The Shia Islamic movement has accused Nigerian authorities of denying treatment to their wounded members after recent military clash.
Shia Islamic Movement Nigeria (IMN) said on Monday, that Nigerian Muslims injured in military raids earlier this month are alleged to be dying in detention as they are not allowed to get medical care.
Ibrahim Musa, the movement’s spokesman stated that two of its members died in detention on Sunday. He said at least 40 other wounded members – including founder Ibrahim Zakzaky – have also been denied medical treatment.
Human rights activists say Nigerian troops killed hundreds of Shia Muslims in raids in the northern town of Zaria over three days from December 12 to 14. The army says the killing resulted when it tried to shield Nigeria’s army chief whose convoy the IMN tried to block – a charge the Shia Muslims deny.
The actual number of people killed in the Zaria clash remains a dispute that cannot really be ascertained as the military had sealed off the area for days.
Musa also revealed that the police handed over the bodies of 12 members wounded in a protest and later detained others in Kaduna on December 15.
In response to this, Nigerian police say they acted to fend off attack on a police station and only fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.
According to a police spokesman:
We only repelled the sect who attempted to attack our station,” Zubairu Abdullahi, . “We only used tear gas to disperse them. Maybe in the process of dispersing them, they sustained injury, I don’t know.”
The police spokesman’s allegations come as Sultan Muhammad Saad Abubakar of Sokoto, who is guardian of Nigeria’s Muslims cautions the government against actions that could radicalize other Muslims in a country that has already lost more than 15,000 lives to the Boko Haram uprising.
In a statement, the sultan, who is president of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs said:
The history of the circumstances that engendered the outbreak of militant insurgency in the past – with cataclysmic consequences that Nigeria is yet to recover from – should not be allowed to repeat itself,”