Nigeria massacre leaves hundreds dead
(VANCOUVER BC - DECEMBER 23, 2015) The undersigned Muslim communities of the Lower Mainland, along with all people of conscience, condemn the attack on a peaceful religious gathering of Muslims in Zaria, a city in northern Nigeria on December 12 & 13, and the subsequent arrest of the leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria, a prominent local Muslim leader Sheikh Ebrahim El-Zakzaky. The exact death toll is yet to be clarified but up to 500-1000 casualties are being reported by various media outlets:
Sources: CTV, ABC, CNN, BBC
In addition to attacking unarmed civilians, including women and children who were attending the gathering, the Nigerian Army also laid siege to the the private residence of Sheikh El-Zakzaky and an adjacent center of worship. The siege lasted 24 hours and is a blatant disregard for human life and a complete contradiction to their duty to Nigerian citizens. This attack comes only days after a bomb targeted a procession by known terrorist outfit, Boko Haram, a group which is opposed by both the Nigerian government and the Islamic Movement. In July 2014, members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria were on an annual procession in Zaria when the army opened fire and amongst those who were shot dead were three of Sheikh El-Zakzaky' sons.
The intimidation of Muslims on any basis, let alone on sectarian grounds is unacceptable and is indeed in violation of international human rights laws. This ongoing oppression of individuals, must not be tolerated by the Nigerian Government which claims to stand for justice.
We call upon the Nigerian Government, the United Nations and the International community to intervene to carry out an investigation into these killings, seek redress for the victims and their family members and let the culprits' face the full force of the law. In addition, we call upon the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately release Sheikh Ebrahim El-Zakzaky and others who have been held in captivity incommunicado and prevent further violence against them. For more information, please contact Mr. Mahmood Jaffer at 604-786-2545 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shia Muslim Community of BC
Al-Kawther Association of BC
Al Mustafa Academy Society
Aza e Hussain Association of BC
Etrat Educational Institute Society
Lebanese Shia Community Society OF BC
Shia Muslim Society SFU
Thaqalayn Muslim Association of UBC