, 2011 at 2:57 AM

    Absolutely disgusting, Inshallah I hope they have a revolution there as well against such an unjust, corrupt system.

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