Demonstrators voice support for Sheikh Zakzaky

July 4, 2019

TEHRAN – A number of Iranian physicians, scholars, journalists, and seminary students staged a rally outside the United Nations office in Tehran to voice their solidarity with top Shiite cleric and leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky.

The protesters held the rally in the Iranian capital on Wednesday to condemn the Nigerian government for preventing Sheikh Zakzaky from receiving medical treatment as his health condition is deteriorating in prison.

The participants in the demonstration were carrying banners and placards saying “Free Zakzaky” and “the UN’s silence tantamount to betrayal of human rights”, according to a report by Tasnim news agency.

The protesters also voiced their outrage against the silence of the UN and other international organizations about the killing of Shiites in Nigeria and Bahrain.

Sheikh Zakzaky has been held in detention since December 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.

SP/PA

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