The Sisters Forum, an umbrella body for female members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (Shi’ite), have alleged that some female members of the sect, were tortured and raped before they were killed by the soldiers, during the group’s clash with the Army in Zaria, Kaduna state.
Addressing a news conference in Kaduna, the Public Relations Officer of the forum, Jamila Awwal, also called for the unconditional release of the Shi’ite leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, from detention.
Jamila said survivors confirmed that female members were raped before being killed while survivors were also tortured after their arrest.
She said soldiers even removed their hijab which she said was a serious violation of Islamic rights by the Nigerian army.
She alleged further that those who were wounded were denied access to medical attention and those who were killed were buried in a mass grave by the army.
“All these were followed by propaganda by the government and the army to paint the movement and its leader in bad light thereby instigating sectarian sentiment and creating tension in the country,” Awwal said.
“The authorities have remained insensitive about our plight without showing any concern as they unjustly continue to keep our revered leader, El-Zakzaky and members in various military facilities and prisons…
“Although we are aware that it is a deliberate attempt to intimidate and instigate us into mob action, we will never resort into anything outside the normal legal process of seeking redress.”
She said the women were resolved in their demand for the unconditional release of their leader, husbands and children from the government.
“We call for immediate and unconditional release of our revered leader, his Eminence Sheikh El-Zakzaky and his wife. We call for the release of our husbands and children that are in illegal detention facilities across the northen states,” she said.
“We demand that corpses of our members killed by the army be released to us with immediate effect for burials according to Islamic rights.”
Audio and video recordings of the alleged attack by the military at the Huissaniya Headquarters of the movement and the residence of Zakzaky at Gyallesu, all in Zaria, were distributed to journalists after the press conference.