(WASHINGTON DC – DECEMBER 15, 2015) UMAA, along with all people of conscious, condemns the attack on a peaceful Shia gathering in Zaria, Nigeria and the subsequent arrest of Sheikh El-Zakzaky. The death toll is yet to be clarified but reports of up to 1000 casualties are being reported.
The Nigerian Army laid siege to the gathering, in addition to the private residence of Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, a prominent local Shiite leader and an adjacent Shia center of worship in a blatant disregard for human life and a complete contradiction to their duty to Nigerian citizens. The siege lasted 24 hours resulting in the deaths of unarmed civilians, including women and children. This attack comes only days after a bomb targeted a Shia procession by known terrorist outfit, Boko Haram.
Initial accounts stated that military forces killed Sheikh El-Zakzaky’s wife and son but those reports have not yet been confirmed. However, it has been confirmed that the military returned to Zaria after the massacre to demolish Sheikh El-Zakzay’s home, office and a Shia Muslim house of worship.
UMAA demands that President Buhari fulfills the post he was elected to and protects the people of Nigeria. He must answer for why the Nigerian Army engages in extrajudicial killing while the terrorist organization of Boko Haram continues its campaign unhindered. We demand that he frees Sheikh El-Zakzaky and all companions and that he make reparations for the property destroyed immediately.