Nigeria’s human rights commission has concluded an investigation into allegations that the country’s military ran a secret mass abortion programme.

A report published by Reuters news agency in December 2022 alleged that the Nigerian army terminated at least 10,000 pregnancies among girls and women in the north-east of the country, beginning in 2013.

Many of those girls and women were freed from Islamic militants who had kidnapped and raped them, the report said.

Reuters interviewed 33 of the women, with all but one of them alleging that the military ended their pregnancies without their consent or prior knowledge.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) formed a panel that started investigating the allegations in February last year.

“The military urged the panel to absolve it from all the allegations contained in the Reuters report,” the NHRC said in a post on X, formerly Twitter on Tuesday, as it announced the conclusion of its investigation.

The rights body has not disclosed the investigation’s findings or said whether it will make them public.

Reuters said it had reviewed military and hospital documents and interviewed dozens of witnesses, including civilian healthcare workers and soldiers and government officials reportedly involved in the alleged abortion programme.

The military denied the report when it first came out.


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