TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Iran’s Society of Seminary Teachers of Qom strongly condemned the Nigerian government’s “inhumane and illegal” moves against top Shiite cleric and leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky, whose health condition has been deteriorating in prison.

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“By their illegal and inhumane measures backed by the US, the Zionist regime (of Israel) and the Al Saud, the Nigerian government and military have martyred many Muslims, including the children of Sheikh Zakzaky,” the Society of Seminary Teachers of Qom said in a statement on Monday.  

In continuation of its “savage behaviors”, the Nigerian government is now seeking to poison the Shiite leader and increase pressures against Muslims in the African country, it added.  

The Iranian clerics also condemned the self-proclaimed advocates of human rights around the world for their “deadly silence” on the sufferings of the Muslim leader.

The society further emphasized that the Nigerian government is responsible for the life of Sheikh Zakzaky, calling for immediate release of the popular leader of the IMN. 

Sheikh Zakzaky has been held in detention since 2015 and was charged just in April 2018 with murder, culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, disruption of public peace and other accusations. He has pleaded not guilty.

In 2016, Nigeria’s federal high court ordered his unconditional release from jail following a trial, but the government has so far refused to set him free.

The top cleric, who is in his mid-sixties, lost his left eyesight in a raid which was carried out by the Nigerian army on his residence in the northern town of Zaria in December 2015.

During the raid, Zakzaky’s wife sustained serious wounds too and more than 300 of his followers and three of his sons were killed. Zakzaky, his wife, and a large number of the cleric’s followers have since been in custody.