US concerned about Shia deaths in Northern Nigeria

The November 14th killings of members of the Shia Islamic Movement of Nigeria in Kano State, has elicited the reaction of the US Government. In a recent statement released by the US Department of State, the United States calls for calm and restraint on all sides, a reduction of tensions, and greater communication between Shia citizens and government authorities.

The US is worried about accountability and disproportionate response by the Nigerian Government and the Nigerian Police Force during the peaceful protest march by the Shia group. The statement further mentioned that members of the Shia community, like other religious communities, have the right to assemble, peacefully express their religious beliefs, and mark their celebrations. We call on the Nigerian government to protect and defend these rights. It is also incumbent on members of the IMN and all Nigerian citizens to respect the rule of law and cooperate with the police as they attempt to maintain public order.

We continue to urge the government to ensure accountability for the deaths of more than 300 IMN members during December 15, 2015 clashes between the IMN and security forces in Zaria, Kaduna State. We also call on the Nigerian government to conduct a transparent investigation of the latest incidents and bring to account anyone responsible for violating the law.

source: U.S. State Department

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