IHRC strongly condemns yesterday’s unnecessary use of violence by security forces against protestors marching to demand the release of the leader of Nigeria’s Islamic Movement.
Police used tear gas, water cannon and dogs to disperse the peaceful demonstration in the capital Abuja
The demonstration was called to draw attention to the ongoing illegal detention of Sheikh Ibrahim el-Zakzaky and his wife Zeenah.
Photographs taken by participants show police deploying water cannon against protestors holding aloft a banner depicting Sheikh Zakzaky.
Although Nigeria’s High Court ordered the release of the pair on 2 December 2016 after a period of detention of almost a year the order has yet to be implemented.
The Zakzakys have been held without charge and mainly incommunicado following their arrest during a savage military assault against the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) in December 2015. Both were shot during the attack in Zaria in which at least 1000 IMN supporters, including three sons of the couple, were killed and many properties and religious spaces belonging to the IMN and its followers destroyed.
The demonstrators also called for an independent investigation into the massacre and subsequent killings of IMN supporters in Arba’een commemorations.