Amnesty International (AI) Nigeria yesterday remembered the slain members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), fours years after the incident in Zaria.
The sect members had clashed with soldiers following their blockade of Chief of Army Staff and his convoy who were on their way to an official event on the fateful day.
In a series of tweets on Saturday, AI lamented that “four years after the mass murder of over 350 supporters of IMN in Zaria not a single person has been brought to justice by Nigerian authorities.
“In fact, more than 150 more IMN members were subsequently killed in Kaduna, Jos, Bauchi Sokoto, Funtua and Abuja.”
According to the organisation, one Fatima, whose husband and six sons were killed in Gyallesu, told Amnesty International that her sons had received non-life-threatening gunshot wounds on 13 December 2015 but they were subsequently deliberately killed by soldiers, while incapacitated.
“On 13 December 2015, there were lots of injured people in several rooms in Husainiyyah.
“There were dead bodies in a room and also in the courtyard.
“Around 12-1 pm soldiers threw grenades inside the compound that was full of women and children.”
AI further alleged that after soldiers killed over 350 in between 12-14 December 2015, those killed were secretly buried in mass graves in the days after the incidents.
“Between 12-14 December 2015 in Zaria, several women and girls told Amnesty International that when they arrested them, the soldiers forcibly removed their headscarves, a particularly distressing treatment for religiously conservative women, and beat them and insulted them.
“Apart from the over 350; men, women and children Nigerian army killed between 12-14 December 2015 in Zaria, dozens were left with life long injuries and disabilities.
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“All available information, including consistent accounts from witnesses and survivors from the confrontations at the two locations investigated by Amnesty International, indicates that the military used unlawful and excessive force against IMN supporters, killing hundreds.
“Senior medical personnel at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Teaching Hospital in Zaria told Amnesty International that in this two-day period the hospital was “overwhelmed” by the number of casualties received and that the military requisitioned areas around the hospital morgue.
“Amnesty International investigated the incidents which took place between 12 and 14 December at two locations in Zaria, around the Hussainiya and in Gyallesu neighbourhood, where most of the killings took place.
“Four months after the massacre in Zaria; Kaduna State authorities admitted on 11 April 2016 that they had secretly buried the bodies of 347 people in a mass grave 2-days after the massacre.
“The exact number of those killed is not known but is believed to be higher.”
Leader of IMN, Sheikh Ibrahim el-Zakzaky and his wife have been held in detention since then despite his being granted bail by courts.