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Inadequate Support Highlights Need for Expanded Social Security System

The economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has worsened the plight of families living in poverty in Lagos State, Nigeria and left many people struggling to afford food and meet other basic needs. Survey data shows federal and state government…
A group of women wait for food relief distribution
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Ex-President Jammeh Linked to 2005 Murder of 59 West African Migrants

(Banjul) – A Nigerian man whose brother was among about 59 West African migrants killed in Gambia in 2005 by a paramilitary unit controlled by then-president Yahya Jammeh, told Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission (TRRC) on March…
Paul Omozemoje Enagameh of Nigeria who was arrested and forcibly disappeared in The Gambia in 2005.
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United Nations Urges Releasing, Reintegrating Children Caught Up in Conflict

(Abuja) – The Nigerian government should comply with new United Nations Security Council recommendations to immediately release children from military detention for alleged association with Boko Haram, Human Rights Watch said today. The government…
UNICEF photo
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Boost Stalled Investigation into Killing of 8 in Rural Village

(Nairobi) – Authorities in Somalia should intensify their investigation into the abduction and apparent summary execution of seven health workers and a pharmacist in May 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. Six months on, government investigations…
An ambulance transports patients to a  hospital from a camp for the internally displaced people on the outskirts Mogadishu, Somalia, March 2017.
News

Unblock Bank Accounts, Dismiss Fines

(Abuja) – Nigerian authorities appear to have used coercive financial measures to suppress protests against police brutality and independent media reporting, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should urgently lift arbitrary restrictions,…
People hold banners and flags as they protest against police brutality in Lagos, Nigeria, Monday Oct. 19, 2020.
News

Prosecute Officers Responsible; Move Toward Systemic Reform

(Abuja) – Nigerian security forces have responded to overwhelmingly peaceful protests against police brutality with more violence and abuse. Nationwide protests began on October 8, 2020, calling on the authorities to abolish an abusive police unit…
Demonstrators protesting against police brutality in Lagos, Nigeria, on October 15, 2020.
News

Nigerian Advocate Hauwa Ojeifo Is Inaugural Fellow

(New York) – Human Rights Watch has selected a Nigerian human rights advocate, Hauwa Ojeifo, as the recipient of its inaugural Marca Bristo Fellowship, an award created in memory of the pioneering disability rights icon, Human Rights Watch announced…
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International Inquiry Needed

(Accra) – The families of more than 50 Ghanaian and other West African migrants killed in Gambia and Senegal 15 years ago have yet to learn the full truth and obtain justice concerning the massacre, 11 human rights organizations said today. Amid…
Families of massacre victims, in Kumasi Ghana, April 2018.
News

Allow Access to Lawyers

(Abuja) – The Nigerian police should immediately disclose the whereabouts of Mubarak Bala, president of the Nigerian Humanist Association, who has been detained incommunicado since April 28, 2020.  Bala was arrested at his home by police in…
Mubarak Bala
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Allow Public Debate on Security, Covid-19 Responses

(Nairobi) – Somali authorities have been stepping up their intimidation of journalists as the country faces a growing number of Covid-19 cases. Since mid-April 2020 alone, authorities arbitrarily detained three journalists, accused two…
Somali journalists in Mogadishu, Somalia December 29, 2019.
News

Extended Lockdown Threatens Livelihoods of Millions

  (Abuja) – Nigeria’s federal and state governments should ensure the rights to food, shelter, and other basic necessities for people losing jobs or income during the COVID-19 pandemic. The economic assistance that the…
People walk past closed street stalls and shops in Lagos, Nigeria on March 26, 2020 during a government-imposed lockdown to halt the spread of COVID-19. 2020 AP Photo/Sunday Alamba.
News

Ensure Emergency Preparedness for Displaced, Vulnerable People

  (Abuja, March 25, 2020) – The Nigerian government should ensure that its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is rooted in respect for human rights by ensuring access to standard health care services, clean water, and…
A securityman administers sanitiser to a visitor to a state hospital in Lagos, on February 28, 2020.
News

Apparent Retaliation for Helping Victim File Rape Report

  (Abuja) – A lawyer who helped a young woman file a rape report has accused police in Nigeria’s  southeastern Enugu state of assaulting her, leaving her hospitalized in critical condition. The lawyer,…
WACOL and other civil society groups protest against the police on February 3, 2020 in Enugu City.
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Free Omoleye Sowore; Allow Peaceful Protests

  (Abuja) – The Nigerian authorities are holding Omoleye Sowore, a former presidential candidate and democracy activist, in detention despite a November 6, 2019 bail order by an Abuja Federal High Court. The Department of…
Omoyele Sowore, pro-democracy activist and founder of Sahara Reporters news agency © 2016 Mohamed Nanabhay (via Wikimedia)
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(Abuja) – The Nigerian army’s release on October 3, 2019, of 25 detained children is an important step toward rights-respecting treatment of children affected by the Boko Haram conflict in northeast Nigeria. The 23 boys and 2 girls had…
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News

Thousands Have Been Held in Deplorable Conditions

(Abuja) – The Nigerian military has arbitrarily detained thousands of children in degrading and inhuman conditions for suspected involvement with the armed Islamist group Boko Haram, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
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End Detention in Shelters, Provide More Support

(Abuja) – Many survivors of sex and labor trafficking struggle with unaddressed health challenges, poverty, and abhorrent conditions upon their return to Nigeria. Nigerian authorities have failed to provide the assistance that survivors need to…
A woman from Cameroon sits with her baby in a private shelter in Lagos, Nigeria.
News

Release or Charge Detainee; Allow Peaceful Protests

  (Abuja) – The detention of  a pro-democracy activist on August 4, 2019 may well signify the Nigerian government’s growing intention to shut down dissent. The Department of State Security arrested Omoyele…
Omoyele Sowore, pro-democracy activist and founder of Sahara Reporters news agency © 2016 Mohamed Nanabhay (via Wikimedia)
News

Decision Tramples on Basic Rights of Religious Movement

(Abuja) – A Nigerian court ruled on July 26, 2019 that activities of the Shia Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) amount to “acts of terrorism and illegality” and ordered the government to ban the religious group, Human Rights Watch said…
Members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria, a Shia group, demand the release of the group’s leader, Sheik Ibrahim Zakzaky, who was arrested on December 14, 2015.  © AP Photo/Muhammed Giginyu
News

Allow Peaceful Demonstrations; End Use of Excessive Force

Nigerian police fired apparently unlawfully on a peaceful protest by the Shia Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) in the capital, Abuja, on July 22, 2019, Human Rights Watch said today. Eleven protesters, a journalist, and a…
Members of the Shia Islamic Movement in Nigeria in protest march for the release of their leader in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, on July 22, 2019. © Private 2019