Amnesty International Nigeria says three members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) have allegedly died in police custody.
The IMN members said to have died were reportedly arrested on July 22 during a protest.
Members of IMN also known as Shi’ites have been demanding for the release of Ibraheem el-Zakzaky, their leader, through protest marches which are usually met with “brutality” from security agencies.
In a statement on Monday, Osai Ojigho, director of Amnesty International Nigeria, said the IMN members died after they were denied medical attention at a Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) detention facility in Abuja. She added that there should be a probe into the incident.
Ojigho said there are also 15 IMN members who have “various life-threatening gunshot wounds to their legs, stomach and hips.”
“We have information confirming that three protesters died of gunshot wounds at a detention facility in Abuja after being denied medical treatment. Their deaths while in police custody sends a chilling message about the authorities’ use of lethal force to stifle dissent and their contempt for people’s right to access medical care,” Ojigho said.
“The protesters who are being held at the SARS detention facility are in critical condition and need immediate access to medical care.
“Any denial of such access is a violation of their human rights. The Nigerian authorities must not allow more people to die in police custody before they act.
“A credible source told Amnesty International that he saw at least 15 protesters with various life-threatening gunshot wounds to their legs, stomach and hips, some of them unable to walk, in detention.
“Among the injured detainees are two minors and two women held in the same cell.”
According to her, there is no reason for the police to fire live rounds during protests.
“The Nigerian police must immediately and unconditionally release all detained IMN members who have not been charged with a recognizable offence and brought before a competent civilian judicial authority,” she said.
“Amnesty International is also calling for an independent and impartial inquiry into the 22 July protest especially the killing of 11 protesters, Deputy Commissioner of Police Usman Umar and Channels TV reporter, Precious Owolabi.”
Efforts to reach Frank MBA, police spokesman, on the allegation were not successful.