PRESS RELEASE – Nigeria: Military still killing Islamic Movement members and supporters


IHRC is deeply concerned about the security and health of dozens of supporters and members of the Islamic Movement who remain in detention following last month’s attack on the group by the Nigerian army.

This morning Abbas Isiyaku died in military custody after being critically injured in the assault against the movement and its institutions that began on 12 December.

IHRC has received credible reports that the deceased was one of at least 14 critically injured prisoners being kept in the Kaduna Military Prison Hospital but being denied adequate medical attention for their wounds.

Our fears are compounded by the refusal of the military to allow access to the wounded by loved ones or human rights activists.

The condition and whereabouts of the Islamic Movement’s leader Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky as well as that of his wife, are still unknown. Both were arrested and the former tortured during the army attack.

Many more supporters of the movement remain in detention at other military barracks and other detention centres without access to legal rights or medical attention.

In its rampage last month the military deliberately targeted the symbols and institutions of the Islamic Movement. Sheikh Zakzaky’s personal residence was destroyed, as was his mother’s grave, and the Hussainiyyah Baqiyatullah which served as the movement’s centre.

Photographs and testimonies have also emerged of mass graves where the army is reported to have buried victims of its attacks.

IHRC chair Massoud Shadjareh said: “The latest tragic death in custody shows that the Nigerian military has not stopped its killing spree. It is continuing through the deliberate denial of urgent medical care to the wounded.”

The killing of Islamic Movement supporters in custody has a very recent precedent. An IHRC report [1] into the 2014 Al-Quds Day massacre in Nigeria found evidence that many of those arrested were taken into detention alive and well and later emerged dead with signs of torture on their bodies. Others who were injured were detained for hours and brutalised before being allowed to seek medical treatment.

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Notes to editors:

[1] IHRC’s report into the 2014 Al-Quds Day massacre can be downloaded at[Ends]

IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.