Amnesty Says Children Dying at Nigeria Prison Camp for Islamists

Almost 150 people, including babies and children, have died in detention this year at a military camp in northeastern Nigeria where the conditions are unsanitary and overcrowded, Amnesty International said.

A five-month-old infant was among at least 11 children who died at Giwa barracks in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, according to evidence gathered from witnesses and former inmates, said the London-based rights group in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday. Disease, hunger, dehydration and gunshots wounds were believed to be some of the main causes of death, Amnesty said.

Overcrowding at Giwa barracks is due to the “arbitrary mass arrest and detention” in Borno, which is situated in a region where the military has stepped up its campaign against Islamist group Boko Haram, Amnesty said.

Nigeria’s chief of army staff didn’t respond to Amnesty’s request for a response to its investigation into the deaths at Giwa, the group said. The attorney-general and chief of defense staff haven’t yet replied to Amnesty’s request for comment, it said.

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