Banned Nigerian Shi'ite group suspends street protests


  • World
  • Thursday, 01 Aug 2019

KADUNA, Nigeria (Reuters) - A banned Nigerian Shi'ite Muslim group on Wednesday said it had suspended a series of protests calling for the release of its detained leader and will temporarily seek other avenues to secure his release.

Nigeria banned the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) this week and outlawed its demonstrations, after a week of protests in which the group said at least 20 of its members were killed in crackdowns by police. Police gave no death toll.

The group's leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky, has been held since 2015 when government forces killed around 350 people in a storming of its compound and a nearby mosque.

"The Islamic Movement in Nigeria do hereby announce to the general public and the international community that it has temporarily suspended its Free Zakzaky street protests to allow for some new openings into the resolution of the problems," it said in a statement on Wednesday.

The government says IMN incites violence, and a court has given the authorities permission to label it a terrorist organisation. IMN denies it is violent, and says Zakzaky should be released in line with a December 2016 court order.

IMN is the largest Shi'ite organisation in a country where around half of the population is Muslim, overwhelmingly Sunni.

Nigeria considers some Islamist movements to be a security threat after a decade combating the insurgency by Sunni Muslim militant group Boko Haram in which 30,000 people have been killed. The death of Boko Haram's leader in custody was one of the events that set that group on a violent path.

"We sincerely hope an amicable way could be found to solve the crises surrounding the illegal detention of our leader for almost four years now," said IMN.

On Monday a judge adjourned a bail hearing for Zakzaky until Aug. 5.

(Reporting by Garba Muhammad; Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Peter Graff)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

Next In World

Greta Thunberg's generation most likely to believe climate change is a crisis - poll
Japan PM apologises after lawmakers' night club outings
Vietnam's Communist Party chief nominated for re-election: state media
Cambodia's cash-strapped cyclo drivers treated to pedal-in movie
Kellyanne Conway accused of posting topless photo of her 16-year-old daughter on Twitter
Widespread Internet outages hit northeast US
Global COVID-19 cases surpass 100 million as nations tackle vaccine shortages
Mexican president felt unwell before commercial flight, took COVID-19 test later - spokesman
Instagram is the go-to tool for US restaurants in the pandemic
UK data watchdog says millions have stopped using WhatsApp

Stories You'll Enjoy


-->