UK-based Group Raises Funds to Support Injured Shiites

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Tobi Soniyi

A human rights organisation, Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), based in the United Kingdom, has begun to raise funds to provide food and medication for members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) injured in confrontations with the Nigerian Army and other security agencies. The commission stated that there were currently thousands of children, women and men suffering as a result of such clashes.

IHRC said, “Members of the Islamic Movement have been routinely targeted, with over 1, 500 killed in the last three years alone.
“They have left behind dependents who are often destitute and shunned. Families are left without enough income for basic necessities like food and clothing, children lose out on education.”

The commission said the funds raised would help to provide medical equipment, like crutches and wheelchairs, and food for families of those killed or imprisoned. It noted that violence from the Nigerian authorities had resulted in catastrophic and life-changing injuries for many people protesting against the government’s cruelty.
It stated, “Lack of funds means that even when there is hope of recovery, medical treatment is unavailable for victims.”

The group listed some of the injuries inflicted on members of IMN that required urgent treatment to include injuries from bullets, knife attacks, baton charging, tear gassing, and other forms of physical violence resulting in temporary and permanent paralysis, blindness, and sight injuries, amputations, broken bones, torn ligaments, and internal injuries.

The commission asked donors to help to enable it provide medical treatment to alleviate and heal those injuries and facilitate access to local doctors or specialist treatment in Nigeria or abroad for the more complex injuries.

It said, “This can cost anywhere between £1000 and £3000 to treat injuries caused by gunshot wounds.
“Medical equipment like crutches and wheelchairs cost between £150 and £700.
“Monthly food packages for families of those killed or imprisoned costs UK£70 / month or £840 for the whole year. These are some of the cases where your help has gone to alleviating this hardship.”

To illustrate the dire situation of members of IMN, the commission cited three cases.
The first was the case of Hussain Mustapha, an 11 years old boy who was crippled by bullet fire from the Nigerian Army while he and his family took part in a peaceful protest.

IHRC said Mustapha was paralysed by a bullet lodged near his spine.
It said, “Donations to the IHRCT Nigeria Fund helped us take Hussain out of Nigeria for specialist treatment. He is now able to partly move, but needs help to buy equipment that will give him more mobility.”
The commission also cited the case of Lami Umar. It said that Lami was one of the people in Sheikh El-Zakzaky’s compound in December 2015 that was attacked by the army and police.

“She was seriously burned, resulting in her eyes and mouth being sealed. After treatment paid for by donations to the IHRCT, she can now open her eyes, read again, and also speak,” the commission explained.
Another case cited by the commission was that of Muhammad Abdul Karim. Muhammad was said to be one of the survivors of the Zaria Massacre in 2015.
The commission explained his case, thus, “He was shot in the back, and his spinal cord was damaged. After support from donors to IHRCT, Muhammad is now able to stand.”

IHRC was set up in 1997 as an independent, not-for-profit, campaign, research and advocacy organisation based in London. It has a consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.