The Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) popularly referred to as Shi’ites have vowed to continue the protest for the release of their leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife irrespective of death recorded.
While claiming that some of their members arrested by the police have died while in custody after they staged a protest at a mosque in Zone 3, Abuja, one of the leaders of the movement, Abdullahi Musa, in an interview with Tribune, said the protest would commence immediately after Jummat prayer.
He added that their members had been admonished not to provoke security personnel, but should instead focus on the protest with their placards.
“Reliable and verifiable information reaching us revealed that Nigeria Police have detained Free Zakzaky protesters, including female and underage, since Monday 22 July, 2019 with life-threatening injuries and denied them access to food, medication and family members.
“So far, three people have died in police detention due to lack of medical attention. The protesters were supposed to be taken to court in less than 24 hours, but they are spending the whole week in detention,” Musa said.
It could be recalled that on Monday 22 July 2019 the policemen and protesting Shi’ites clashed during a protest at Federal Secretariat, Abuja which led to loss of lives.
“During and after the protest, the police arrested more than 50 people including Free Zakzaky protesters and passers-by. Some of the protesters were injured by the police and returned to their family with injuries. Their respective families took them to University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada for treatment, but police attacked the hospital and arrested the injured people while receiving treatment at the hospital and detained them without medical treatment.”
According to him, out of the people arrested, more than 20 people had serious injuries and the police detained them at Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) detention centre with life-threatening injuries without medical attention.
“As a result of lack of access to medical attention, Muhammad Baqir, Muhammad Jaafar and Hassan Askari that were arrested at the hospital died on Wednesday 24 July, 2019 in the SARS detention centre.
“Likewise, on the same Wednesday, 24 July, 2019 the police arrested another Free Zakzaky protester at Wuse Market, Abuja and tortured him with acid and fire. They later dropped him by road side close to Wuse Market.
“It is quite inhuman for the Nigeria Police to arrest patient on hospital bed and detain injured people without medical attention. The family of the protesters made several attempts to provide medical treatment for them, but the police rejected the request. Obviously, the rights of the protesters have been violated and the lives of those that are still alive in SARS are in danger”.