Four years since the Zaria Massacre, majdi condemns the decision of the Kaduna Supreme Court to transfer the Nigerian leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky, to prison.
In arbitrary detention since December 2015, seriously injured and endured seeing the massacre of his own children and that of thousands of his followers, Ibrahim Zakzaky, also known as the «Nigerian Gandhi», was put on trial in 2018 by the authorities of Nigeria, under false and unfounded accusations.
In this massacre, known as the Zaria Massacre, the Sheikh lost an eye and the mobility of an arm, after being shot by the Nigerian army, as detailed by IHRC reports based on eyewitnesses: «On the morning of the Saturday 12 December 2015, scores of soldiers gathered outside the mosque in Zaria, hours before a religious commemoration was held. Around 12 p.m. they opened fire. Unarmed civilians who tried to escape, including children, were shot dead. 12 hours later, now with added reinforcements, they called on people that were inside the center, said to be hundreds, to leave with their hands up. When they did so, they were shot on the spot.»
Human Rights Watch says «a 14-year-old girl attending a math class inside the center was shot while leaving with other children. Around 5.30 a.m. on Sunday, about 30 hours after the start of the confrontation , the army threw grenades into the mosque and then stormed inside, killing many. Meanwhile, around 10 p.m. on Saturday, another army contingent advanced into Gyellesu neighborhood, to the residence of the Leader Zakzaky. The troops encountered human shields around Zakyzaky’s house, formed by his followers, who feared he would be killed.»
Suhaila Zakzaky, one of her surviving daughters, tells what she lived from inside the house when the family was besieged: «People who came to our house from all over the country, raised sandbags and parked their cars in front of our house so that (security forces) could not enter.» Reports say that the army fired indiscriminately, mowing down those who went out to help the injured, through the night and into the morning. In defense, people threw stones and wielded sticks, but too little avail. More than a thousand of his followers were shot dead, burned alive and buried in mass graves, totaling 548 men, 297 women and 297 children.
Since he was taken away into detention 4 years ago, Zakzaky suffered several serious strokes and signs of poisoning. Similarly, his wife Zeenah Zakzaky, who also remains detained, suffers from high blood pressure and difficulty walking, due to a bullet trapped near his spine. Despite this, the same Kaduna court that ordered his release two years ago, now decided to move the couple from a house with a police guard to a state prison.
Before these unfortunate events, we ask ourselves:
What is happening in Nigeria?
Where are the ddhh of the Nigerians?
Are these things not oppression?
Are these acts not violations of human rights?
Who is behind of this impunity?
As one of Sheikh Zakzaky’s defense lawyers, Dr. Massoud Shadjareh, assures: «Putting a man in such poor health in prison is effectively signing his death sentence.»
At four years since the Zaria Massacre, we deplore the scandalous impunity of the Buhari government, wich, not only is killing innocent people in towns and cities with their bombs and weapons, but also claims to «fight terrorism».
We ask international organizations, journalists, academics, social leaders and freedom seekers around the world to condemn these heinous acts and demand justice for Sheikh Zakzaky and for the victims of the Zaria Massacre.