ALERT: Nigeria – Release Sheikh Zakzaky, Muallima, other prisoners – Demand African Union’s intervention

Sheikh Zakzaky

IHRC’s Free Zakzaky campaign asks campaigners to please send an email to the African Union and demand its intervention on denial of amnesty to Zakzakys amid Covid-19 crisis. A model email and contact details of the African Union are provided below. Please forward any responses you receive to IHRC at wajahat@ihrc.org

Background

Requested Action

Model email

Recipient Addresses

Background

The current Covid-19 pandemic crisis is still ongoing. On April 9, Buhari pardoned 2500 prisoners from Nigeria’s prisons. The pardon includes prisoners aged over 60 and those suffering from severe health conditions. However, this pardon did not include Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife Muallima Zeenah, who are both over 60 and have severe health conditions.

The Sheikh and his wife have been kept in illegal detention for over four years. The federal high court of Nigeria has ordered the release of the Sheikh and his wife including compensation. However, the state authorities have decided to prosecute the couple and imprison them in the Kaduna State prison where the conditions of living pose a threat for their wellbeing, especially in the current pandemic climate.

We are urging the Nigerian authorities to release Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife Muallima Zeenah, other members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria and other political and relevant prisoners. This is a policy that needs to be implemented quickly in Nigeria, given the worsening coronavirus pandemic.

Requested Action

IHRC are calling upon campaigners to send an email to the African Union and demand its intervention on denial of amnesty to Zakzakys amid Covid-19 crisis. A model email and contact details of the African Union are provided below. Please forward any responses you receive to IHRC at wajahat@ihrc.org

Model email
If you are emailing, please use the following in the subject line:
Outrage over denial of amnesty to Zakzakys amid Covid-19 crisis

H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat
Chair African Union Commission 
PO Box 3243 Roosevelt Street (Old Airport Area) W21K19,
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Re: African Union’s Failure To Save Innocent Lives amid COVID-19

Dear H.E. Mousa Faki Mahamat,
I am shocked to find out that the Nigerian President’s amnesty on the 9th of April, 2020 to 2500 prisoners did not include Sheikh El-Zakzaky, his wife Muallima Zeenah and indeed other political prisoners.

Sheikh El-Zakzaky and Muallima Zeenah continue to be held in illegal detention despite a 2016 Federal High Court ruling that their detention was unlawful and unconstitutional. I am writing to you to urge the Nigerian government to release Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzaky and Muallima Zeenah immediately. Their continued illegal detention in Kaduna State Prison poses a high risk to their health especially during the current COVID-19 outbreak.

This is a policy that needs to be implemented quickly in Nigeria, not just for the Sheikh and his wife who both suffer from underlying health conditions, but for all political prisoners wherever possible in the interests of justice but also for the sake of peace and cohesion in Nigerian society as a whole.

[Your name]

African Union’s Contact Details:
Email: dic@africa-union.org
Postal Address: PO Box 3243 Roosevelt Street (Old Airport Area) W21K19 Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel: +251 11 551 7844

In the current circumstances we do not advise sending letters by post.