PRESS RELEASE: Nigeria – Concerns over safety of Zakzaky, as press fuel Iran support for Buhari story

IHRC is deeply concerned about the promulgation of stories across the Nigerian media today with regard to the continued detention of Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, Mallima Zeenah and other members of the Islamic Movement.

IHRC’s concerns and those of insiders and activists on the ground is that this may signal ‘unilateral’ action to be taken by people inside the security apparatus against Zakzaky, given the context of the leaked letter earlier this month amounting to a plot to kill Zakzaky in detention prior to or during the election period.

Details of the leaked letter can be found here[1].

The stories themselves are of little interest or merit vis a vis factual content, alleging some sort of shift in position from the Iranian government in support of Buhari prior to the elections.  That appears par of the course for what most observers have seen to be a huge diminution in the standard of campaigning. 

IHRC Chair, Massoud Shadjareh said:

“It has been clear that the Nigerian regime has been caught between a rock and a hard place for three years, unwilling to release Zakzaky despite the order of the courts.  We are deeply concerned that in trying to make Zakzaky seem isolated, Buhari and supporters are hoping to trigger an incident where serious harm or worse may be inflicted against Zakzaky supposedly without causing much damage to Buhari’s international standing and which could also provide a reason for disrupting an election result where Buhari may actually loose.  We are writing to all relevant IGOs and bodies to ensure they are extra vigilant on this case.”

For more information or comment, please contact the IHRC press office on (+44) 20 8904 4222 or (+44) 7958522196.

Notes to editors:

[1] NIGERIA: Leaked letter exposes plan to attack Islamic Movement ahead of general election

https://www.ihrc.org.uk/activities/press-releases/20918-nigeria-leaked-letter-exposes-plan-to-attack-islamic-movement-ahead-of-general-election/[ENDS]