In a compound In Kaduna, Nigeria, where a sign over the gate, topped with rolls of barbed wire, read: “Imam Ahmad Bun Hambal Centre for Islamic studies”, 300 men and boys were chained to large metal wheels and other heavy materials. It was reported that Muslim clerics were behind the so-called infamous act.
Others were reportedly hung upside down from the ceiling and beaten. Police were able to rescue some of the captives but most of the rescued shared horrific tales of dehumanization.
According to police most of the children were Nigerians and others were brought by their parents and guardians from neighboring African countries like Burkina Faso, Mali and Ghana. The kids had been brought to the compound by their parents who believed they were bringing their children to an Islamic or Rehabilitation center.
Police had been tipped off by complaints from local residents who became suspicious of what was happening inside the school. Another version of the story says that a parent alerted the police after they came to visit their son, but were told they could only see their son after 3 months.
One of the rescued, Hassan Yusuf, said he had been sent to the school to change his lifestyle after he returned to Nigeria from a study period abroad. “They said my lifestyle has changed – I’ve become a Christian, I’ve left the Islamic way of life,” said Yusuf.