SHAFAQNA– Islamic Human Rights Commission says it has received news from reliable sources inside Nigeria that Nigerian authorities are seeking to prevent and disrupt the Ashura ceremony, which will be held on Thursday, September 10.
The London-based group has found that the Nigerian government is going to declare a ban on Ashura and has prepared arrest warrants for the organizers of Ashura processions and march.
The information comes days after the United Nations also criticized Nigerian security forces for escalating their bloody crackdown on the Shia members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria. The UN made its argument based on a directive issued by the West African country’s General Police Inspector who ordered forces to dismantle IMN structures and arrest its leaders who are busy organizing Muharram ceremonies.
The UN stated that Nigeria is conducting systematic persecution of the Shia Muslims and is raising violence while protecting the lack of accountability for the perpetrators.
The UN special rapporteur on extra-judicial killings Agnes Callamard has likened the situation in Nigeria to a “pressure cooker” warning that the continuation of violations and the recent directive would set a dangerous precedent for the exercise of the right to religious freedoms.
The IHRC Chair, Masoud Shadjareh, has expressed hope that the timely UN report will halt the dangerous escalation of violence and prevent injustice against Shia Muslims.
Meanehile, on the ground in the capital Abuja, daily peaceful #FreeZakzaky rallies by the IMN embers continue, as protesters insist for the immediate and unconditional release of Shia scholar and IMN leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife. The Sheikh and his wife have been in detention since the 2015 army’s massacre in Zaria where hundreds of Shia Muslims were killed and more injured.
The IMN blames the government of President Mohamadu Buhari and the army of joining hands with Salafi, Wahhabi groups to suppress the Shia Nigerians. They allege Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman are footing the bill for halting Ashura processions in the country.
Source: IHRC, ZakzakyOffice
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