The Nigerian military has deleted a tweet that seemed to use the words of President Donald Trump to justify his deadly violence against a group of protesters last week.
The army, which has come under fire for alleged human rights abuses, tweeted a video with Trump suggesting that immigrants could be shot dead when they throw the US military labeled "Please Watch and Make Your Deductions." ,
The video is a clip of a speech Trump made at the White House Thursday in announcing his announcement to change the country's asylum policies against a background of a caravan of migrants fleeing the dangers of the US threat of Central America.
"They want to throw stones at our military, our military conflicts," the president told reporters. "I told them to use it as a rifle – if they throw stones like they did to the Mexican military and the police, then I think it's a rifle."
Trump later went back and said that migrants throwing stones at the US border are being arrested. He said he hoped "you do not have to shoot" and denied how his previous comments were perceived by the public.
"I did not shoot," Trump said. "I did not say shoot, but if they do that with us, they'll be arrested for a long time."
The Nigerian military tweet appeared to refer to violence against demonstrators that took place over the weekend. A report by Amnesty International found that Nigerian soldiers and police killed at least 45 supporters and injured 122 other members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria within two days. The group held a peaceful religious procession in the capital Abuja.
Protesters demanded the release of their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El Zakzaky, whose arrest in December 2016 was described by a federal court as "unlawful and unconstitutional," according to Amnesty International.
Nigerian army spokesman John Agim told The New York Times that the army released the video in response to a report accusing the army of using weapons against demonstrators.
"We released this video to say if President Trump can say that rocks are like a rifle, who is Amnesty International?" He told the newspaper. "What do you say then? What did David use to kill Goliath? A stone is a weapon. "
Both Trump's tweet and his first remarks were widely condemned by human rights lawyers. Former US Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, called it "pathological."
The US Embassy in Abuja has also called on the government of Nigeria to investigate deaths during the protests and prosecute those responsible.
Since taking office, Trump has strengthened relations between the United States and Nigeria by providing training and safety equipment to the country's military and authorizing the sale of twelve A-29 Super Tucano light aircraft, former President Barack Obama According to Human Rights Watch, the poor are human rights records of the Nigerian military
"This episode makes it clear that Trump's rhetoric is very meaningful," the organization said in a statement. "His recent sensational statements made the days before the US Midterm election were apparently abused by some members of the Nigerian military as an abusive new norm they wanted to stick to."
Post: Christal Hayes, USA TODAY
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