NIGERIA: Demand African Union intervene to stop killings on Ashura

Sheikh Zakzaky

IHRC’s Free Zakzaky campaign asks campaigners to please send an email to the African Union and demand its intervention to stop possible attacks on Ashura. A model email and contact details of the African Union are provided below. Please forward any responses you receive to IHRC at wajahat@ihrc.org

Background

Requested Action

Model email

Recipient Addresses

Background

Police have opened fire on several Ashura processions in past few years and several people are reported to have been killed and dozens injured. In most recent attack on 22 August 2020 at least three worshipers were killed and dozens injured 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. For more information on the campaign please visit this page. Video of shootings at the Kaduna procession 2019, can be found at the end of the page (trigger warning).

Requested Action

IHRC are calling upon campaigners to send an email to the African Union and demand its intervention to stop possible attacks on Ashura processions in Nigeria. A model email and contact details of the African Union are provided below. Please forward any responses you receive to IHRC at wajahat@ihrc.org

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:
Email: dic@africa-union.org
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