IMN Plans Peaceful Commemoration of 2015 Zaria Massacre  


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The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has said it will organise peaceful commemoration of the 2015 massacre of its members and called on all people of conscience to intensify pressure on the federal government to obey court orders and unconditionally release its leader, Sheikh Zakzaky.

The President of the Media Forum of IMN, Mr. Ibrahim Musa, said in a statement yesterday that the (IMN) had never employed the use of violence or the issuance of threats of violence in its entire four decades of existence to anyone, group or authority, stressing that the peaceful posture of the organisation is not about to change.

“Some recent false flag calls issued reminiscent of previous calls used to attack us and disrupt our peaceful events seem to be again sounded recently,” he said.
He accused the security forces of planning to carry out series of attacks and subsequently attribute such attacks to the IMN in the course of its peaceful activities.

According to him, the security forces want to achieve what they have so far failed to, which is to associate the peaceful campaigns to free Sheikh Zakzaky with violence in order to swing public opinion against the organisation and justify the December 2015 massacre.
Musa rejected any suggestion of threats of violence in the name of the organisation, adding that “the Islamic Movement is not and will not be responsible for any breech of peace or violence that will result from any false-flag plots.”

He said the organisation would continue to employ all lawful, legal and constitutional means as it had done throughout these two years of state-perpetrated persecution to achieve its goals.
According to him, IMN would not be blackmailed into submission or surrender.
Meanwhile, the Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, has said no one has been held accountable for Nigerian military’s unlawful killing of more than 350 Shi’a Muslims in Zaria, two years after the massacre.

He said government’s failure to hold anyone accountable for the killings show the acceptance of a culture of impunity for violations for human rights in the country
In a statement to mark two years anniversary of the massacre, and made available to THISDAY yesterday, Ojigho said the country should ensure justice, truth and reparation, adding that Amnesty International has identified and visited the location of the possible mass grave near Mando where they were buried, but still yet to be exhumed.

He said: “Our research indicates that the deaths in the clashes between members of IMN and the Nigerian military two years ago were the consequence of an excessive use of force that must be thoroughly investigated.”

According to her, ‘’Between December 12 and 14, 2015, Nigerian security forces killed hundreds of civilians, some of them supporters of the IMN – including men, women and children – and arrested more than 200, following a Shi’a Muslim protest.
‘’The exact number of those killed is not known, but it may be higher than the official figure of 347. Hundreds of IMN supporters reported missing since the killings remain unaccounted for, feared dead,’’ he added.

The body said satellite images of the Mando mass grave site taken on 2 November and 24 December 2015 show severe disruption of an area of approximately 1,000 square metres, including the destruction of buildings and mosques.
It said a full independent forensic investigation into this crime under international law was long overdue, noting that many families still do not know the fate of their loved ones who have not been seen or heard of since December 12, 2015.

“Nigeria’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Federation should order that the bodies in the mass graves are exhumed, and that those suspected to be responsible for their deaths are prosecuted in fair trials without recourse to death penalty. Government has also failed to publicly condemn the unlawful killings that took place in Zaria.

‘’Meanwhile, the IMN’s leader, Sheik Ibraheem El Zakzaky and his wife have been unlawfully detained since the killings, despite an Abuja High Court order for their release a year ago.

“The Nigerian government cannot continue to disregard this court order and as a matter of urgency respect the rule of law by releasing them immediately.” said Osai Ojigho
In April 2016, a Kaduna state government official admitted that 347 IMN members were dumped in a mass grave near Mando.
Ojigho said this information should be an important lead for the government to investigate the killings and ensure those suspected of criminal responsibility were held to account.