Abuja - The Centrum Initiative for Development and Fundamental Rights Advocacy (CEDRA) has petitioned the National Human Rights Commission to investigate the alleged killing of Shiite protesters in Zaria, Kaduna State.
According to Dr John Danfulani, Chairman of the group, on Saturday, members of the Shiite sect embarked on their annual international procession.
The rite was part of their last Friday of month of Ramadan activities that was declared in the 80s by the spiritual leader of the Iranian Islamic Revolution Ayyatolah Khomeini.
Here in the Nigeria, the sect has been observing tradition for the past 32 years in many cities. Most of these processions went without clashes with either the law enforcement officers or public.
"This year's procession ended with incidences of shooting of Shiite members in Zaria. Their leader Malam El-zakkaky lost three of his children and other members," said Danfulani.
"Till this moment, corpses of two of his sons and those of his members have not been given to them for burial. And they are yet to have access to the wounded in the hospital," part of the petition read.
According to the group, the right to peaceful protest in support or against local or international issues was constitutionally guaranteed and supported by many international protocols.
The only time such rights were lightly tempered with is in war with other countries and emergency rule.
"We therefore condemn in strongest terms the shooting and killing of peaceful protesters in Zaria on 26th July 2014 and call for a full investigation of the Zaria Killing by bodies charged with monitoring and reporting of human rights violations."
He meanwhile lauded sect leaders for exercising restraint amid the alleged violations.
"We want to use this opportunity to thanks the leader of Shiite in Nigeria Malam El-Zakkaky for his restrain and calm disposition to the great loss of his sons and members.
"We will walk with him and his organisation in their quest to seek for justice on this QUDS procession incidence. And we pray to God to forgive the souls of those killed and grant them Aljana."
- CAJ News