- Title: Victims of north Nigerian institution share stories of terror
- Date: 29th September 2019
- Summary: KADUNA, NIGERIA (SEPTEMBER 28, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SCARS ON SULEIMAN'S BACK (SOUNDBITE) (Hausa) RESCUED TEENAGER, SULEIMAN, SAYING: (FACE BLURRED FOR IDENTITY PROTECTION) "At worst we were flogged 5 times in a day and they used car engine belts and electrical cables to flog us," SULEIMAN'S FACE (FACE BLURRED FOR IDENTITY PROTECTION) SCAR ON SULEIMAN ARM (SOUNDBITE) (Hausa) RESCUED TEENAGER, SULEIMAN, SAYING: "Those children that allowed themselves to be sexually harassed do not face such treatment only us who occasionally sort garri (cassava grains) to drink that are facing this type of maltreatment or those that attempted to escape.'' VARIOUS OF MAN SHOWING CHAINS AND PADLOCKS REMOVED FROM THE BODY OF THE RELEASED BOYS VARIOUS OF EXTERIOR OF ISLAMIC SCHOOL / BARBED WIRE SIGN ON WALL READING: ''AL-QUR'ANI TAFARKIN TSIRA DUNIYA DA LAHIRA'' VARIOUS OF ISLAMIC BOOKS FOOD FLASK AND PLASTIC BAGS ON FLOOR CUP AND CLOTHES ON FLOOR VARIOUS OF BAGS OF CASSAVA GRAINS IN SCHOOL'S STORE VARIOUS OF JIBRIL'S FACE SHOWING SCARS (SOUNDBITE) (Hausa) RESCUED TEENAGER, JIBRIL, SAYING: "Those that were sexually abused were entitled to geisha (canned fish) by our prefects. The prefects mostly raised the younger ones and if we refused they would hang us from our arm and legs and continue to flog us. The more we screamed the more beating we received from them. I have not being sexually abused but I feel bad when I see the younger ones being sexually abused by our prefects." VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF SCHOOL/SIGN POST OF THE SCHOOL GENERATORS THAT RESCUED BOYS WERE CHAINED TO / CLOTHES STREWN ON GROUND VARIOUS OF LITTER STREWN IN ROOM WITH FOLDED MATTRESSES HANGING FROM WALL VARIOUS OF INSCRIPTION ETCHED INTO WALL READING (English): ''NO CONDITION IS PERMANENT'' SHOE/MATTRESSES ON FLOOR VARIOUS OF WATER TANK VARIOUS OF RESIDENTS OUTSIDE SCHOOL (SOUNDBITE) (Hausa) MOTHER OF CHILDREN IN SCHOOL AND SCHOOL CATERER, ZAINAB, SAYING: "I have seven children in this school, there is no problem in this school, I used to enter this school, I am the one that cooks for them in this school, if you enter you will see empty pots, I am the one that cooked with those pots. There is no problem in this school." (SOUNDBITE) (English) TAILOR AND NEIGHBOUR TO SCHOOL PREMISE, AHMED BALRABE, SAYING: "They showed them how to read Quran every day. If you wake up anytime you will hear them reading Quran like this... as we want, we Muslim, that is what we want." (SOUNDBITE) (Hausa) RESCUED TEENAGER, SULEIMAN, SAYING: "What I want now is to return home. I'll be a good boy and return to school."
- Embargoed: 13th October 2019 14:01
- Keywords: Nigeria victims Kaduna Islamic school West Africa
- Location: KADUNA, NIGERIA
- City: KADUNA, NIGERIA
- Country: Nigeria
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Crime,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA001AYPMZWN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES
When Jibril tried to escape as a boy from an institution in Nigeria that called itself a place of Islamic teachings, he said he was hung up by his arms until bones in his shoulders broke.
Another teenager, one of about 400 men and boys freed in Thursday's (September 26) police raid on the school, said boys were often kept in chains and those caught stealing food were whipped until they bled.
Horror stories are emerging about life in a two-storey house in Nigeria's northern city of Kaduna as authorities try to find families of the victims, some of whom spent years at the site.
Police arrested seven adults in the raid on the building, which had a sign in Arabic at the entrance declaring itself "House of Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal for the Application of Islamic Teachings".
Some parents paid fees, believing it was an Islamic school. Some described it as a good institution and dismissed talk of abuse. Others saw it as a correctional facility. Police and regional officials said it was not registered as either.
Despite mixed accounts about its role, the abuse reported by victims has thrown a spotlight on Nigeria's struggle to provide enough school places for its rapidly expanding population, leaving a gap for unregulated institutions that poor parents sometimes turn to.
Prior to Thursday's police raid, those who made it out of the Kaduna institution were sometimes returned by families. Some parents said they needed to discipline wayward children and others said they were too poor to look after all their kids.
Kaduna's state government said there were at least 77 boys under 18 years old held there. The youngest was five.
About 40 police officers raided the building, acting on a complaint by an uncle who was denied access to his nephews.
Police said they found several boys and men in chains. Reuters filmed victims in chains on Thursday after the raid. Some boys said they were shackled to broken power generators, which they dragged around, including to bed or the bathroom.
Police said they expected to charge seven people, who they said ran the institution, over physical and sexual abuse allegations. Those arrested could not be reached for comment.
(Prodcution: Seun Sanni, Angela Ukomadu)
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