Iran has again stepped up awareness about the denial of the fundamental human rights of the embattled Shiite Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who remains in custody despite court rulings granting him bail.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry has reportedly summoned Nigeria’s envoy to voice its concern over Zakzaky’s condition.
It was not until April 2018 that Sheikh Zakzaky was charged with murder, culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, disruption of public peace and other accusations despite having been in detention since December 2015.
When a federal high court ordered his unconditional release from jail in a 2016 ruling, the federal government simply ignored the ruling. The cleric has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, Seyed Abbas Mousavi said at his weekly press conference in Tehran on Monday, that the Nigerian charge d’affaires was summoned to the Iranian Foreign Ministry where he was informed about Iran’s concern over Sheikh Zakzaky’s who remains in custody.
- “He is a prominent and knowledgeable figure. We hope that efforts that are being made will yield results and he will regain his full health.”
Earlier in April, UK-based Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) sent a medical team to Nigeria to assess Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife’s health. The body claimed the duo require specialist treatment that can only be accessed outside Nigeria. On Friday, the IHRC said it has received reports about Zakzaky’s worsening health.
Members of the IMN have also alleged that the cleric had been poisoned in prison and require urgent medical care abroad.
Bottomline: The fact that Zakzaky has been held in detention for all these years in violation of his fundamental human rights and in defiance of court rulings make nonsense of the FG’s claim to respect the rule of law. The cleric is not the only high profile personality who is still being held despite court ruling, former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, also falls in that category.