IMN slams Buhari for failing to release Nigerian Shiite leader

IMN slams Buhari for failing to release Nigerian Shiite leader

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has slammed government’s continued defiance of court orders to release leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and others detained following the December 2015 clashes in Zaria.

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The leader and his wife, Malama Zeenat, and scores others are behind bars following the deadly skirmishes involving the army and IMN members, CAJ News reported.

According to IMN, the Presidency has claimed “public interest and security concerns” as the reason it has not released the suspects.

“This ridiculous explanation is clearly an afterthought,” said IMN spokesperson, Ibrahim Musa.

“Instead of the Presidency to show the World why it is defying court orders with impunity, it continues to wobble and quibble while defying the rule of law.”

Musa said the Islamic Movement therefore totally rejected the “incoherent” position of the Presidency in the matter.

“We reiterate our appeal to all Nigerians to prevail on the government to release our leader and his wife to seek medical attention,” said Musa.

He also echoed the call to the international community to isolate and sanction the government and its agents over the alleged disrespect of the rule of law and abuse of citizens’ rights.

The prominent cleric and his wife were taken into custody on December 14, 2115, after deadly clashes between the supporters of the IMN movement and Nigerian troops.

Nearly 350 members of the Shia movement were killed in the clashes. The sheikh was brutally injured and his house was reportedly destroyed by the army in the incident.

The judge said he had given 45 days for authorities to provide new accommodation for the Zakzaky family. The accommodation is to be in the town of Zaria, Kaduna state, where the family were detained, or in other parts of the state or alternatively any other part of northern Nigeria.

Kolawole said the State Security Service would pay each of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife $78,984 in compensation for the violation of their rights by being held in unlawful custody for nearly a year.

Nearly 100 IMN supporters were killed when Nigerian forces fired live rounds and tear gas at mourners during a peaceful march ahead of the Arbaeen mourning rituals, which mark 40 days after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS), the third Shia Imam. Authorities also destroyed a number of buildings belonging to the IMN.

The Nigerian government has stepped up its crackdown on the IMN since the December 2015 deadly incident.

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