PRESS RELEASE: Nigeria – Breaking news – Police fire on peaceful protest in Zaria

Islamic Human Rights Commission

18 September 2009

PRESS RELEASE: Nigeria – Breaking news – Police fire on peaceful protest in Zaria
Annual Al-Quds Day marred by police violence

Reports have been received by IHRC that mobile police units in Zaria have fired on the annual Al-Quds Day march in Zaria, Kaduna State, Northern Nigeria.  The march is organised by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria led by Mu’allim Ibrahim Al-Zakzaky.  The march is held every year on the last Friday of Ramadan to show support for the Palestinians and all oppressed people of the world.

So far, reports state that four people have been shot.  One man, whose body was taken away from the demonstration by police, is thought to have been killed. 

The attacks took place while the demonstration was en route from its start point Sabon Gari Masjid in Sabon Gari to the pre-agreed end point at Kofar Doka.  The march began, as is the custom, after Friday prayers at about 2.15pm local time (GMT +1).

After the attack, the march leaders decided to change the destination to Juma’at Mosque in Tudun Wada Zaria, where Al-Zakzaky and others addressed the crowds.

The attacks come after much speculation that members of the Islamic Movement were to be attacked en masse by security services, after an official intelligence report was leaked last week relating details of proposed attacks on the Movement.  One of the claims laid at the security services was an assassination attempt against Al-Zakzaky. 

The claims were compounded by the arrival of mobile police units to the area earlier last week.

Whilst the attack has subsided, tension is high, and mobile police units still remain in the area.

Other Al-Quds Day processions in other parts of Nigeria, including various location around Zaria, Kaduna and Kano.

More information on today’s events will follow.

For comment or more information please call (+44) 7958 522 196 or (+44) 7958 607475[ENDS].


The Islamic Human Rights Commission is an NGO in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

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