From: Islamic Human Rights Commission
13 April 2018
PRESS RELEASE – Abuja, Nigeria: Police arrest convener of pro-Zakzaky sit-in
Police have arrested the convener of the daily Free Zakzaky sit-in protest in the Nigerian capital after putting on an intimidating show of force this afternoon.
Prince Deji Adeyanju was arrested and taken away to an unknown location by armed police as he took part in the daily protests which have been held in the city centre since the beginning of January.
Reasons for his arrest are unclear especially in view of the fact that the protests have been marked by their peaceful nature.
This Sunday 15 April 2018 marks 100 days since protests broke out all over Nigeria demanding the release of the detained leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim el-Zakzaky.
The protests erupted after Sheikh Zakzaky suffered a stroke, aggravating an already poor condition caused when he was shot during a military attack on the Islamic Movement of Nigeria two years ago in the city of Zaria.
Despite calls by the Islamic Human Rights Commission and other supporters of the sheikh for his release him from unlawful detention so that his health can be assessed and he can receive medical treatment the Nigerian authorities have failed to act.
Demonstrations involving tens of thousands of the sheikh’s supporters have been staged daily in the capital Abuja as well as other towns and cities across northern Nigeria. Despite their totally peaceful nature the protests have been subject to sabotage and violent, often fatal, attacks by security forces intent on bringing the Islamic Movement of Nigeria into disrepute.
Since 8 January 2018 six protestors have been killed by security forces. Hundreds more have been arrested and sustained injuries from beatings during their detention. The majority of those released were released without charge.
The sheikh’s ordeal began after he was shot along with his wife, Zeenah, and arrested during argy of violence unleashed over three days in December 2015 on supporters of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria in what was widely seen as a bid to curb the movement’s growing popularity.
At least 1000 civilians, mostly Islamic Movement supporters, were killed in the attacks and hundreds arrested in the attacks.
The 2015 attack is the subject of a complaint by the IHRC to the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
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Notes to editors:
In March 2016 IHRC petitioned the International Criminal Court to open a preliminary inquiry into the December 2015 massacre of IMN members.
Our report which we submitted to the ICC can be found here
IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598