Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Sheikh Zakzaky’s Illegal Incarceration is enough! PDF Print E-mail
Written by freezak   
Thursday, 04 October 2018 10:20

This week marked the fourth time since when the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky was arraigned in April, facing false charges of culpable homicide in a Kaduna state high court, the very same charges that another Judge of the Kaduna State High Court had dismissed, then discharged and acquitted over a hundred of his supporters. Also today is the 1028th day since that gruesome massacre in December of 2015 in Zaria and his consequent unlawful detention and hundreds of his supporters.

As a reminder, his arrest and illegal detention together with his wife Zeenah Ibrahim occurred when the Nigerian army brutally assaulted his residence in Zaria in December 2015. The Sheikh and his wife were badly injured in the assault. The army slaughtered more than 1,000 members of the movement including three of Sheikh Zakzaky’s sons. Many hundreds are still incarceration since the military pogrom in Zaria.

In December 2016, the Federal Court in Abuja ruled that Sheikh Zakzaky’s detention was illegal. Then last April, the Kaduna state government charged Sheikh Zakzaky, his wife, and two other persons with the murder of a soldier who took part in the military assault. This charge is a deliberate attempt to delay the Sheikh’s release from illegal detention.

As we come out today, Sheikh Zakzaky’s health continues to deteriorate in detention. He had suffered stroke in detention earlier this year from which, without adequate medical attention, he is yet to recover. He was sighted wearing a neck collar to support his head since then. His eye condition, inflicted on him by the Nigerian army during the heinous attacks 1028 days ago, has been deteriorating as well. He stands the risk of losing his sight completely should the government continue to deny him urgent medical attention. Similarly, his wife’s health condition in detention is very grave. She is made to bear the excruciating pains of moving about with shrapnel in her body since the army emptied their lethal guns into her since then.

Also, members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria continue to be persecuted at all levels of government. We are endangered people, who are being deprived of our most basic rights. In Nigeria today, we are denied our right to freely associate and peacefully protest. We are denied our freedom to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance without government influence or intervention. Above all, we are being denied our freedom to life at the slightest opportunity by this government! The recent attacks on us by a combine team of security agents in Zaria and Potiskum, resulting in the death of two persons is enough a pointer to our assertions.

As we mark the almost three years of this travesty of justice, we demand and insist that the Federal Government and its agencies must release our leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife unconditionally and immediately. Serial disobedience of court orders and contempt for the fundamental rights of citizens to freedom of religion does not portray our country as one that is ready to manage its religious diversity in a way that strengthens the federation. Additionally all those that have been detained in known detention centres and other secret detention places should also be released immediately.

The Kaduna State government must discontinue its unjustified persecution and trial of Sheikh Zakzaky, his wife and others facing spurious charges of culpable homicide at the Kaduna High Court on the wobbly ground. It must also take concrete steps to prosecute all those that carried out the heinous murder of over 1000 of our members and the illegal and unconstitutional burial of 347.