0440 GMT July 20, 2018
“IHRC strongly condemns the killings today by armed forces of two civilians following a peaceful procession in the northern city of Kano,” it said in a statement, IRNA reported.
The victims, a man and a woman, were among mourners who had gathered to begin a trek to mark the 40th day remembrance (known as Arbaeen in Arabic) of the anniversary of the martyrdom of the Prophet Muhammad's grandson Hussein n in 680 CE. The dead woman has been named as Hussaina Dauda Na Lado, a student of engineering at Bayero University in Kano, the non-governmental organization (NGO) said.
It quoted eye-witnesses saying police attacked mourners without warning as they dispersed at the end of Sunday's leg of the trek which is due to culminate in a huge rally in Zaria in a few days' time and said the attack was totally unprovoked.
“There have been attacks on the march, organized by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria in previous years by armed police as well as gang’s thoughts to be allowed to conduct their violence with impunity by the authorities. After today's shootings, a leading member of the IMN, Dr. Sunusi AbdulQadir, called on the marchers to go home just as peacefully as they came and return to resume the trek on Monday morning.”
The Islamic Movement of Nigeria, led by Sheikh Ibrahim el-Zakzaky, has been the subject of a government witch-hunt since at least 2014 with its supporters coming under repeated attack. The worst of these was a savage assault on the group in Zaria in December 2015 in which at least 1000 people, including three of Zakzaky's sons, were killed and many properties and religious spaces belonging to the IMN and its followers destroyed, IHRC said.
Nobody has ever been brought to justice for any of the atrocities, read the statement.
In March 2016, IHRC petitioned the International Criminal Court to open a preliminary inquiry into the December 2015 massacre of IMN members.