Posted by News Express | 28 July 2014 | 3,304 times
A Kaduna-based rights group, Centrum Initiative for Development and Fundamental Rights Advocacy (CEDRA), has demanded “a full independent investigation” of last Friday’s alleged killing, by the Nigerian Army, of 35 Shiite Muslims in Zaria, among them three sons of the group’s leader, Malam Ibraheem El-zakzaky.
The demand was contained in a statement issued yesterday in Kaduna by CEDRA’s Convener, Dr. John Danfulani.
The statement, a copy of which was made available to News Express, reads as follows: “On 26th July 2014, Shiite sect embarked on their annual international QUDS procession. The rite is part of their last Friday of month of Ramadan activities that was declared in the 80s by the spiritual leader of the Iranian Islamic Revolution Ayyatolah Khomeini.
“Here in the Nigeria, the sect has been observing QUDS tradition for the past 32 years in many cities. Most of these processions went without clashes with either the law enforcement officers or public.
“This year’s procession ended with incidences of shooting of Shiite members in Zaria. Their leader Malam El-zakzaky lost three of his children and other members. Till this moment, corpses of two of his sons and those of his members have not been given to them for burial. And they are yet to have access to the wounded in the hospital.
“The right to peaceful protest in support or against local or international issues is constitutionally guaranteed and supported by many international protocols. The only time such rights are lightly tempered with is in war with other countries and emergency rule. To the best of our knowledge, we are in neither.
“We therefore condemn in strongest terms the shooting and killing of peaceful protesters in Zaria on 26th July 2014 and call on for a full independent investigation of the Zaria Killing by bodies charged with monitoring and reporting of human rights violations.
“Governments in Nigeria must know that the dark days of ruling with impunity are over and have no place in a democracy. The chief duty of the State is to protect life and not take it away without authorisation of the body responsible of snatching away life from citizens.
“We want to use this opportunity to thanks the leader of Shiite in Nigeria, Malam El-Zakzaky, for his restraint and calm disposition to the great loss of his sons and members. We will walk with him and his organisation in their quest to seek for justice on the QUDS procession incidence.
“And we pray to God to forgive the souls of those killed and grant them Aljana.”
•Photo, courtesy of PM NEWS, shows El-Zakzaky’s sons allegedly killed by soldiers. L-R: Mahmood, Hamid and Ahmed.
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