Police Open Fire At Free Zakzaky Protestors

By Ikenga Chronicles April 16, 2018

Police Open Fire At Free Zakzaky Protestors

The Islamic Movement of Nigeria(IMN) popularly known as Shiites, on Monday clashed with the Nigeria Police during one of their protests along Unity Fountain, Maitama Abuja.The police Anti-Riot Squad forcefully dispersed the IMN members who were seen scampering to safety.

Over the past two years, Shiites have launched series of protests in order to force the Nigerian government to release their ‘illegally detained leader’, in accordance with court orders.

Recall that the group announced its plans to start a global protest from 15 April, to coincide with a hundred days of continuous “Free Zakzaky” protests in Nigeria demanding the immediate release of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky. According to a report, the protests are expected to simultaneously hold in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa among other places.

According to a statement from the Islamic Human Rights Commission, Police opened fire on protestors in the centre of the Nigerian capital Abuja killing at least one and injuring two, on Monday.

Eye-witnesses report that the dead and wounded were targeted by sniper fire as they tried to stage a peaceful protest in support of the detained leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky. Tear gas was also used against the demonstrators.

Today’s police violence follows the arrest last Friday of the convener of the daily Free Zakzaky sit-in protest, Prince Deji Adeyanju, at the Unity Fountain. Police have since taken over the location and attempted to stop the protests from continuing.

Prince Deji Adeyanju was arrested and taken away to an unknown location by armed police as he took part in the protests which have been held daily in the city centre since the beginning of January to demand the release of the detained leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim el-Zakzaky.

The protests erupted after Sheikh Zakzaky suffered a stroke, aggravating an already poor condition caused when he was shot during a military attack on the Islamic Movement of Nigeria two years ago in the city of Zaria.

Despite calls by the Islamic Human Rights Commission and other supporters of the Sheikh for his release him from unlawful detention so that his health can be assessed and he can receive medical treatment the Nigerian authorities have failed to act.

Demonstrations involving tens of thousands of the sheikh’s supporters have been staged daily in the capital city of Abuja as well as other towns and cities across northern Nigeria. Despite their totally peaceful nature the protests have been subject to sabotage and violent, often fatal, attacks by security forces intent on bringing the Islamic Movement of Nigeria into disrepute.

According to the statement, since 8 January 2018 six protestors have been killed by security forces. Hundreds more have been arrested and sustained injuries from beatings during their detention. The majority of those released were released without charge.

The Sheikh’s ordeal began after he was shot along with his wife, Zeenah, and arrested during an orgy of violence unleashed over three days in December 2015 on supporters of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria in what was widely seen as a bid to curb the movement’s growing popularity.

At least 1000 civilians, mostly Islamic Movement supporters, were killed in the attacks and hundreds arrested in the attacks.

The 2015 attack is the subject of a complaint by the IHRC to the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

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