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Back Activities Press Releases PRESS RELEASE - Nigeria: Lawyers demand immediate release of imprisoned Zakzakys

PRESS RELEASE - Nigeria: Lawyers demand immediate release of imprisoned Zakzakys

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The move follows the expiry of the deadline for the release of the couple set by a federal high court judge on 2 December 2016


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Islamic Human Rights Commission

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27 February 2017

PRESS RELEASE - NIGERIA: Lawyers demand immediate release of imprisoned Zakzakys

Lawyers acting for Sheikh Ibrahim el-Zakzaky have written to the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice asking them to arrange for the immediate release of the beleaguered leader of Nigeria's Islamic Movement (IMN) together with his wife.

The move follows the expiry of the deadline for the release of the couple set by a federal high court judge on 2 December 2016 who ruled their incarceration was illegal and unconstitutional.

Nearly two months have passed since the deadline with no sign that the government is ready to execute the court order and every indication that it is actively seeking to defy it.

"Although the deadline expired on January 16, 2017, the State Security Service has refused to release our clients from custody in utter contempt of the valid and subsisting order of the Federal High Court," says the letter.

Instead of releasing the pair the Nigerian government has filed an appeal against the court order and also reportedly authorised their transfer to the Kaduna state government so that they can be prosecuted.

Sources have informed IHRC that the Attorney General of Nigeria, Malami Abubakar, has signed off the Sheikh's transfer to Kaduna state for prosecution on charges allegedly stretching back three decades.

The Zakzakys have been held without charge and mainly incommunicado following their arrest during a savage military assault against the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) in December 2015. Both were shot during the attack in Zaria in which at least 1000 IMN supporters, including three sons of the couple, were killed and many properties and religious spaces belonging to the IMN and its followers destroyed.

Sheikh Zakzaky has also already lost the use of an arm and one of his eyes and his aides fear could lose his sight completely if he doesn't receive the urgent medical treatment he requires and which the government has so far denied him.

For media enquiries or further details please call +44 20 8904 4222 or +44 7958 522196 or +44 7426 728074[Ends]

Notes to editors:

In March 2016 IHRC petitioned the International Criminal Court to to open a preliminary inquiry into the December 2015 massacre of IMN members. The report can be found here

[Ends]

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

Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Wembley
HA9 7XH
United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
Email: info@ihrc.org
Web: www.ihrc.org
Twitter @ihrc

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