Jude Johnson   The Amnesty International (AI)  has asked the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to give account of the 600 members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria popularly acknowledged and known as Shiites Islamic Sect. AI Nigeria in a statement on Thursday by the Director, Ms. Osai Ojigho, said the whereabouts of at least…
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Jude Johnson

The Amnesty International (AI)  has asked the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to give account of the 600 members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria popularly acknowledged and known as Shiites Islamic Sect.

AI Nigeria in a statement on Thursday by the Director, Ms. Osai Ojigho, said the whereabouts of at least 600 members of IMN has been unknown since their arrest in 2015.

To this end, the global rights group  accused Nigeria’s government of carrying out unlawful arrests and practicing “enforced disappearance,” calling on Abuja to clarify the fate of hundreds of Shia activists taken into custody.

“The Nigerian government has used enforced disappearance as a longstanding tactic to silence critics and instill fear in civilian populations. Enforced disappearance is an instrument of intimidation that grossly violates human rights. It is unacceptable and must stop.”

“In some cases, families live with the pain of not knowing whether their loved ones are alive or dead,” Ojigho stated.

She said the government had kept some detainees incommunicado for nine years or more, without giving them access to their families or lawyers, and others have continued to languish in prisons despite court orders for their release.

Ojigho called on the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to “do the right thing” and either release the prisoners or charge them with a crime.

She also blasted the government for using enforced disappearance against people who were already faced with the threat of military operations and armed terror groups such as Boko Haram.

Among the detainees, there is IMN leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, who was illegally detained by government forces in a raid by the Nigerian army on his residence in the northern town of Zaria in December 2015.

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Source:Global Sentinel