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Nigeria Chapter - 2017 Annual Report

Nigeria Chapter - 2017 Annual Report

Hausa Translation

Key Findings

Religious freedom conditions in Nigeria remained poor during the reporting period. The Nigerian government at the federal and state levels continued to repress the Shi’a Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), including holding IMN leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky without charge, imposing state-level bans on the group’s activities, and failing to hold accountable Nigerian Army officers who used excessive force against IMN members in December 2015. Sectarian violence between predominately Muslim herders and predominately Christian farmers increased, and the Nigerian federal government failed to implement effective strategies to prevent or stop such violence or to hold perpetrators accountable. The Nigerian military continued to successfully recapture territory from Boko Haram and arrest its members, but the government’s nonmilitary efforts to stop Boko Haram remain nascent. Finally, other religious freedom abuses continue at the state level. Based on these concerns, in 2017 USCIRF again finds that Nigeria merits designation as a “country of particular concern,” or CPC, under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), as it has found since 2009. Nigeria has the capacity to improve religious freedom conditions by more fully and effectively addressing religious freedom concerns, and will only realize respect for human rights, security, stability, and economic prosperity if it does so.

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