Shiite protests: Police, DHQ debunk Amnesty’s report

Stone-throwing Shi’ites confront anti-riot police vehicle in Abuja on 30 October. Police, DHQ flay Amnesty International report

Both the Nigerian Police and the Defence Headquarters (DHQ), in separate statements on Thursday, debunked Amnesty International report on the clashes between protesting Shiites and the security forces.

Amnesty claimed that 45 Shiites, members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria(IMN) were killed during the protests and accused both the police and the military of using maximum and deadly force.

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But the police debunked the report as exaggerated and false.

“The Nigeria police force wishes to state categorically that the allegation against the police by the Amnesty International is in its entirety untrue,” said Jimoh Moshood, the police spokesman.

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The spokesman said that the report was a clear misrepresentation and absolute distortion of facts to divert attention from the heinous crimes committed by the IMN members.

He said that the group had carried out a provocative attack on police personnel and set ablaze a patrol vehicle in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Wednesday.

Moshood said that in spite of the provocation from the members of the group, the force resisted the use of maximum force on them.

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“To set the record straight, there was no report of death in any police station in the FCT from the police intervention and quelling of the disturbance of public peace and public safety”.

The Defence Headquarters expressed worry that the narrative of the Amnesty International (AI) in matters of national security and unity of Nigeria has continued unabated in spite of verifiable evidences to the contrary.

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In a statement on Thursday by Brig.-Gen. John Agim, the Acting Director Defence Information (DDI), the DHQ said the AI’s “hate and disdain for peaceful co-existence of Nigerians was manifested in the ways it consistently fabricates lies and gives negative narrative of issues related to Nigeria’s national security and its military.”

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