Shiites US tells Buhari to release El-Zakzaky, punish guilty soldiers

The US made the call via a statement released by Department Spokesperson of the Bureau of Public Affairs, John Kirby.

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Ibraheem El Zakzaky play

Ibraheem El Zakzaky

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The United States has urged the Nigerian government to follow the recommendations of a report released on the clash between the Nigerian Army and a group of Shiites in December 2015.

348 people were reported to have died in the clash which occurred in Zaria, Kaduna State.

The US made the call via a statement released by Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson of the Bureau of Public Affairs, John Kirby.

The statement reads:

“On December 5th, the Kaduna state government in Nigeria issued a long-awaited white paper on clashes last year that resulted in the deaths of a reported 348 civilians and one soldier.”

“We fully agree with the white paper’s recommendation that members of the military who were involved in the unlawful killing of civilians must be held accountable and punished appropriately.

“As the one-year anniversary of this tragic event approaches, we call on the federal government to be diligent, transparent, and expeditious in following through on this recommendation.

“We also encourage the federal government to act on the Abuja high court’s decision on December 2 that IMN leader Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife should be released from prison within 45 days, as they have been held without charge since the events of last December.

“As the white paper notes, the right to freedom of worship is a cherished constitutional right in Nigeria that must be protected. We encourage the people and the government of Nigeria to support these fundamental principles, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or region.”

ALSO READ: Kaduna Governor declares Shiite sect illegal

The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Nigerian government to release Shiite leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife and pay them N50 million as compensation.

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