TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A Nigerian political activist criticized the government for keeping Leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky in custody in defiance of a court ruling on release of the prominent cleric.
In an interview with Tasnim, Yousef Hamza said the current situation of Sheikh Zakzaky, who has been imprisoned since December 2015, is totally unclear.A Nigerian court has ruled that Sheikh Zakzaky be freed within 45 days, but the government is still keeping him in prison although the deadline has ended, Hamza deplored, saying it is not clear what the Abuja government is going to do with the popular religious figure. He also underscored that supporters of Sheikh Zakzaky will keep holding peaceful demonstrations to condemn the crackdown on the Shiite movements.
The political activist described the anti-Shiite activities in Nigeria as part of a foreign plot hatched by the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia. In early December 2016, Abuja division of the Federal High Court of Nigeria ruled that Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat should be released unconditionally. Justice Gabriel Kolawole said the court had come to the conclusion that the Shiite cleric and his wife “have been kept against their desires, thereby resulting in the breach of their rights to liberty.”
The judge also stated that he had ordered the “immediate release” of the two “because the family house in Zaria was destroyed between December 12 and December 14, 2015. The prominent cleric and his wife were taken into custody on December 14, 2015, after deadly clashes between the supporters of the IMN and Nigerian troops. Nearly 350 members of the Shiite movement were killed in the clashes. The sheikh was brutally injured and his house was reportedly destroyed by the army in the incident.