PRESS RELEASE - Nigeria: Concerns grow over health of imprisoned opposition leader

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Sheikh-al-Zakzaky

IHRC calls on the government to immediately allow Sheikh Zakzaky to access urgent medical care


Concerns are mounting for the health of the imprisoned leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria Sheikh Ibrahim el-Zakzaky after more than seven months in custody.

Following injuries sustained from gunshot wounds during last December's brutal military assault against the movement Sheikh Zakzaky has lost the use of an arm and one of his eyes and he is gradually losing sight in his other eye.

The military attack between December 12-14 in the northern Nigerian city of Zaria left more than 1000 people dead and many properties and religious spaces belonging to the IMN and its members destroyed.

Despite repeated pleas the Sheikh, detained without charge by Nigeria's domestic intelligence ageency (DSS), has not been allowed access to adequate medical attention.

IHRC is extremely concerned that the failure of the Nigerian government to release Sheikh Zakzaky and provide him with the urgent medical attention he needs is aggravating his condition.

The government's stance is also fuelling rumours that the authorities are planning to assassinate the sheikh.

IHRC calls on the government to immediately allow Sheikh Zakzaky to access urgent medical care and to release him unconditionally in line with the national constitution and due process.

Notes to editors:

Last March IHRC called on the International Criminal Court to to open a preliminary inquiry into the December 2015 massacre.

Our report which we submitted to the ICC can be found here

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IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

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