TEHRAN, Feb. 27 (Press Shia) – Lawyers acting for Sheikh Ibrahim el-Zakzaky have written to the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice asking them to arrange for the immediate release of the beleaguered leader of Nigeria’s Islamic Movement (IMN) together with his wife.
The move follows the expiry of the deadline for the release of the couple set by a federal high court judge on 2 December 2016 who ruled their incarceration was illegal and unconstitutional. Nearly two months have passed since the deadline with no sign that the government is ready to execute the court order and every indication that it is actively seeking to defy it.
“Although the deadline expired on January 16, 2017, the State Security Service has refused to release our clients from custody in utter contempt of the valid and subsisting order of the Federal High Court,” says the letter. Instead of releasing the pair the Nigerian government has filed an appeal against the court order and also reportedly authorized their transfer to the Kaduna state government so that they can be prosecuted.
Sources have informed IHRC that the Attorney General of Nigeria, Malami Abubakar, has signed off the Sheikh’s transfer to Kaduna state for prosecution on charges allegedly stretching back three decades.
The Zakzakys have been held without charge and mainly incommunicado following their arrest during a savage military assault against the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) in December 2015. Both were shot during the attack in Zaria in which at least 1000 IMN supporters, including three sons of the couple, were killed and many properties and religious spaces belonging to the IMN and its followers destroyed.
Sheikh Zakzaky has also already lost the use of an arm and one of his eyes and his aides fear could lose his sight completely if he doesn’t receive the urgent medical treatment he requires and which the government has so far denied him.