A Nigerian Shia organisation said at least 20 of its members have been killed this week during a series of protests in the capital, Abuja, against the detention of its leader.
Three more members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) died in detention on Wednesday from bullet wounds they sustained, group spokesperson Ibrahim Musa said in a statement on Friday, raising the toll to 20 since Monday.
No official death toll has been released by the police.
Members of the IMN have been marching in the capital demanding the release of their leader Ibrahim el-Zakzaky, in detention since 2015, following reports that both he and his wife – who is held along with him – are in poor health.
Nigerian police met the protests with gunfire and tear gas. A journalist and a senior police officer also died after Monday’s march.
“More might die in police custody, because there are at least 15 people who are in the detention centre with various degrees of bullet wounds and without medication,” said Musa, adding that the detainees include women and a 10-year-old boy with a leg shot wound.