Open Letter to World Bodies on Zaria Massacre by the Coalition of NGOs in Nigeria

Open Letter to the United Nation, Human Right Commission, the European Union and African Union- Call On The Nigerian Government To End The Persecution Of Shia Muslims & Their Leader Sheikh El-Zakzaky.

Nigerian authorities have failed to ensure justice for the killings of hundreds of members of the Nigerian Shiah Muslims since December 12, 2015, where the Nigerian army used disproportionate force against the group in Zaria, Kaduna State in northwest Nigeria. In a violent crackdown, the army killed hundreds members of the group and arrested hundreds more, including the group’s leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat Ibraheem.

This is a gross violation of the fundamental human right of the Nigerian Shia Muslims under the leadership of Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.

Hence it also violates the ANTI-TORTURE ACT, 2017 which states that: Government shall-
(a) Ensure that the rights of all persons, including suspects, detainees and prisoners are respected at all or times and that no person placed under investigation or held in custody of any person in authority shall be subjected to physical harm, force, violence threat or intimidation or any act that impairs his free will; and

(b) Fully adhere to the principles and standards on the absolute condemnation and prohibition of torture set by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and various international instruments to which Nigeria is a State party. Act no 23, 1999.

The act of Murder, destruction of properties and unconstitutional arrests has violated the Nigerian constitution that outlined the fundamental human rights of its citizens as it is enshrined in chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution as amended. The Constitution in respect to these rights states that “Every person has a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life, save in execution of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria (Section 33 of the 1999 Constitution).”
The inhuman treatments of members of this religious minority group and their leader Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat that have been kept in custody incommunicado with severe bullet wounds all over their bodies is a crime. Also, the continuous disregard and contempt of an Abuja High Court order to release them and pay them the sum of 50 million Naira as compensation since 2016 that was disobeyed is a threat to the Nigerian Democracy and the entire human right architecture.

Therefore, it has become mandatory to us as Civil Society Organizations to write to you in request for your intervention for the benefits of democracy and human rights.

Geoffrey N Nwokolo (Esq)
Prince Adelaja Adeoye
Dr. Hasan Bala
Comrade G Ekoja
Comrade C. Mabel
Comrade Ahmad Shuaib
For Coalition of CSOs under the Initiative For Conciliation and Right Protection

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