ABUJA, Nigeria: The Nigerian military has been condemned by
numerous human rights organizations and foreign countries for
massacring Shiite Muslims in Zaria this past weekend. Grand Maraje
Uzzam in Najaf, Iranian Supreme leader Ayatullah Khamenei,
Pakistan's shiite leader Agha Hamid al-Moosavi, Hizbollah chief
Hassan Nasrallah have also condemned terrorism against peaceful
citizens of Nigeria. Worldwide protests are being held to condemn
brutal act of Nigerian Army.
The Nigerian military has claimed that their troops were merely
trying to protect Chief of Army Staff Tukur Buratai from
However, the Shiite group the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN)
stated that their members were conducting a peaceful protest when
they were fired on by Nigerian troops.
The number of dead has also been a highly contested topic. IMN
claimed that more than 800 of its members were slaughtered by
On Monday, Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) issued a press
release condemning the massacre of Shiites in Zaria, as well as the
shooting of the leader of the IMN, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
Amnesty International called for an investigation into the killing
“An impartial investigation is urgently needed into these killings.
Anyone responsible for unlawful killings should be brought to
justice,” the Director of Amnesty International, Nigeria, M.K.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) confirmed it would be
organizing a special panel to investigate the massacre. The panel is
made up of top management staff in legal, investigations and
monitoring departments is headed by a lawyer, Mr. Tony Ojukwu, who
is the Director, Monitoring Department of the commission.
The US Embassy in Abuja issued a statement on Wednesday that echoed
calls for an investigatory probe.
“The United States calls on the Government of Nigeria to quickly,
credibly, and transparently investigate these events in Zaria and
hold to account any individuals found to have committed crimes,” the
statement read in part.
Iran has strongly condemned the massacre. After learning about the
attack the Nigerian envoy to Iran was immediately recalled to the
offices of the Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif.