Deadly Bomb Hits Nigeria Market

By: Danielle L. Cowan (Gwozdz)
Senior Desk Operator, Africa

ABUJA, Nigeria – At least 18 people have been killed in an explosion at a market in Maiduguri, north-eastern Nigeria, a medical worker told BBC news.

Several cars were destroyed in the explosion (photo courtesy of AP)


The explosives were reportedly hidden in a vehicle carrying charcoal.

It is believed that Boko Haram has carried out the attack, though no group has stepped forward and claimed this violent bombing. Maiduguri is the center of Boko Haram’s violent campaign.

This same group is the one linked to the 200 schoolgirls kidnapped.

“A van loaded with charcoal and IED (improvised explosive device) exploded at Monday Market in Maiduguri this morning. The location has been cordoned,” the defense headquarters stated on its Twitter account.

The vehicle exploded into a huge fireball, AFP further added.

About 55 people were injured due to the explosion.

One resident, Babagana Hausari, told BBC that “I heard a very loud explosion right from my house and rushed to the place.”

He further added, “When I got there I saw many people lying after they were hit by explosives.”

One student who rushed to the scene said “I saw police and troops picking out victims.”

Several vehicles were damaged due to the bombing, including the driver of the vehicle carrying the charcoal and the bomb.

After the accident, Nigeria’s military stated it raided a Boko Haram intelligence unit thought to be linked to the abduction of the schoolgirls.

The Boko Haram cell leader was arrested.

The cell leader has not commented on the allegations of the bombing.

This year alone, more than 2,000 people have been killed in attacks blamed on the Boko Haram militants.

For more information, please visit:
BBC News – Nigeria’s Boko Haram crisis: Deadly bomb hits Maiduguri – 1 July 2014 – Nigeria’s Boko Haram crisis: Deadly bomb hits Maiduguri – 1 July 2014
The Sun – Boko Haram crisis: Deadly bomb hits Maiduguri – 1 July 2014
NewsBreakNigeria – Nigeria’s Boko Haram crisis: Deadly bomb hits Maiduguri – BBC News – 1 July 2014


Pending Expansion of Magnitsky Act Increases Pressure on Russia

By Kyle Herda

Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

WASHINGTON, D.C., United States – The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a new Global Magnitsky Bill (S. 1933) that strengthens and expands an earlier legislation targeting Russia.

Sergei Magnitsky’s grave in Moscow. Circumstances surrounding his death in 2009 led to the US passing the Magnitsky Act. (Photo courtesy of BBC)

In December 2012, the Magnitsky Act passed, allowing targeting of individuals in Russia who were related to the case of Sergei Magnitsky. Mr. Magnitsky was a Russian lawyer working for the Hermitage Fund who investigated into and testified against top police officials in Russia for embezzling $230 million in taxes. Mr. Magnitsky was later arrested and sent to prison without trial, and he died nearly a year into his time in prison due to poor health in questionable circumstances.

A few months after passing the Magnitsky Act, 18 names were released in connection with Mr. Magnitsky’s death. On May 20, 2014, the US Treasury Department sanctioned another 12 Russian individuals pursuant to the Act due to their involvement in the detention, abuse or death of Mr. Magnitsky.

On June 24, 2014, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to globally expand the provisions of the Russia-centered Act. The new bill, the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, would bar human rights violators from all around the world from entering into the United States. Further, it would prohibit these violators from using U.S. financial institutions. U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (Democrat-Maryland) and John McCain (Republican-Arizona) drafted the bill.

Now that the bill has passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote, it will go to the Senate floor to be voted on. Should it pass that vote, the House of Representatives will hold a vote on the bill. Finally, the bill would go to President Obama to sign before enactment.

This bill, if enacted, would be another weapon for the United States in the fight against human rights violations, but now expanded globally rather than just for the narrow issue concerning the Magnitsky death. This global expansion could also have a profound effect on Russia, as Russia already has 30 names on the list solely from the Magnitsky death. This increased financial pressure on Russia could prove to be an effective tool in negotiations between Russia and the United States or even Europe. Given the problems in Ukraine and disputes between Russia and the West, this bill would serve to further increase pressure on Russia to cooperate and negotiate with the West to come to peace along the eastern European border.

For more information, please see:

EU Reporter – Global Magnitsky human rights and anti-corruption bill approved by US Senate Foreign Relations Committee 1 July 2014

Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty – Global Version Of Magnitsky Act Adopted In Senate Committee 24 June 2014

Lexology – US sanctions 12 Russian individuals under Magnitsky Act 30 May 2014

The Washington Post – The man behind the Magnitsky Act explains why now is the time to go after the Russian elite’s assets 3 March 2014