Babies and Children Dying in Military Detention

Babies and Children Dying in Military Detention AP/Edwin Kindzeka Moki

11 May 2016
At least 12 children have died inside Giwa barracks since February.

The Giwa detention center in Maiduguri, Nigeria has seen at least 12 children die among the approximately 149 deaths this year due to horrendous living conditions. Many of the people are wrongly arrested en mass on suspicion of being involved in terrorist or insurgent activities.  Once detained, they are allowed no contact with the outside world nor trials.

The children that died were all under the age of six, four of them being infants.  Both are held in three overcrowded women’s  cells, with more than 20 in each. Boys over the age of five are separated from their families and allowed no contact.  With over-crowding contributing to the spreading of diseases, many have died from measles, hunger, dehydration  as well as gunshot wounds.

Former inmates have given Amnesty International (AI) eyewitness accounts of the terrible conditions and the deaths of children within the detention centers.  AI believes that more than 120 of the 1,200 detainees being held are children.  Some were with their mothers when arrested and some were born in detention.  The Nigerian military claims that most of the detainees in Giwa are terror suspects.Conditions within the Giwa barracks have previously raised concern, as 7,000 detainees have died in the past five years while in military detention.

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