Reflection: Joint written statement submitted by the Agence pour les droits de l’homme, the Islamic Human Rights Commission, non-governmental organizations in special consultative status


Human Rights Council

Thirty-sixth session

11-29 September 2017

Agenda item 4: Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention.

The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31. —————————————————–

[20 September 2017]

United Nations A/HRC/36/NGO/162 General Assembly

Distr.: General 26 September 2017

Announcement of concern from Human Rights Defenders about the lack of consideration of Nigeria religious minority rights.

As reported earlier, on December 12, 2015 the Nigerian army attacked the center of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria in the city of Zaria and killed hundreds of people. Despite the initial reactions by the Human Rights Defenders and also by numerous other reports on the scale of this crime, we have not seen any serious action by the United Nations in this regard and the Nigerian government takes it as tacit approval for the continued violent crackdown with impunity on this religious minority.

When terrorists attacked Paris, we were all united and were ready to send battleships and fighters in defense of the people in Paris. On the other hand, when religious minority group were brutally attacked by agents of Nigeria we remain silent about the heinous crime of Nigeria. What is the difference between African black people and French people?

Close to a thousand members of Nigerian Shia minority group along with the leader’s family members were killed and buried in mass graves in the shadow of deadly silence of those who claim to defend Human Rights. The Western media have also severely censored this obvious crime against humanity by refusing to cover the horrific incident!

Undoubtedly, what happened in Nigeria is a clear example of a crime against humanity committed by a state claiming to be a democracy.

The obnoxious attacks on Shia sites including the house of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky in Zaria, Kaduna state, Nigeria in December 2015 was not the first of such attacks and thus far, it was certainly not to be the last, since such crimes occur in the shadow of silence and passivity of the international and human rights communities.

The Human Rights Agency asks the Presidency of the Human Rights Council to begin an independent investigation into the situation of Nigeria’s Shia minority and listen closely to the voices of the victims’ families. The minority religious group has always lived under oppression and persecution and since their mass slaughter in December 2015; they have had to endure a much greater persecution to the extent that they are attacked during even the most basic religious rites and ceremonies by the Nigerian military.

The right to freedom of peaceful assembly of the Nigeria religious minority is still violated by the Nigerian military, in gross violation of Articles 18, 19, and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Articles 18, 19 and 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 10 of the African Charter of Human Rights, which guarantees them these rights.

The following NGOs without consultative status, also share the views expressed in the statement:

* Strategic Empowerment and Mediation Agency, Opposite Emab Cabel, Textile Road Kaduna, Kaduna State, Nigeria

* Centrum Initiative For Development And Fundamental Rights Advocacy (CEDRA), SF7 ZABURA PLAZA UNGWAN RIMI KADUNA NIGERIA

* Islamic Initiative for Human Rights Protection, Kaduna, Nigeria (IIHRP)

* Imam Mahdi Foundation For Global Peace, Abuja, Nigeria.

* Shuhada Foundation, Zaria, Kaduna State

* Islamic Medical Association Initiative (ISMA), Zaria, Kaduna State.

* Christian- Muslim Alternative to Conflict

* Al-Wahdal Islamiyya Foundation, Kaduna

* Socio Economic and Accountability Rights Project.

* National Tranquility Movement (NTM)

* International Centre for Sexual Health Empowerment & Development (ICSHED)

© FreeZakzaky Campaign Committee, October 2017

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