Amnesty International tasks Nigerian authorities to investigate disappearance of Shiites

Amnesty International tasks Nigerian authorities to investigate disappearance of Shiites

- Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) popularly known as Shiites have not given up in their fight to secure the release of their leader

- Shiites leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky has been in the custody of the federal government for months

- Amnesty International has waded into the ordeal of El-Zakzaky's followers

Amnesty International on Wednesday, August 30 called on Nigerian authorities to investigate unexplained disappearances of members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).

Members of IMN have been at loggerheads with Nigerian authorities over the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

The pro-Iranian Shiite religious movement had made claims that 600 of its members are missing.

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“Amnesty International is calling on the Nigerian authorities to investigate all cases of enforced disappearances and bring all those suspected of criminal responsibility to justice.

“According to figures provided by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), at least 600 of their members’ whereabouts is not known,” the group said in a statement sent to journalists.

More than 350 IMN followers, led by Zakzaky, were killed in clashes with the military in Zaria, Kaduna state in December 2015.

Zakzaky’s supporters allegedly refused to allow the chief of army staff’s convoy to pass through the town, sparking violence.

Zakzaky, who was shot and injured leaving has since been imprisoned for alleged incitement and subversion.

Amnesty International said hundreds of other civilians had disappeared in the North-east region during Boko Haram’s brutal eight-year insurgency.

“Many more are being held illegally in secret. The families of the victims of enforced disappearance have already waited too long for answers.

“They deserve justice, truth and reparation now,” the statement concluded.

Meanwhile, the group has called on the federal government to release their leader or be ready to kill all of them.

Members of the group recently blocked all the major highways in Kaduna metropolis, chanting, “Free El-Zakzaky, we demand justice, we are Nigerians” “release El-zakzaky or kill us all.”

Speaking on behalf of the Shiites at the procession, Nuhu Mafara, said they were out to demand the unconditional release of their leader who has been in detention for 612 days.

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