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Pictures | Wed Nov 6, 2019 | 5:50pm EST

Shocking school abuses in Nigeria

Nigeria launched a crackdown on informal Islamic schools and rehabilitation centers in late September after a man was refused permission to see his nephews at one institution and complained to police. Nearly 1,500 people have been freed so far.

Pictured: People stand with their legs chained after being rescued from a building in Kaduna, Nigeria September 26, 2019. TELEVISION CONTINENTAL/Reuters TV via REUTERS

Nigeria launched a crackdown on informal Islamic schools and rehabilitation centers in late September after a man was refused permission to see his nephews at one institution and complained to police. Nearly 1,500 people have been freed so...more

Nigeria launched a crackdown on informal Islamic schools and rehabilitation centers in late September after a man was refused permission to see his nephews at one institution and complained to police. Nearly 1,500 people have been freed so far. Pictured: People stand with their legs chained after being rescued from a building in Kaduna, Nigeria September 26, 2019. TELEVISION CONTINENTAL/Reuters TV via REUTERS
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Nigeria group Muslim Rights Concern estimates about 10 million children attend Islamic institutions in the West African country, which has a mainly Christian, relatively prosperous, south and a largely Muslim north with higher levels of child mortality and malnutrition.

Pictured: A 14 year-old-boy, one of hundreds of men and boys rescued by police from an institution purporting to be an Islamic school, reveals scars in his ear at a transit camp set up to take care of the released captives in Kaduna, Nigeria September 28.  REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Nigeria group Muslim Rights Concern estimates about 10 million children attend Islamic institutions in the West African country, which has a mainly Christian, relatively prosperous, south and a largely Muslim north with higher levels of child...more

Nigeria group Muslim Rights Concern estimates about 10 million children attend Islamic institutions in the West African country, which has a mainly Christian, relatively prosperous, south and a largely Muslim north with higher levels of child mortality and malnutrition. Pictured: A 14 year-old-boy, one of hundreds of men and boys rescued by police from an institution purporting to be an Islamic school, reveals scars in his ear at a transit camp set up to take care of the released captives in Kaduna, Nigeria September 28. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde
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As shocking as the revelations about these schools were to people in Nigeria and around the world, they have not shaken the underlying devotion of some northerners to the religious leaders who ran the raided centers, nor to the Islamic education system from which they emerged, according to Reuters' interviews with current and former students, parents and community leaders.

Pictured: A sheet hangs from a window inside the building where hundreds of men and boys were rescued from captivity by police in Kaduna, Nigeria September 28.  REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

As shocking as the revelations about these schools were to people in Nigeria and around the world, they have not shaken the underlying devotion of some northerners to the religious leaders who ran the raided centers, nor to the Islamic education...more

As shocking as the revelations about these schools were to people in Nigeria and around the world, they have not shaken the underlying devotion of some northerners to the religious leaders who ran the raided centers, nor to the Islamic education system from which they emerged, according to Reuters' interviews with current and former students, parents and community leaders. Pictured: A sheet hangs from a window inside the building where hundreds of men and boys were rescued from captivity by police in Kaduna, Nigeria September 28. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde
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Many of those interviewed blame the government for failing to provide the formal education and services young people need in this impoverished region and tend to attribute troubles in the raided schools to lower-level teachers, rather than to the revered mallams, the Islamic scholars in charge.

Pictured: Items are seen littered inside the school premises of Daru Imam Ahmed Bun Hambal Islamic school in Rigasa Kaduna, Nigeria September 27. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Many of those interviewed blame the government for failing to provide the formal education and services young people need in this impoverished region and tend to attribute troubles in the raided schools to lower-level teachers, rather than to the...more

Many of those interviewed blame the government for failing to provide the formal education and services young people need in this impoverished region and tend to attribute troubles in the raided schools to lower-level teachers, rather than to the revered mallams, the Islamic scholars in charge. Pictured: Items are seen littered inside the school premises of Daru Imam Ahmed Bun Hambal Islamic school in Rigasa Kaduna, Nigeria September 27. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde
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State institutions cannot meet the educational or social welfare needs of the booming, mostly Muslim population in the north, experts and child advocates say, largely because of limited and poorly distributed resources. Fewer than half the children in the region attend government primary schools, according to the latest official figures, from 2015.

Pictured: A child rescued from a school by police shows the marks on his back at the Hajj transit camp in Kaduna, Nigeria, September 28. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

State institutions cannot meet the educational or social welfare needs of the booming, mostly Muslim population in the north, experts and child advocates say, largely because of limited and poorly distributed resources. Fewer than half the children...more

State institutions cannot meet the educational or social welfare needs of the booming, mostly Muslim population in the north, experts and child advocates say, largely because of limited and poorly distributed resources. Fewer than half the children in the region attend government primary schools, according to the latest official figures, from 2015. Pictured: A child rescued from a school by police shows the marks on his back at the Hajj transit camp in Kaduna, Nigeria, September 28. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde
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Islamic schools, known locally as almajiri schools, help fill the void, enrolling an estimated 10 million students. "If today we decide to close all of the almajiri schools ... there would be an educational crisis, said Mohammed Sabo Keana of the Abuja-based nonprofit group Almajiri Child Rights Initiative, which advocates for better conditions in the centers. 

Pictured: Layers of security barbed wires are seen on top of a banner on the building where hundreds of men and boys were rescued from captivity by police in Kaduna, Nigeria September 28. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Islamic schools, known locally as almajiri schools, help fill the void, enrolling an estimated 10 million students. "If today we decide to close all of the almajiri schools ... there would be an educational crisis, said Mohammed Sabo Keana of the...more

Islamic schools, known locally as almajiri schools, help fill the void, enrolling an estimated 10 million students. "If today we decide to close all of the almajiri schools ... there would be an educational crisis, said Mohammed Sabo Keana of the Abuja-based nonprofit group Almajiri Child Rights Initiative, which advocates for better conditions in the centers. Pictured: Layers of security barbed wires are seen on top of a banner on the building where hundreds of men and boys were rescued from captivity by police in Kaduna, Nigeria September 28. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde
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With mental health and substance abuse programs scarce, some mallams in recent decades have offered to treat behavioral problems including drug addiction and delinquency, attracting students from across West Africa. 

Pictured: A mattress and blankets are seen in a room inside the building where hundreds of men and boys were rescued from captivity by police in Kaduna, Nigeria September 28. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

With mental health and substance abuse programs scarce, some mallams in recent decades have offered to treat behavioral problems including drug addiction and delinquency, attracting students from across West Africa. Pictured: A mattress and...more

With mental health and substance abuse programs scarce, some mallams in recent decades have offered to treat behavioral problems including drug addiction and delinquency, attracting students from across West Africa. Pictured: A mattress and blankets are seen in a room inside the building where hundreds of men and boys were rescued from captivity by police in Kaduna, Nigeria September 28. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde
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Parents pay as little as 500 naira ($1.38) a month for children to study in almajiri schools. But some pay tens of thousands more to treat what they see as unacceptable behavior. Police rescued 67 men and boys aged seven to 40 from an Islamic school in the town of Daura in northwestern Katsina state on October 14, where the captives had been shackled. Former students said instructors had beaten and raped inmates. 

Pictured: People with chained legs are seen after being rescued by police in Sabon Garin, in Daura local government area of Katsina State, Nigeria October 14. REUTERS/Stringer

Parents pay as little as 500 naira ($1.38) a month for children to study in almajiri schools. But some pay tens of thousands more to treat what they see as unacceptable behavior. Police rescued 67 men and boys aged seven to 40 from an Islamic school...more

Parents pay as little as 500 naira ($1.38) a month for children to study in almajiri schools. But some pay tens of thousands more to treat what they see as unacceptable behavior. Police rescued 67 men and boys aged seven to 40 from an Islamic school in the town of Daura in northwestern Katsina state on October 14, where the captives had been shackled. Former students said instructors had beaten and raped inmates. Pictured: People with chained legs are seen after being rescued by police in Sabon Garin, in Daura local government area of Katsina State, Nigeria October 14. REUTERS/Stringer
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Suleiman Surajo, 25, shows scars on his back that he says he received from his time as an inmate at an Islamic rehabilitation center in Daura, Nigeria October 19. Boys and men were packed 40 or 50 to a room meant for eight, said Surajo, who added that he saw neither family nor friends during more than a year at the school. He said teachers would call students to the courtyard at 6 a.m., where they would be beaten, naked, as they washed. REUTERS/Paul Carsten

Suleiman Surajo, 25, shows scars on his back that he says he received from his time as an inmate at an Islamic rehabilitation center in Daura, Nigeria October 19. Boys and men were packed 40 or 50 to a room meant for eight, said Surajo, who added...more

Suleiman Surajo, 25, shows scars on his back that he says he received from his time as an inmate at an Islamic rehabilitation center in Daura, Nigeria October 19. Boys and men were packed 40 or 50 to a room meant for eight, said Surajo, who added that he saw neither family nor friends during more than a year at the school. He said teachers would call students to the courtyard at 6 a.m., where they would be beaten, naked, as they washed. REUTERS/Paul Carsten
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Huraira Alasan, 50, a cake seller who lives near the border with Niger, said her family paid 160,000 naira ($521) to enroll her 30-year-old nephew at Hamisu's Katsina school for drug treatment. Hamisu told Alasan he would be healed through prayer, she said. But when she visited one Friday she found the young man in chains, begging to be released, she told Reuters. His father later demanded that he be unshackled but kept the young man in the school. "He wanted his son to stop taking drugs," Alasan said. 

REUTERS/Paul Carsten

Huraira Alasan, 50, a cake seller who lives near the border with Niger, said her family paid 160,000 naira ($521) to enroll her 30-year-old nephew at Hamisu's Katsina school for drug treatment. Hamisu told Alasan he would be healed through prayer,...more

Huraira Alasan, 50, a cake seller who lives near the border with Niger, said her family paid 160,000 naira ($521) to enroll her 30-year-old nephew at Hamisu's Katsina school for drug treatment. Hamisu told Alasan he would be healed through prayer, she said. But when she visited one Friday she found the young man in chains, begging to be released, she told Reuters. His father later demanded that he be unshackled but kept the young man in the school. "He wanted his son to stop taking drugs," Alasan said. REUTERS/Paul Carsten
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Masuda Rafindadi, a former student at an Islamic rehabilitation center who now runs his own school, attended the Daura school two decades ago and still bears scars that he said are from beatings there. But he said lashings were needed to correct bad behavior. 

Today he beats some of his 100 students, although does not chain them, he said. He had nothing but praise for his teacher, Abdullahi.

"For the whole of our time, mallam gave us love," he said. REUTERS/Paul Carsten

Masuda Rafindadi, a former student at an Islamic rehabilitation center who now runs his own school, attended the Daura school two decades ago and still bears scars that he said are from beatings there. But he said lashings were needed to correct bad...more

Masuda Rafindadi, a former student at an Islamic rehabilitation center who now runs his own school, attended the Daura school two decades ago and still bears scars that he said are from beatings there. But he said lashings were needed to correct bad behavior. Today he beats some of his 100 students, although does not chain them, he said. He had nothing but praise for his teacher, Abdullahi. "For the whole of our time, mallam gave us love," he said. REUTERS/Paul Carsten
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The following is a timeline of some events since the crackdown started:

Sept. 26, 2019 - More than 300 boys and men, some as young as five, were rescued in a raid on a building that purported to be an Islamic school in northwestern Nigeria's Kaduna city. Many were in chains and bore scars from beatings. Some had been there for years.

TELEVISION CONTINENTAL/Reuters TV via REUTERS

The following is a timeline of some events since the crackdown started: Sept. 26, 2019 - More than 300 boys and men, some as young as five, were rescued in a raid on a building that purported to be an Islamic school in northwestern Nigeria's Kaduna...more

The following is a timeline of some events since the crackdown started: Sept. 26, 2019 - More than 300 boys and men, some as young as five, were rescued in a raid on a building that purported to be an Islamic school in northwestern Nigeria's Kaduna city. Many were in chains and bore scars from beatings. Some had been there for years. TELEVISION CONTINENTAL/Reuters TV via REUTERS
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Oct. 14, 2019 - Police rescued 67 men and boys aged seven to 40 from an Islamic school in the town of Daura in northwestern Katsina state, where the captives had been shackled. Former students said instructors had beaten and raped inmates.

REUTERS/Stringer

Oct. 14, 2019 - Police rescued 67 men and boys aged seven to 40 from an Islamic school in the town of Daura in northwestern Katsina state, where the captives had been shackled. Former students said instructors had beaten and raped...more

Oct. 14, 2019 - Police rescued 67 men and boys aged seven to 40 from an Islamic school in the town of Daura in northwestern Katsina state, where the captives had been shackled. Former students said instructors had beaten and raped inmates. REUTERS/Stringer
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Oct. 16, 2019 - Police freed about 500 men and boys, many of whom had been chained to walls, molested and beaten, from an Islamic school in the northwestern city of Katsina in its eponymous state, law enforcement sources said.

REUTERS/Paul Carsten

Oct. 16, 2019 - Police freed about 500 men and boys, many of whom had been chained to walls, molested and beaten, from an Islamic school in the northwestern city of Katsina in its eponymous state, law enforcement sources said. REUTERS/Paul Carsten

Oct. 16, 2019 - Police freed about 500 men and boys, many of whom had been chained to walls, molested and beaten, from an Islamic school in the northwestern city of Katsina in its eponymous state, law enforcement sources said. REUTERS/Paul Carsten
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Oct. 19, 2019 - Police freed nearly 150 students from a reformatory school in Kaduna. At least 22 of the 147 released captives were female. Many of those freed had scars from abuse.

REUTERS/Stringer

Oct. 19, 2019 - Police freed nearly 150 students from a reformatory school in Kaduna. At least 22 of the 147 released captives were female. Many of those freed had scars from abuse. REUTERS/Stringer

Oct. 19, 2019 - Police freed nearly 150 students from a reformatory school in Kaduna. At least 22 of the 147 released captives were female. Many of those freed had scars from abuse. REUTERS/Stringer
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Nov. 4, 2019 - Nigerian police released 259 people held captive at an Islamic rehabilitation center in the southwestern city of Ibadan, saying some had been chained.

Nigeria Police/Handout via REUTERS

Nov. 4, 2019 - Nigerian police released 259 people held captive at an Islamic rehabilitation center in the southwestern city of Ibadan, saying some had been chained. Nigeria Police/Handout via REUTERS

Nov. 4, 2019 - Nigerian police released 259 people held captive at an Islamic rehabilitation center in the southwestern city of Ibadan, saying some had been chained. Nigeria Police/Handout via REUTERS
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A view shows the outside wall of Mallam Nigas's Islamic school and rehabilitation centre in Katsina city, Nigeria October 18. The writing on the wall reads: "Love the prophet and his family and you will be a beneficiary now and in the hereafter."  REUTERS/Paul Carsten

A view shows the outside wall of Mallam Nigas's Islamic school and rehabilitation centre in Katsina city, Nigeria October 18. The writing on the wall reads: "Love the prophet and his family and you will be a beneficiary now and in the hereafter." ...more

A view shows the outside wall of Mallam Nigas's Islamic school and rehabilitation centre in Katsina city, Nigeria October 18. The writing on the wall reads: "Love the prophet and his family and you will be a beneficiary now and in the hereafter." REUTERS/Paul Carsten
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People look out from a window before being freed by police from an Islamic rehabilitation centre in Ibadan, Nigeria in this picture released November 5. Nigeria Police/Handout via REUTERS

People look out from a window before being freed by police from an Islamic rehabilitation centre in Ibadan, Nigeria in this picture released November 5. Nigeria Police/Handout via REUTERS

People look out from a window before being freed by police from an Islamic rehabilitation centre in Ibadan, Nigeria in this picture released November 5. Nigeria Police/Handout via REUTERS
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Shackles and padlocks are seen on the ankles of some of the female captives rescued by police from a reformation center in Kaduna, Nigeria October 19. REUTERS/Stringer

Shackles and padlocks are seen on the ankles of some of the female captives rescued by police from a reformation center in Kaduna, Nigeria October 19. REUTERS/Stringer

Shackles and padlocks are seen on the ankles of some of the female captives rescued by police from a reformation center in Kaduna, Nigeria October 19. REUTERS/Stringer
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