Intellectuals, rights groups denounce killings in Nigeria

Ayatollah Seyyed Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of Imam Khomeini has strongly denounced the killings of Shia Muslims in Nigeria.

ID: 42457 | Date: 2015/12/18

The grandson of Imam Khomeini has said in a recent message that the enemies were scared and fearful of the right logic adopted by Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky and his efforts of preaching which resulted in expansion of the truthful and peaceful religion of Shia across Nigeria.

Ayatollah Seyyed Hassan voiced concerns in a message released following the detention Nigerian Shia leader Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky in the wake of a deadly attack on Shia Muslims in the northern city of Zaria.

The grandson of the founder of the Islamic Republic has also expressed his serious concerns over the safety and welfare of Nigerian Shia leader.

Seyyed Hassan Khomeini also praised the spirit of the Shia Muslims in Nigeria and their devotion towards the ideals of Imam Khomeini. 

Nigerian forces raided the house of Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, on Sunday and arrested him after reportedly killing several individuals attempting to protect him, including one of the movement’s senior leaders and its spokesman.

This is while a photo circulating on social media appears to show Zakzaky being seriously wounded.

The Britain-based Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) said on Wednesday that Nigerian military had secretly buried hundreds of bodies in mass graves after it stormed the house of top Nigerian Shia cleric Ibrahim al-Zakzaky.

According to media reports, dozens of people are believed to have been killed in the raid, but the IHRC has put the toll at over 1,000. 

The IHRC chairman, Massoud Shadjareh, has also confirmed that more than 1000 people were systematically killed in the Nigerian army’s brutal raid on Shia Muslims. 

“More than a thousand innocent unarmed people have been systemically killed for nothing whatsoever. The reality is that all of what these people have done is to challenge injustice,” Shadjareh said in a recent interview with Press TV. 

The fatalities came on December 13, when Nigerian forces raided the house of Sheikh Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, and arrested him after reportedly killing the individuals attempting to protect him. One of the movement’s senior leaders and its spokesman lost their lives during the imbroglio.

Reports said soldiers opened fire on the people attending a ceremony in Hussainiyyah Baqeeyatullah, a religious center in Zaria. The Shias had reportedly stopped the convoy of the Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai as al-Zakzaky was planning a speech in the religious center. 

The Nigerian government has come under strong criticisms from international human rights groups and activists for violating religious and social freedoms, including attacks on peaceful Shia gatherings.

The United States has also urged the Nigerian government to launch a credible and transparent probe. In Iran, protesters gathered in the front of the Nigerian Embassy in Tehran to condemn the army's bloody crackdown.

This is while Takfiri Boko Haram militants have also targeted Shia Muslims in Nigeria. More than 20 people were killed on November 27, when a bomb attack struck an annual religious procession in the northern state of Kano. Boko Haram terrorists later claimed responsibility.