PRESS RELEASE – Zaria, Nigeria: Police open fire on Ashura procession

From: Islamic Human Rights Commission

20 September 2018

PRESS RELEASE – Zaria, Nigeria: Police open fire on Ashura procession

At least one person has been shot in the leg after police opened fire on a large procession marking the day of Ashura in the Nigerian city of Zaria.

The mourning procession was attacked without warning and without provocation in a continuation of the Nigerian authorities’ crackdown on supporters of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria.

Attacks on processions in recent years resulted in scores of fatalities and injuries to innocent people exercising their freedom of worship.

In recent months the authorities have also attacked and killed protestors demonstrating against the continued detention of the leader of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Ibrahim el-Zakzaky.

The sheikh’s ordeal began after he was shot along with his wife, Zeenah, and arrested during an orgy 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.

Last May Sheikh el-Zakzaky and his wife were arraigned by the state High Court in Kaduna charged with abetting the commission of culpable homicide when they blocked roads in the city of Zaria in December 2015. In reality the charges seem to be designed to deflect government responsibility for a planned and systematic attack by soldiers on the Islamic Movement that left at least 1000 civilians dead in December 2015, an attack which is now the subject of a preliminary investigation by the International Criminal Court.

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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

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

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