Aug. 1, 2014
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has petitioned the federal government over the killing of Shiite Muslims who were marking Quds Day which is an annual event set aside to mark the Day of Palestine.
In a letter addressed to the President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council For Islamic Affairs and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhjai Abubakar Sa’ad, the organisation described the killing by Nigerian Soldiers who descended on the peaceful procession and mowed down thirty five unarmed Muslims in Zaria on Friday, 25th July as an unprecedented departure from all known norms in security circles and in clear breach of international best practices.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian Army opened fire on a peaceful procession of the Shiite Muslim on the last Friday of Ramadan killing about 11 members of the group including the sons of their leader, Shiekh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
The figure later rose to 35, when according to El-Zakzaky, the army returned the following morning to shoot some others, while those who were arrested and taken to the army barracks, amongst whom were his two sons were shot and killed extra judiciously.
The letter which was signed by its Director and Secreatry, Professor Ishaq Akintola and Alhaji Tijani Shehu respectively said this brutal action must be registered as a crime against humanity in view of the fact that the use of street protests as a veritable means of ventilating strong opinion on public issue is not a new phenomenon and it is respected the world over.
“In compliance with the President-General’s constant admonition on the need for adopting the dialogue option when we are wronged, we of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) deem it necessary to call your attention to this unprovoked aggression with the hope that Your Eminence will bring it to the attention of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.”
“As a Muslim human rights organization, we are deeply concerned about Allah-given and fundamental human rights of the dead and injured victims which stand violated by the perpetrators. We therefore demand the following:”
1. thorough investigation of the massacre and due punishment for the perpetrators;
2. adequate compensation for the injured and families of the dead victims of this unwarranted military assault and
3. unreserved apology for the military’s high-handedness.
The organization reminded the Sultan of Sokoto “that a similar extra-judicial killing by the same military led the nation to where it is today. For the war against Boko Haram to be jointly fought and won and for Nigerian Muslims not to begin to see themselves as endangered species being deliberately targeted by the Nigerian military, the Federal Government must ensure that the above three steps are taken.”