5 years since the Zaria Massacre 

December 13, 2020 - 21:57

The followers of Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky in Gombe staged a rally to mark the fifth anniversary of the cruel attack on Sheikh Zakzaky and thousands of his followers by the Nigerian regime. 

The attack is known as the Zaria Massacre.

In a report on April 22, 2016, Amnesty International said mass slaughter of hundreds of men, women and children by soldiers in Zaria and the attempted cover-up of the crime demonstrates an utter contempt for human life and accountability. 

Amnesty International published evidence gathered on the ground revealing how the Nigerian military burned people alive, razed buildings and dumped victims’ bodies in mass graves. 

“Those who were badly injured and could not escape were burned alive,” the amnesty said. 

According to Abna News Agency, the peaceful protesters called for the release of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife Malama Zeenah. Hundreds of Gombe family members took part in the protest on Saturday, December 12, and condemned the Zaria Massacre.

Sheikh Zakzaky, who is in his mid-sixties, lost the sight of his left eye in the 2015 raid by security forces. The attack also left more than 300 of his followers and three of his sons dead. His wife also sustained serious injuries during the raid.

Zakzaky has been kept in custody along with his wife and a large number of his followers ever since.

Earlier this year, the IMN (the Islamic Movement in Nigeria) accused the Nigerian government of having poisoned Zakzaky in jail after “large and dangerous quantities of lead and cadmium have been found in his blood.”

Back in August, the couple was transferred to India to receive medical care. Days later, however, they had to return to Nigeria after they had “lost all faith” in the prospect of receiving proper treatment there, according to the Islamic group.

"Since that return, the sheikh and his wife have been largely held incommunicado. No contact with their legal representatives was given and only a minimal contact with doctors and even that only after the sheikh’s wife became seriously ill in detention," the IMN said.

In December 2019, Nigerian authorities transferred Zakzaky and his wife to a dilapidated prison, where many detainees have so far died due to lack of medical attention.

A high court ordered the Department of State Services on Thursday to transfer the cleric and his wife to the Correctional Center in Kaduna state, northwest of the country.

IMF members warned on Thursday that any attempt to take the couple anywhere other than a hospital will put them in further jeopardy. 

The IMN described the move as a "mischievous" attempt by the government to humiliate "our leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, and subjecting him to further hardships." 

The IMN said the facilities at the Kaduna Central Prison are dilapidated. 

The group said it is the same prison where some survivors of the December 2015 raid perished due to a lack of medical attention.

HB/PA

Leave a Comment

1 + 10 =