VIGIL FOR NIGERIAN OPPOSITION LEADER: IHRC calls on Commonwealth to take firm stance on Nigeria, and not forget Muslims


For immediate Release

IHRC calls on Commonwealth to take firm stance on Nigeria, and not forget Muslims
Vigil for Al-Zakzaky 10.7.97, opposite Malborough House, Pall Mall, London, SW1,
2.30 p.m. – 5.30 p.m.

Islamic Human Rights Commission is staging the third of its vigils for the detained Muslim leader Mu’allim Ibrahim Al-Zakzaky outside the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group on Nigeria’s meeting in London on Thursday.

A report on the atrocities being committed against Muslims in Nigeria since September 1996 has been submitted to CMAG for discussion on 10 – 11 July. Whilst individual Commonwealth governments have expressed grave concern over the fate of political prisoners and detainees in Nigeria, including Al-Zakzaky, the Commonwealth Secretariat has shown no particular desire to take any affirmative action, where Muslims are concerned.

IHRC has called on all Commonwealth governments to act both in an individual capacity and in concert to intercede for those detained either without charge or fair trial. Chairman of IHRC, Massoud Shadjareh said:

“Whilst we welcome CMAG’s inclusion of atrocities on Muslims in their discussions on Nigeria, we are concerned that Sani Abacha’s junta takes no heed to words alone. Punitive measures against Nigeria are needed to make the regime take notice.”

Al-Zakzaky has been detained for 300 days without charge. Since his arrest in September 1996, over a 1000 of his supporters have been detained, and 50 have been killed. In the latest incident two weeks ago, one of the members of the Muslim Brotherhood was beaten to death by police officers.

IHRC is calling for the immediate release of all political prisoners and detainees in Nigeria.

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