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 Updated: December 16, 2015

Nigerian Military Faces Worldwide Condemnation Over Shiites Massacre

By: Jafer Ali


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 assassination.

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 Nigerian soldiers.

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 of Shiites.

“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. Ibrahim said.

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.


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