Ambassador: Good measures taken for release of Sheikh Zakzaky

July 9, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian Ambassador to Nigeria Morteza Rahimi has underlined the efforts made by the Islamic Republic for the release of top Shiite cleric and leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky.

“Good measures have been taken by various sides for the treatment and release of Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky and his wife,” Rahimi said, Tasnim reported on Tuesday.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran’s embassy has also taken intensive and useful steps within the framework of the two countries’ political relations and according to the instructions of the Foreign Ministry, and has been in contact with various sides,” he said.

The ambassador added that as a result of the measures, the Nigerian authorities have taken an effective step toward providing medical treatment for Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife by allowing a medical team to examine the two.

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.

MH/PA

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