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Families of boys freed from ‘house of torture’ Islamic school arrive at makeshift camp

The parents of children rescued by police from an Islamic school where they were kept in chains, sexually abused and tortured awaited to see their loved ones after hearing of the horrific abuse they suffered. 

Family members were pictured gathering at the Hajj transit camp in Kaduna on Saturday, September 28, waiting to be reunited with their children. 

Their faces appeared contorted with worry as they stood at the makeshift camp set up by authorities for the boarding school victims at the edge of the city. 

Earlier Nigerian authorities had scrambled to find the family members of the 400 captives, aged from six to 50, who were freed from the ‘house of horror’ in northern Nigeria in a raid on Thursday. 

Some were chained to radiators, tires or hub caps and others bore visible signs of scars from whippings and beatings while others had been sodomised.

More than a dozen, including 10 children, were hospitalised today with some in critical condition, with one vomiting blood.    

 

Parents of some of the chilldren rescued by police wait to see them after hearing of the horrific abuse they have suffered

Parents of some of the children rescued by police from captivity gather at the Hajj transit camp in Kaduna on September 28

Parents of some of the children rescued by police from captivity gather at the Hajj transit camp in Kaduna on September 28 

Parents of some of the children rescued by police wait to see them at the Hajj transit camp in Kaduna, Nigeria on September 28

Parents of some of the children rescued by police wait to see them at the Hajj transit camp in Kaduna, Nigeria on September 28 

 

One of the chilldren rescued by police, with bruises on his back, eats at the Hajj transit camp in Kaduna, Nigeria, today

One of the chilldren rescued by police, with bruises on his back, eats at the Hajj transit camp in Kaduna, Nigeria, today

In one of the buildings at the camp, children queued to register their names against a list, later laughing and playing before being served a plate of noodles. 

Some had paid tuition fees to the men running the house believing it to be an Islamic school, while others viewed it as a correctional facility with no expectation of instruction.

Kaduna state police spokesman Yakubu Sabo said the ‘dehumanised treatment’ they discovered made it impossible to consider the house an Islamic school. 

Hafsat Mohammed Baba, the state’s commissioner of human services and social development, told Reuters a headcount had accounted for just 190 people, including 113 adults and 77 children. 

Some students rescued from the Islamic boarding school eat food at Ahmadu Bello Stadium after they were freed in a police raid

Some students rescued from the Islamic boarding school eat food at Ahmadu Bello Stadium after they were freed in a police raid

Police have set up a makeshift camp for the others at the edge of the city and were trying to register the freed captives

Police have set up a makeshift camp for the others at the edge of the city and were trying to register the freed captives

Some of the 400 male students of 'different nationalities' sit on the floor in chains outside the school's torture chamber in the Rigasa area of Kaduna

Some of the 400 male students of ‘different nationalities’ sit on the floor in chains outside the school’s torture chamber in the Rigasa area of Kaduna

The detainees, most of them young boys, emerged with scars on their bodies after police raided the building

The proprietor of the school and six staff were arrested during the raid but he insists he did nothing wrong

The detainees, most of them young boys, emerged with scars on their bodies and chains on their feet after police raided the building

The reason for the discrepancy in numbers was not immediately clear, but authorities said some freed from the home fled immediately. 

Police raided the school after a relative was denied access to the captives. Seven people who said they were teachers at the school were arrested in the raid.

Police called on families from across the region, from the suburbs of Kaduna to the nearby countries of Ghana, Mali and Burkina Faso, to collect the freed captives.   

Some of the children rescued from captivity are seen being registered at the Hajj transit camp in Kaduna

Some of the children rescued from captivity are seen being registered at the Hajj transit camp in Kaduna

One of the children rescued by police drinks at the Hajj transit camp in Kaduna on September 28

One of the children rescued by police drinks at the Hajj transit camp in Kaduna on September 28 

Some of the children rescued by police from captivity at a school wash up by a tank at the Hajj Transit camp in Kaduna, Nigeria on September 28

Some of the children rescued by police from captivity at a school wash up by a tank at the Hajj Transit camp in Kaduna, Nigeria on September 28 

Some had paid tuition fees to the men running the house believing it to be an Islamic school (pictured)

Some had paid tuition fees to the men running the house believing it to be an Islamic school (pictured)

Despite the reports of abuse, some were reluctant to return home with their family members.

Mohammed Sani Abu Sha’aban, a father of 13 from the Kaduna suburb of Nasarawa, sent two of his sons – 16-year-old Salim and 25-year-old Jamilu – to the school for more than three years.

He paid 34,000 naira (£76) per term and said it had helped his sons, particularly Salim. ‘Now that they are set free, he may relapse into his past negative attitude of absconding from school and other vices,’ Sha’aban said.

Some of the male students are pictured after being rescued by police from an Islamic school where they were tortured and sodomised

Some of the male students are pictured after being rescued by police from an Islamic school where they were tortured and sodomised

During the raid on the school, police said they found a 'torture chamber' where students were chained, hung and beaten

During the raid on the school, police said they found a ‘torture chamber’ where students were chained, hung and beaten

Padlocks and chains used to shackle children rescued by police from captivity are seen at the Hajj transit camp in Kaduna, Nigeria on September 28

Padlocks and chains used to shackle children rescued by police from captivity are seen at the Hajj transit camp in Kaduna, Nigeria on September 28

Islamic schools, known as Almajiris, are common across the mostly Muslim north of Nigeria. Widespread poverty prompts many parents to leave their children at the institutions, yet they have been dogged by reports of abuse and accusations that some children are forced to beg on the streets rather than get an education.

Some activists have called on the government to outlaw the schools.

But Sha’aban, who said he visited regularly and never saw signs of poor treatment, called on the state to keep the Kaduna school open. 

‘The closure of the school is really a source of concern and very disturbing to us who have unruly children and wards,’ he said.

A policeman watches over students of the Islamic boarding school rescued after suffering 'dehumanising treatment' at the school

A policeman watches over students of the Islamic boarding school rescued after suffering ‘dehumanising treatment’ at the school

Personal effects of students rescued from the boarding school. Islamic schools, known as Almajiris, are common across the mostly Muslim north of Nigeria

Personal effects of students rescued from the boarding school. Islamic schools, known as Almajiris, are common across the mostly Muslim north of Nigeria

A man stands with chains on his ankles and wrists. Private Islamic schools are common in mainly Muslim northern Nigeria, where government services are often lacking

A man stands with chains on his ankles and wrists. Private Islamic schools are common in mainly Muslim northern Nigeria, where government services are often lacking

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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