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Nigeria: Parents protest release of their kids from slave school

Parents of almost 500 children allegedly chained, tortured and sexually assaulted at an Islamic school in Nigerian state of Kaduna have protested against their release.

Police on Thursday said they had freed these children as young as five and taken them into protective custody.

According to officials the building was raided after a tip-off about suspicious activity.

Police described the facility as a “house of torture” and a place of human slavery.

The Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Ali Janga told the media during the raid that some of the victims were from Burkina Faso, Mali and other African countries.

He said the children confessed to have been abused homosexually.

Janga said “The man who is operating this home claimed that parents brought their children here for rehabilitation. But, from the look of things, this is not a rehabilitation centre. No reasonable parent will bring their children to this place.”

Eight suspects, mostly teachers, were arrested for starving the kids and injuring them.

Injuries are seen on the back of a boy who was freed from the the building.
Some of the detainees had visible injuries. Photo: NIGERIAN POLICE

Parents angry with release

Although the children freed are reported to be happy, their parents are not as they back the activities of the Islamic school.

Mostly women, parents of these children protested openly, backing the operators of the school and their methods.

They have asked the police to release their children immediately so they can return to the treacherous facility.

The agitated parents claimed the allegation by the police that their children were being sexually abused at the Islamic school was false.

Some of the mothers said there was nothing wrong with the Islamic school and questioned the decision of the police to raid the facility.

One mother told the Punch that “We are aware that they (children) are being punished whenever they do wrong because they are dangerous and stubborn children.

“There is nothing wrong with the school because we took our children there by ourselves. So, we don’t know why the police raided the place.”

A sign in the Hausa language outside the school reads: "Ahmad bin Hambal Centre for Islamic teachings. The Koran is the book of Allah, whoever believes in it, reads it and adopt sit will have salvation in this life and in the hereafter."
A sign written in Hausa outside the building calls it the “Ahmad bin Hambal Centre for Islamic Teachings”. Photo: Nigerian Police

Another mother said “We demand their release because the founder of the school, Mallam Ismail, is doing everything possible within Islamic teachings to rehabilitate them for us.”

The captives are currently sheltering at a camp so their families can identify them.


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