Montazeri urges Nigeria to send Sheikh Zakzaky to Iran for treatment

July 20, 2019

TEHRAN – Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, Iran’s prosecutor general, has urged the Nigerian judiciary to release Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky, the top Shiite cleric and leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), and send him to Iran for medical treatment.

In a letter released on Saturday, Montazeri denounced the Nigerian military’s mistreatment of Sheikh Zakzaky, saying reports about the cleric’s conditions have hurt the feelings of supporters of the oppressed people of Nigeria, Tasnim reported.

“…I, as the prosecutor general of the Islamic Republic of Iran, urge the Nigerian judicial authorities (to take steps) in line with their judicial independence and support for a captive citizen, and provide the ground for his release and transfer him to the Islamic Republic of Iran for treatment,” he said.

Sheikh Zakzaky, who is in his mid-sixties, lost his left eyesight when Nigerian government forces raided the northern town of Zaria more than three years ago. His wife also sustained serious wounds while more than 300 of his followers and three of his sons were killed in the violence.

The cleric has been kept in custody along his wife and a large number of his followers ever since.

Back 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.

Zakzaky’s legal team has long called for his release, saying he is suffering from health issues that require urgent medical care abroad but the state high court in Kaduna has denied the request.

MH/PA

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