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81 Boko Haram Suspects Begin Trial In Niger | The Precision

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Eighty-one people accused of fighting for Boko Haram went on trial in
Niger on Thursday in a public court sitting, one of the first of its
kind after closed-door trials of suspected insurgents were criticised by
human rights groups. 


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Those on trial in a special international
court in the capital Niamey come from Niger, Nigeria and Chad and are
suspected of playing a role in Boko Haram’s near decade-long bid to
create a caliphate in Nigeria. 
The radical group has spread beyond its roots in Nigeria, killing
20,000 and uprooting nearly 3 million in the Lake Chad region. 
The
Niamey trials follow closed-door Boko Haram trials, including in
Nigeria where a court in October jailed 45 people to between three and
31 years in jail, but the government did not say what they were
convicted of. 


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Open trials are meant to show that suspected
fighters will be given due process, and could also help alleviate a
conflict that has been stoked at times by the mistreatment of captives. 
The death in 2009 of Boko Haram founder Mohammed Yusuf in police custody is seen as one of the major triggers for the conflict. 
The
Niamey court will hear 22 separate cases over the next 10 days,
following the trial of nearly 300 people on similar charges last year.
In all, nearly 1,000 people are expected to come before the court. (Reuters)

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