LONDON, July 14 (UPI) — More than 1,000 people in Cameroon, many arrested for alleged support of Boko Haram, are being tortured and dying of disease while in captivity, a rights group said Thursday.
A report by the London-based, non-governmental humanitarian organization Amnesty International cited cases of detainees living in jails where malnutrition and disease are rampant. It specified Maroua prison, where it said six to eight people die each month.
Arrests by Cameroon police, sometimes targeting entire villages, have increased the prison population, the report said. In one instance, 32 men were arrested on accusations the village was supplying Boko Haram with food, and though most of the men were eventually released, one died in custody.
Amnesty International also cited a 2014 incident in which the Cameroonian army’s Rapid Intervention Brigade killed seven men in the village of Bornori, arrested 15 others and returned the following week to burn houses. It described the killings as unlawful.
The group also documented evidence from 29 people who said they were tortured while in custody.
Boko Haram has used terrorist tactics in its attempt to establish an Islamic caliphate in Nigeria, and as its power declines, members have crossed the borders into neighboring countries.