Nigeria: Again, Police Disperse Protesting Shiites in Abuja

Shiite crisis.

Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) who continued their protest in Abuja were dispersed on Wednesday.

The Shiites demand the released of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who, alongside his wife, has been held without trial since December 2015.

On Wednesday, they gathered at about 5:15 p.m. at the Berger roundabout in Abuja but were dispersed by police officers who used teargas and also shot into the air.

A member of the group, Abdullahi Musa, who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES said they had concluded their rally before the police officers appeared.

Mr. Musa also told PREMIUM TIMES that the IMN got information that the government was making plans to move Mr. El-Zakzaky and his detained wife away from Abuja.

"We were reliably informed that they want to take our leader away from Abuja to stop the protest from continuing here in Abuja. But what they do not know is that we will continue to protest in Abuja.

"We will not stop until they release our leader," Mr Musa said.

Mr. El-Zakzaky and his wife were detained after a clash ensued between the IMN members and the Nigerian Army in December, 2015 leading to the death of over 300 Shiites including women and Children.

A Federal High Court in Abuja had in December 2016 ordered the immediate release of Mr El-Zakzaky and his wife within 45 days.

The federal government refused to obey the court order and appealed the decision, days after the 45 days ultimatum expired.

The Shiites have in the past couple of weeks been carrying out repeated protests in Abuja to demand the release of Mr El-Zakzaki and his wife.

Hundreds of protesting Shiites have been arrested as the police forcefully disperse the protesters.

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