‘Tortured’ and shackled pupils freed from Nigerian Islamic school

‘Tortured’ and shackled pupils freed from Nigerian Islamic school




Men and boys are pictured after being rescued by police in Sabon Garin, in Daura local government area of Katsina state, Nigeria October 14, 2019

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Reuters

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Police said the pupils had been subjected to “inhuman and degrading treatments”

Police in northern Nigeria have freed 67 people who had been found shackled at an Islamic boarding school, officials say.

The pupils, between the ages of seven and 40, told police they had been tortured and abused.

Last month, more than 300 male students were freed from a similar boarding school in neighbouring Kaduna state.

Islamic boarding schools, known as Almajiris, are common across the mostly-Muslim north of Nigeria.

In a statement released on Monday, police said the boys and men were chained and subjected to “inhuman and degrading treatments”.

Two teachers as well as the owner of the school, which is in Daura, the birthplace of President Muhammadu Buhari, have been arrested.

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Reuters

Image caption

Some pupils at the school had endured years of abuse

More than 300 pupils were enrolled but most had escaped before the police arrived, the BBC’s Ishaq Khalid says.

The captives had been rioting and many had got out with their shackles still on, a Katsina police spokesperson told the BBC.

The school operated for decades as a place for Koranic instruction and worked with some pupils who were deemed to have behavioural problems.

There have been numerous reports of abuse at Islamic boarding schools across northern Nigeria, with students sometimes forced to spend their days begging on the streets.

President Buhari has previously condemned reports of abuse at similar institutions.

In September, when students were freed from the school in Kaduna, he urged religious and traditional leaders to work with the authorities to “expose and stop all types of abuse that are widely known but ignored for many years by our communities”.






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