Amnesty International, a human rights organisation, has accused the federal government of “increasingly depriving” members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) of their rights to freedom of association.
The IMN is led by Ibrahim El-Zakzaky who has been in detention since 2015.
The federal government had officially proscribed the activities of the group after a federal high court declared it a terrorist organisation.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the human rights organisation said IMN’s proscription is a “deliberate attempt to divert attention from crucial issues” like ensuring justice for the killing of over 350 members of the group in December 2015.
It also alleged that the federal government’s “nonchalant attitude” to investigate and ensure justice in incidences concerning IMN shows its resolve to deprive them of their rights.
“The proscription of IMN is a deliberate attempt to divert attention from crucial issues including; justice for the massacre of over 350 in Zaria in Dec. 2015 as well many other IMN supporters killed by security agencies over the years,” it said.
“Many members of IMN have been missing since 2015; their families and relatives are yet to know their fate and their search for justice has been largely ignored by Nigerian authorities.
“Despite federal high court order of Dec. 2016 Nigerian authorities have continued to keep Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky in unlawful detention and his bail application perpetually delayed, despite repeated concerns over the deterioration of his health.
“The fact that authorities have not indicated any attempt to investigate and ensure justice in all incidences involving IMN clearly shows a government resolve to deprive them of their fundamental human rights.
“We insist that Nigerian authorities ensure justice in all cases involving all Nigerians, including IMN.”
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