The police had earlier today cracked-down on the Shiites demanding the
freedom of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, killing six, with many left
Reacting to the attack on the protesters, Seun Bakare, Programme Manager
at Amnesty International Nigeria, described the police action as
“reckless use of lethal force” while calling on the police to exercise
restraint in the use of force against protesters.
Bakare said, “This new crackdown is part of a shocking pattern in which
security forces have used live ammunition to disperse IMN supporters who
are simply exercising their freedom of expression.
“Images of IMN supporters being driven from the streets of Abuja with
gunfire demonstrates once again the Nigerian authorities’ resolve to use
lethal force rather than the rule of law in addressing the grievances of
“The police must exercise restraint at all times and use force only when
Amnesty urged the Nigerian government to promptly investigate in an
“independent and impartial manner”, the attacks on the Shiites
protesters and immediately begin the process to bring all those
suspected of criminal responsibility to face fair trials.
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) is a Shi’a religious and political
organization whose leader, Ibraheem Yaqub El-Zakzaky, has been a
proponent of Shi’a Islam in Nigeria since the 1980s. His detention was
described by a federal court in December 2016 as unlawful and
An investigation by Amnesty International in October 2018 showed that
the use of excessive force by soldiers and police led to the killing of
at least 45 supporters of the IMN over two days. Between 12 and 14
December 2015, according to Amnesty International’s research, more than
350 IMN members were killed by security forces in Zaria, Kaduna State.