AI warns of abuse in unlawful children’s detention center in Nigeria

Nairobi, May 27 (efe-epa).- Amnesty International on Wednesday denounced abuse and illegal detention of children under a Nigerian government rehabilitation program designed to combat Boko Haram.

Operation Safe Corridor receives millions of dollars of support from the European Union, United Kingdom and United States.

The scheme sees adults and children subjected to forced labor and detained without cause, according to the human rights watchdog.

This military-run detention centre outside Gombe was set up in 2016 with the aim of de-radicalizing and rehabilitating alleged fighters or supporters of the terror group.

It has seen around 270 “graduates” in several batches with many individuals held illegally without access to legal support, AI reported.

“Their promised six-month stay has in some cases extended to 19 months, during which time they are deprived of liberty and under constant armed guard,” the report said.

Some former detainees spoke positively about psychosocial support and education they received there, AI added.

The organisation also flagged inadequate medical care at the facility, which former detainees described as “sorely lacking”.

“Seven detainees died, many, if not all, after receiving inadequate medical care,” the report stated.

“The Nigerian authorities did not even notify their families – they were informed by released detainees instead.”

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