Shiite Calls for Release of Members, Minors in Detention

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  • Accuses El-Rufai of crime against humanity

Gboyega Akinsanmi

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) monday lamented the arbitrary arrest of its members and minors in different states of the federation, thereby calling for their unconditional release.

The IMN also known as Shiite Muslims in Nigeria, reiterated calls for the release of its Leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, his wife and all others currently under detention for almost one year.

It called for their unconditional release in a statement by the President of IMN Media Forum, Mr. Ibrahim Musa, monday accusing Kaduna State Governor, Mr. Nasir el-Rufai of crime against humanity.

In a statement he issued yesterday, Musa said since the attack on Shiite members by security agents in connivance with some miscreants across some states, authorities arbitrarily arrested people and charged them to courts on trumped up charges and remanded in prison custody.
He said: “Shamelessly and quite surprisingly, the courts where those arrested were taken to, have also remanded scores of minors in jail including the four-year old Salamatu Yunusa, being held in Jos.

“This absurdity however contrasts what happened in Kaduna and Kano States where tens of those arrested were released on bail being minors. We also call for the unconditional release of our leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, his wife and all others under detention for almost a year now.
“Their continued detention is a gross violation of their fundamental human rights. It is surprising therefore why the case in Katsina and Plateau States should be different, when evidence strongly suggests that the attacks in all the states were orchestrated by a central command.”
Musa called on the authorities in these two states “to release these minors who have by now unjustifiably spent about a week in jails. This is an embarrassment to the nation.

“In the same vein, those who were brutalised and injured among those in detention are yet to get proper medical attention. They are prisoners of conscience. This is unfortunate and a gross miscarriage of justice. All humanitarian laws recognise that prisoners should not be denied medical treatment. This cannot be an exception,” he explained.

He condemned in very strong words the inhuman brutality meted “to Shiite members by the Nigerian Army in Jos for no other reason than their faith. We therefore call for their release without further delays.”

He explained that the group recognised that the recent attack on its members by security agents in collaboration with some unemployed youths across the various states was instigated by Kaduna State governor.

“We are aware that he has even planned for Katsina State a vicious plot and model of how to attack IMN members in Katsina metropolis. This diabolical plot involves attack whenever IMN members leave their Islamic centre for any educational program and the opportunity to burn and raze our centre will be created and executed.

“We believe el-Rufai is inciting hate with a view to minority cleansing in his self-styled war against the Islamic Movement in Nigeria. He already has a case of crime against humanity, which he is frantically trying to cover. Nevertheless this will not deter us in our pursuit of justice for the victims of the Zaria massacre.”