Nigeria: Again Shiites Protest in Abuja

4 December 2018

Members of the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria on Tuesday engaged in protests to demand the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaki.

The Shiite members who were seen by PREMIUM TIMES around the Wuse market were shouting "free El-Zakzaki" as they headed towards the Berger bridge in Abuja.

The members, numbering over a hundred, including women were also seen carrying posters of Mr El-Zakzaki as they protested on the street, with onlookers watching the scene from a distance.

Mr El-Zakzaki was arrested in December, 2015, after a clash ensued between the sect and the Nigerian Army over right of way. A clampdown by the army on the protesters including late at night at their homes eventually led to the murder of over 300 Shiites who were secretly buried in a mass grave by the government. A soldier, Yakubu Dankaduna, also died in the clash, the army said.

Following his arrest, Mr El-Zakzaki was in detention without trial for over two years before he was arraigned by the Kaduna State government.

Since the 2015 incident, the sect has has continued protests to demand the release of its leader with many of such protests turning violent after clampdown by security forces.

On October 29, a bloody violence that erupted after Nigerian soldiers opened gunfire on Shiite protesters on the outskirts of Abuja left at least 21 members of the sect dead, a PREMIUM TIMES report revealed.

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