US: US government expresses concern over deaths in Kano clashes

New York, US (PANA) - The US government said it is deeply concerned by the deaths of dozens of Nigerians during clashes between individuals participating in a Shia procession and the Nigerian Police Force in north-west Kano State on 14 November, a US State Department statement said on Friday.

The statement, made available to PANA in New York, noted that, "while the matter is still under investigation, we are troubled by the apparent disproportionate response by the police."

"This is the latest in a series of violent incidents between security forces and members of the Shia Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), some of which have resulted in deaths, destruction of property, and the arbitrary detention of IMN members," it stated.

The US stressed the need for calm and restraint on all sides, a reduction of tensions, and greater communication between Shia citizens and government authorities.

"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," the statement said.

The US also called on the Nigerian government to conduct a transparent investigation of the latest incidents and bring to account anyone responsible for violating the law.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 18Nov2016

18 نوفمبر 2016 15:15:02

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