Medical team issues initial assessment of Sheikh Zakzaky


An IHRC-led medical team that flew to Nigeria in order to examine the illegally detained leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim el-Zakzaky, has returned an initial assessment on his health. A full report will be published in due course.

Three doctors from India and one from Tanzania said that in the limited time they were allowed to see the beleaguered sheikh, they ascertained that his injuries warranted further investigation and urgent treatment that could only be accessed outside Nigeria.

Sheikh Ibrahim el-Zakzaky lost sight in one eye and the use of one arm after receiving four gunshot injuries during the December 2015 massacre by the Nigerian military of over 1000 followers of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria. His wife Mallimah Zeenah also sustained gunshot wounds in the attack.

Since their detention the couple’s supporters have sought to provide them with necessary medical help. However, Nigerian authorities have consistently prevented the pair from accessing their own medical treatment and have repeatedly refused requests for them to fly abroad. In January this year a judge presiding over the trial of Sheikh Zakzaky ordered that he should be allowed to receive medical treatment from doctors of his own choosing.

The medical team said that despite his injuries Sheikh Zakzaky’s morale remains high and he is confident that Allah’s justice will prevail.

IHRC chair Massoud Shadjareh who led the medical delegation said: “This visit is testimony to the persistence of the sheikh’s many supporters around the world. And despite the fact that it happened only as a result of a court order it nevertheless presents an opportunity for the Nigerian government to make this a win win for all concerned. At the same time as letting the couple fly abroad they can also do the right thing in executing the federal court order from 2016 and release both of them from illegal detention.”

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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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