ref: IHRC / 786 / Nigr / 0020b
HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN NIGERIA
September 1996 – October 1997
In addition to the abuses outlined in our previous report, there are now confirmed the following atrocities committed by the Nigerian police force and authorities in the period September 1996 – March 1997:
1. Police opened fire on an evening lesson in a mosque in the village of Yar Rimawa in Sokoto State. Four people were killed including a sixty year old woman.
2. Islamic centres in Zaria and Yola were demolished.
3. Six Muslim Primary Schools were destroyed in Katsina State.
4. Eight houses belonging to members of the Islamic movement were demolished in Dinya village, near Zaria.
5. Gang rapes and indecent assaults by members of the police forces on women and children in the village of Marinkawa in Katsina state, have been confirmed.
6. Unmarked mass graves have been found in Tudun Wada cemetery in Kaduna. Security forces buried a number of corpses in the aftermath of the protest in Kaduna calling for the release of Mu’allim Ibrahim Al-Zakzaky (September 1996), in which police opened fire on a peaceful demonstration. An estimated fifty were killed, and a hundred are still unaccounted for.
Whilst an estimated 400 – 600 of the 1000 Muslim detainees have been released in the last four months, further atrocities continue.
In July 1997, police attacked a gathering to celebrate the religious festival that marks the Prophet Muhammad\’s birthday. One passer-by was killed, and several injured. Official sources admitted that 280 rounds of ammunition were fired into the crowd.
August 1997 saw the arrest of Brother Adam and Mallam Ahmed in Zaria. The first was beaten and the second tortured to death in separate incidents.