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Al-Mizan Newspaper Editorial- A Call for Action: Release Our Brothers Now!

By Ibrahim Usman
Al-Mizan, a Hausa language weekly newspaper under the stable of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria under the guardianship of His Eminence, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H), has published an editorial demanding for the immediate and unconditional release of Brothers Haruna Abbas Ali and Ibrahim Hussain 

illegally arrested and detained without trial by the Nigerian Secret Security Service (SSS)  for over a year now, despite a High Court summon for them to be presented for trial. Below is the excerpted translation of the editorial: On Saturday March 16, 2013, Brother Haruna Abbas Ali was whisked away at the Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano by the Nigerian security operatives while returning from a trip. Since his arrest eight over a year now, Haruna Abbas Ali has been under detention without trial; his family and relatives were not allowed to visit him. From the beginning it was not clear who actually arrested him, it was not until a team of the State Security Service (SSS) went to his house and conducted a search, that it became clear where he was. The attention of his lawyer had to be called to supervise the search. When they could find anything incriminating, they took with them his laptop computer, which they said was to assist them in investigation.

Since then, he has not been charged to court, and has not also been given bail. He is denied access to his family and well-wishers. In effort to enforce his fundamental human rights and liberty, a case was filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja where he is being detained. The court ruled that, the SSS present Haruna Abbas Ali before court, but they SSS refused to obey the court ruling.

Another related case is the case of Ibrahim Husain. He was arrested at his house in Kaduna by a combined team of the military and security in the dark hours of the night, which violated arrest procedure. Like his colleague Haruna Abbas Ali, the fundamental human right of Ibrahim Hussain has been infringed upon in the manner he was arrested and kept in custody for so long without trial.

Haruna Abbas Ali Ali and Ibrahim Hussain are Nigerian citizens with full rights and liberty to live amidst their families, and freely practice religion of their choice as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution.

It is very unfortunate that Nigeria that boasts of strict adherence to democratic principles can detain its citizens for over a year without trial or charge of any misdeed. This is contrary to the constitutional provision, and as well contradicts the president’s establishment of a national conference to a address grievances arising from domination, misappropriation and inhuman treatment of a section of the country for amicable resolution.

This unconstitutional action has clearly demonstrated the government’s demon action of doing with its citizens how it likes, without adherence to constitutional provision. It has also shown that Nigerian citizens have no right of being heard, or their rights being protected from internal and external aggression. It is also crystal clear that the Nigerian security is above the law; the judicial system has lost its judicial power in the face unconstitutional display by the security system.

We therefore unequivocally call on the Nigerian government under Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to as a matter of urgency, to unconditionally release our brothers, and all Nigerians detained without trial, from custody. To all, human rights movements and well meaning Nigerians, they should bear witness to the treatment of our brothers, Haruna Abbas Ali and Ibrahim Hussain, which is beyond comprehension.

To our brothers, use all the available resources at your disposal such the social media, to press on the government to release our brothers. This is in addition to prayers for Allah the Almighty to use His power and set them free