Nigerian Army Stop Murdering Worshippers - London Vigil Outside Nigerian High Commission #FreeZakzaky
13 October 2016
A midnight emergency protest was called on the eve of Ashuru (11th Oct 2016) outside the Nigerian High Commission in London when news was received that the Nigerian army in a convoy of 18 military vehicles had surrounded Kaduna mosque where followers of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky were worshipping. This follows similar moves by the Nigerian army last December which lead to a brutal massacre by the army of over a thousand unarmed worshippers (12-14th Dec 2015). Women were raped and their bodies were mutilated. Mass graves were uncovered after the massacre. That particular massacre is currently under investigation of the International Court of Justice.
The protest was called by the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) an supported by Inminds. Messages were projected on the walls of the embassy and the loud chanting ensured the live-in embassy staff could not ignore the protest.
But despite our demands for the army to withdraw and stop their sectarian targeting of the Shia and supporters of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), the next morning we learn't that the slaughter had already began with at least 13 worshippers killed, over 200 abducted and several mosques and homes of religious leaders of the community burnt down by the Nigerian army and its thugs. After last years massacre had lead to an ICJ investigation, this time the army used non-uniformed soldiers, which were caught on camera coming out of military vehicles, to perpetrate the ugliest carnage.
IHRC PRESS RELEASE - Nigeria: Army surrounds Kaduna mosque, fears grow for those trapped inside
Tuesday, 11 October 2016 16:18
IHRC calls on the Nigerian authorities to withdraw the soldiers and allow the worshippers to continue to exercise their constitutional right to freedom of assembly and worship
IHRC has received credible first hand evidence that soldiers have completely surrounded a mosque in the Nigerian city of Kaduna with worshippers feared trapped inside.
The worshippers have gathered to commemorate historical events associated with the Islamic month of Muharram that are particularly significant in the Shia calendar.
Shortly before the the Kaduna Markaz mosque on Zango Road was encircled armoured military vehicles carrying heavily armed soldiers and also an ambulance were among a convoy of 18 military vehicles seen nearby.
The military activity is reminiscent of the run-up to the massacre last December of at least one thousand supporters of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria by the army and the arrest of its leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky. The events were investigated and a report submitted to the International Criminal Court.
It follows a spate of arrests over recent days of IMN supporters in response to a recent state-wide ban proscribing membership of the movement. Because the IMN has no formal membership structure it seems that the law will apply to those who simply support the group or follow the Shia school of thought.
As was feared, the new law appears to be being used as an attempt to prevent the movement's supporters from attending ceremonies commemorating the month of Muharram. The IMN has regularly led peaceful processions in the month of Muharram
IHRC calls on the Nigerian authorities to withdraw the soldiers and allow the worshippers to continue to exercise their constitutional right to freedom of assembly and worship.
IHRC PRESS RELEASE - Nigeria: Military attacks Ashura processions in Nigeria
Wednesday, 12 October 2016 09:33
At least nine people are reported killed after security forces opened fire at mourners taking part in an annual religious procession in Funtua / Islamic Centre in Kaduna set abalze
The killings came when soldiers attacked a peaceful procession using live rounds and tear gas in the town of Funtua in Katsina state.
In the last few minutes IHRC has also received information that the main mosque used by followers of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria has been set on fire by police and the army.
It is not yet known if anyone is in the Kaduna Markaz in Kaduna city. Yesterday, in a sign that the authorites were cranking up the pressure on the IMN, heavily armed soldiers surrounded the building.
Today's violence confirmed fears that the Nigerian authorities would seek to sabotage the annual commemoration of Ashura in the country.
Annual processions are underway in many cities in the majority Muslim north of Nigeria marking the martyrdom of the Prophet's grandson in the year 680 AD.
This year's processions have been preceded by a military build-up that is reminiscent of the run-up to the massacre last December of at least one thousand IMN supporters by the army.
There has also been a spate of arrests over recent days of IMN supporters in response to a recent state-wide ban proscribing membership of the movement.
As was feared, the new law appears to be being used as an attempt to further weaken the movement whose leader Shaikh Ibrahim Zakzaky remains under arrest. Sheikh Zakzaky was shot in last December's attack and has been in the custody of Nigeria's internal security servcies ever since without charge.
The ban was widely interpreted as an attempt to prevent the movement's supporters from attending ceremonies commemorating the month of Muharram. The IMN has regularly led peaceful processions in the month of Muharram.
VIDEO - London Vigil Demands Nigerian Army Stop Murdering Worshippers
As part of their belief of giving back to the community members of the IMN donate blood to the local hospital every Ashura, this year was no exception despite the slaughter and abductions
So many young girls have been abducted by President Buhari's army during the attacks on IMN..
Photo from last December's massacre of over 1000 unarmed IMN supporters by the Nigerian army (12-14th Dec 2015)
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