Nigeria Digest #128

From: Islamic Human Rights Commission
23 August 2020

Nigeria Digest #128 (Volume 3 issue 60) – Take Action and write to the African Union to urge their intervention to stop possible attacks on Ashura processions.

Yesterday Nigerian Police attacked and killed three worshipers in Kaduna. In the past few years Nigerian Police have opened fire on several Ashura processions, we request campaigners to urge African Union to intervene and stop possible attacks on next week’s Ashura procession.

You can find all the latest actions and information, as well as background to the campaign and information, videos and audio and details on the Sheikh on the Free Zakzaky campaign page.

Action Alert

We are asking campaigners to write to African Union to urge immediate action to stop possible attacks on Ashura processions in Nigeria. Yesterday Nigerian Police attacked Ashura mourning session and killed three worshipers in Kaduna. We note that start of the Islamic year is a time that the Nigerian regime has often clamped down on the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, often using a sectarian narrative to justify their actions. In anticipation of this please also circulate Nusaibah El-Zakzaky’s letter on the Islamic Movement as widely as you can.

Yesterday, once again Police and security forces have used live ammunition in a brutal attack on peaceful worshipers in Kaduna, which resulted in 3 deaths and many serious injuries. This is another brutal attack to target the Islamic Movement, attacking those taking part in Muharram ceremonies.

Please help to support the urgent medical costs of those injured, and the families of those affected by the ongoing violence, by donating to the IHRC Trust Nigeria Fund here

Above all, please remember all the oppressed in your prayers

Action Alert 

Click here to send an email to the African Union to urge their intervention to stop possible attacks on Ashura processions in Nigeria. A model letter and contact details of the African Union are provided below. Please forward any responses you receive to IHRC at

Model email
If you are emailing, please use the following in the subject line:
Demand immediate action to stop possible attacks on Ashura processions in Nigeria

H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat
Chair African Union Commission 
PO Box 3243 Roosevelt Street (Old Airport Area) W21K19,
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Re: Demand immediate action to stop possible attacks on Ashura processions in Nigeria

Dear H.E. Mousa Faki Mahamat,

Nigerian Police has opened fire on several Ashura processions in the past few years, Nigerian security forces have been extremely violent against Muslims commemorating Ashura in Nigeria, they have already killed dozens of peaceful worshipers brutally and has injured many. I am really concerned that there will be further crackdowns by the Nigerian army against the Islamic Movement in the coming weeks. As you are well aware it is start of the Islamic New Year, and ruthless members of the army and government have previously used a deeply sectarian narrative to justify their violent actions against the Islamic Movement, including shooting at religious worshipers, curtailment of religious services and various other heinous violations. In some instances, sectarian rhetoric fanning out from institutions linked to the government and army have incited mob attacks on Islamic Movement members.

I urge your office to unequivocally declare that further violations against Islamic movement of Nigeria or indeed any other political or religious group will not be tolerated by the African Union.

I look forward to your speedy response outlining the actions your office will be taking.

[Your name]

African Union’s Contact Details:
Postal Address: PO Box 3243 Roosevelt Street (Old Airport Area) W21K19 Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel: +251 11 551 7844

Note: Due to the COVID19 outbreak, we do not advise sending letters by post


Find all the articles selected this week on our website.  Here are a selected few.

In Yet Another Violent Attack, Police Killed 3 Ashura mourners
23 August 2020
Reports reaching us confirmed that Nigerian Police violently attacked members of the Islamic Movement who were conducting the Ashura mourning session in Kaduna on 22 August 2020, which resulted in three deaths and many injured. Click here for further details (Warning: Graphic Pictures).

Free Zakzaky Protest in Abuja on 20th of Aug 2020
20 August 2020
Free Zakzkay protest staged in Abuja on Thursday the 20th of August 2020 (1st Muharram 1442). The protesters called for the freedom of Sheikh Zakzkay and his wife from nearly five years of illegal detention. Such protests continued to be staged in many places in Nigeria.

Followers of Sheikh Zakzaky Deliver Relief Material
18 August 2020
Sheikh Zakzaky Donates Medicine and Mosquito nets to the Internally Displaced Persons in Faskari Local Government of Katsina State. The leading follower of the Sheikh in the area, Sheikh Rabiu Funtua delivered the relief materials.


Find more videos from recent weeks as well as the archives on the Free Zakzaky audio and video page.
Find a selection below.

GRAPHIC: Attack on Ashura procession, Kaduna, 10 September 2019 RAW


Click here to read the Statement from Nusaibah El Zakzaky: We are not the Shia Movement of Nigeria; we are the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, published on 21 December 2015.

Click here to read the IHRC Press Release, “UN report blasts police plans to attack Ashura processions” published on 03 September 2019.

Follow the IHRC #FreeZakzaky campaign for all the latest action alerts, press releases, reports, background, videos and more.

The Nigeria Digest is a weekly summary of the campaign to free all who are illegally detained focusing on the Islamic Movement of Nigeria. The opinions expressed in the digest do not necessarily reflect the views of IHRC.