Addendum to report #2006
Human Rights Violations in Nigeria
April 1997 – September 1998 2nd October 1998
Subsequent to IHRC’s report covering the above dates, the following information has been received:
• 25th September 1998 saw a demonstration after Friday prayers, in Zaria, calling for the release of detained Muslim cleric, Ibrahim Al-Zakzaky. Demonstrators numbered 15,000. Police once more opened fire, killing 3.
• 30th September 1998. Thirty two demonstrators who took part in a similar demonstration in Kano on 18th September and were detained by police, were brought to court to be charged with unlawful assembly and incitement. All pleaded not guilty. All were detained.
• Yakuba Yahaya (B/29 page 15) was acquitted in Katsina of unlawful assembly and incitement. He was released on 30th September 1998. He had been detained since October 1996. He was twice acquitted before only to be re-arrested before being able to leave the court.
Whilst IHRC welcomes the release of Yakubu Yahaya, it notes that there are at least another 134 members of the Muslim Brotherhood incarcerated in Nigerian prisons. The numbers held in police cells has not been accounted in this figure. Further charges against members, released on bail are still in force. This is in direct contradiction to the statements of General Abdulsalami Abubakar, that all political prisoners and detainees have been released, and all charges against political opponents dropped.
IHRC continues to call for the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners in Nigeria, regardless of their ethnic, political or confessional background.