Shiites Protest El-Zakzaky’s Prolonged Detention

The protesters fear that El-Zakzaky's health has deteriorated
The protesters fear that El-Zakzaky’s health has deteriorated

Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, on Saturday embarked on a protest in Kaduna over the continued detention of the group’s leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, his wife and other members.

The protesters, comprising women, youths and children, converged on a popular roundabout in the state capital, demanding for the unconditional release of their leader and other members.

They chanted solidarity songs and blocked major roads, saying that they fear that the health condition of Zakzaky is deteriorating due to gunshot wounds he sustained.

The protest led to serious traffic gridlock along the Ahmadu Bello Way and other surrounding streets, as motorists had to divert to other routes.

A team of policemen were seen accompanying the protesters in order to avoid any breakdown of law and order

Reports say protests such as this have become a regular activity among members of the Islamic group in Kaduna and other states in the north. The members also observed their prayers at the venue.

Sheikh El-Zakzaky, his wife and several members of the movement have been detained since December 2015 when they clashed with soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna State.






     

     

    The Islamic cleric, through his lawyer, Femi Falana, had sued the federal government and the Nigerian Army for violating the fundamental human rights of his client and keeping him in custody without charge for too long.

    The army argued that El-Zakzaky was being kept in protective custody as some people who are opposed to his movement are seeking to kill him.

    Army authorities told the court that El-Zakzaky was being well taken care of where he was and being cared for by the best of doctors.

    A judicial commission of enquiry which was set-up by the state government had blamed El-Zakazaky, on the one hand, for not calling his followers to order, leading to the clash; and the Nigerian army on the order hand for applying excessive force on unarmed protesters.

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