Fatemeh Al-Zahra World Television: Nigerian security forces attacked a popular rally held in support of top Shia Scholar Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky’s in Abuja. The protest rally was held on Monday against Sheikh Zakzaky’s arrest and trial. Those attending the protests called for the immediate and unconditional release of Zakzaky, who is the Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).
A prominent Islamic human rights NGO has urged Nigeria to release the country’s leading Muslim Scholar and his wife, who have been unlawfully detained by Abuja since 2015 and afflicted with considerable suffering, now that they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 infection. The London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) made the plea with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, reminding the illegal grounds on which the duo were being kept, Press TV reported.
“Mallimah Zeenah tested positive for COVID-19 this week in Kaduna state prison,” the body said, referring respectively to Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky’s spouse and the facility in the north-western city of Kaduna, where they were incarcerated. The release, it added, was necessary “to protect them from the spread of COVID-19 in the country’s jails.”
In late 2015, Nigerian forces brutally attacked Zakzaky’s residence in the city of Zaria in Kaduna State and the followers of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) Muslim group that he leads. They laid the couple under arrest and went on to slay three of Zakzaky’s sons and more than 1,000 of IMN’s supporters.
Abuja ordered the massacre after claiming that the IMN had “attacked” a convoy carrying Nigeria’s Defense Minister. Reports, however, have shown how the convoy intentionally crossed paths with a religious procession by the movement earlier, prompting a conflict with its supporters that the state used as a pretext to launch the bloodbath.