Nigerian police fired apparently unlawfully on a peaceful protest by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) in the capital, Abuja, on July 22, 2019, SUNCITY NEWS report.
Eleven protesters, a journalist, and a police officer were killed, while dozens of others were wounded or arrested, according to witnesses and authorities. The Shiite movement was protesting the detention since 2015 of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El Zakzaky, and calling for the authorities to allow him proper medical care. Though the court has granted leave for the popular cleric to travel abroad for his medical attention, some of their members are still locked up in various police cells in Abuja.
In a press release obtained by SUNCITYNEWS today, signed by Abdullahi Muhammad Musa for the Academic Forum of the Islamic movement in Nigeria, the group is demanding for the immediate release of their members languishing in police custody.
“We wish to inform the public about the continuous incarceration of the victims of Monday, 22nd July, 2019 police brutality. The victims had been severely injured before their being whisked away, and they are still languishing in police cruel custody. Again, police are yet to release twelve (12) corpses to their bereaved families for funeral prayers according to Islamic injunction, nine (9) of which were killed forthwith at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja and three (3) died under their detention. The families of those that were killed have made several attempts to collect the corpses, but the Police rejected their request. Now, over two weeks in the wake of the incident, the corpses are yet with the Police.
Likewise, the Police continue to detain 63 protesters without taking them to Court. Out of the 63, 11 people sustained various degrees of serious injuries that required urgent medical attention. Despite their critical condition, the Police have only taken the injured ones to unknown location without given them the required medical attention. Even the families of the injured have made several attempts to provide medical treatment to them, but the Police turned down their request.
Moreover, some of the injured, who returned to their families, were taken to the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital by their respective families for effective treatment, but police attacked the hospital and took them away violently while receiving treatment, and they are still in their detention without medical treatment.
It is pertinent to remind the Police that detaining free-zakzaky protesters, including female and minors, for more than two weeks with life-threatening injuries and denying them any medical treatment is a sinister disrespect for the laws of the land and United Nation Human Rights Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment.
It is quite inhuman for the Nigeria Police to arrest hospitalized patients and detain them without treatment. Obviously, the rights of the protesters have been violated and the lives of those that are still alive under police detention are in extreme danger.
We therefore demand for immediate release of all the corpses and our brothers and sisters being detained, both the injured and the healthy, by the Police.
The time has come for those who mischievously claimed earlier that until the court decided the fate of Sheikh Zakzaky, they couldn’t do anything in spite of his deteriorating health and the incessant call for his release. Now that the court has acceded to the demand for treatment abroad, not only that we await prompt compliance but we also want to see expedition in the process of the trip”.