Women Group Calls For Unconditional Release of Shi’ite Leader, Wife and Other Members
The women arm of the Shi’ite sect, otherwise known as ‘Sisters Forum of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria,’ Kaduna state Chapter, Tuesday stormed the premises of the Nigeria Union of Journalists secretariat in Kaduna, calling for the immediate and unconditional release of their leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, his wife, and other members of the group who they claimed were ‘unlawfully detained’ in various security facilities across the Northern States of the country.
The group, while carrying posters of their leader, El-Zakzaky, with inscription ‘Free El-Zakzaky’, made the call during a peaceful protest match in Kaduna – demanding also for the release of corpses of Shiite members who lost their lives during the Zaria military-Shi’ite clash of 12/13 December, 2015, for burial according to Islamic rites.
Secretary of the Forum, Aisha Hassan, who spoke on behalf the group, while addressing newsmen, accused the Nigerian Army of killing over one thousand of its members leaving several others injured and homeless. She alleged also that some of their women were raped by the army before being killed as confirmed by some of the survivals who were tortured after their arrest.
“The soldiers molested our women and removed their hijab, which is a serious violation of Islamic rite exhibited by the Nigerian army.
“These demonic acts perpetrated by the Nigerian army has not only raised the army’s human rights abuse records but has also turned a lot of women into widows, children into orphans and has also succeeded in wiping out a lot of families.”
The Forum further challenged the government of not respecting the provisions of the fundamental human rights of freedom to worship, but their attack was aimed at painting the sect and its leader in a bad light so as to drive the members into instigating sectarian sentiment and creating tension in the country.
She said, “All these have led millions of Nigerians into doubting the truth of existence of freedom of worship in the country as all those killed were only killed for crime of going to celebrate the birth month of Holy Prophet Mohammed.
“We are aware that it is a deliberate attempt to intimidate and instigate us into mob actions; we will never resort to anything outside the normal legal process of seeking redress.
“This is evident in the way we acted last year when the same Nigerian Army attacked our members and killed thirty-four of them, including three biological sons of our leaders – Ibraheem El-Zakzaky. Even now they have killed three more of his biological sons, making six within a year; we still remain undaunted, calm and resolute.”
She further called on the Federal Government to take up the responsibility to accepting its crime by paying Diyya (Death Compensation) to all affected families and relations of the victims of the Zaria military-Shi’ite clash.