Children Tortured To Death by Quranic School in Kaduna

Nigeria was shocked to discover on Friday the existence of a madrassa in Kaduna in the north of the country where numerous boys, including minors, were tortured and raped before being rescued by police.

In a raid on Thursday evening on a house in the Rigasa district, Kaduna police discovered pupils and students of “various nationalities” locked and chained in what the media has since dubbed the “house of horrors”. The figure verified by VOA Africa confirms the release of 190 children.

In the few photos that have been circulated in the Nigerian press, there are pictures of a child whose back is covered with open wounds obviously caused by whipping, another whose feet are chained to iron bars, and a crowd of boys crammed into an unhygienic courtyard.

Police also found a “torture chamber” where students were hung from chains and beaten if teachers thought they had done something improper.

The police raid was initiated following repeated complaints from neighbours who suspected that something was amiss inside the school.

“The victims had different nationalities and two of them testified during their interrogation that they had been brought from Burkina Faso by their parents,” the spokesperson added.

“They claim to teach us the Quran and Islam, but they do many things here. They force the youngest to have homosexual sex,” he testified. “Those who tried to escape from here were severely punished: they were tied up and hung from the ceiling.
“During my short stay here, someone died as a result of the torture. Others had died before because of health problems and the torture. They give us very bad food and we only eat twice a day,” Bello Hamza reported.

The school, which opened about ten years ago, housed students brought by their families to teach them the Quran, but mainly to bring petty criminals or drug users back on track.

In the predominantly Muslim north of Nigeria, there are numerous more or less formal “reformatories” where strict religious instruction is given.

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