ALERT: Global / Nigeria – International Call to Protest 1000 Days of Detention of Sheikh Zakzaky

ALERT: Global / Nigeria – International Call to Protest 1000 Days of Detention of Sheikh Zakzaky


Action Required

Model Letter


07-09 September 2018 mark 1000 days since the Zaria massacre (12-14 December 2015) in Nigeria and the unlawful detention of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife Muallima Zeenah. IHRC, as part of the Universal Justice Network, is calling for international protests to mark this travesty of justice.

Campaigning organisations will hold protests in different countries including UK, USA, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, Denmark, Switzerland, India, Iran, Pakistan and Nigeria.

We request you to join this campaign with any type of activity in your country or with social media campaigns.

The sheikh’s ordeal began after he was shot along with his wife, Zeenah, and arrested during an orgy of violence unleashed over three days in December 2015 on supporters of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria in what was widely seen as a bid to curb the movement’s growing popularity.

At least 1000 civilians, mostly Islamic Movement supporters, were killed in the attacks and hundreds arrested.

Three of Sheikh Zakzaky’s children were killed in front of him. As a result of the attack during which he was shot Sheikh Zakzaky lost the sight of one eye and the use of one arm. The latest reports say that Sheikh Zakzaky is at high risk of developing acute glaucoma. His personal doctor has recommended he be taken abroad for specialist treatment which is not available in Nigeria. In defiance of a court order demanding the pair’s release Nigerian security services stubbornly refuse to set them free.

The 2015 attack is the subject of a complaint by the IHRC to the International Criminal Court in the Hague. To find out more about the Zaria massacre, read IHRC’s submission to the International Criminal Court HERE

Action Required

We request Muslims and all peace loving individuals and organisations around the world to join the #FreeZakzaky campaign by doing any of the following:

  • Join protests / vigils in your city or contact us if you can help arrange one
  • Arrange a Dua programme at your mosque for all those illegally detained especially for Sheikh Zakzaky
  • Join the #FreeZakzaky Twitter Campaign on Sunday 09 September 2018 at 17:00 BST
  • Share visual content prepared by the campaign on social media
  • Join the letter writing campaign by visiting this page HERE, subscribing to the campaign list HERE or contact us directly on
  • Request your Imam to mention 1000 Days of the unlawful detention in the Juma Khutba on 07 September
  • Take a picture with the message #FREEZAKZAKY with name of your city/ country, if possible in front of a known landmark and share with us & on social media

When: Anytime between 07 – 09 September 2018

Where: Protests ideally should be arranged outside the Nigerian High Commission / Embassy in your country. Campaigners are organising protests in UK, USA, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, Denmark, Switzerland, India, Iran, Pakistan and Nigeria.

If you require assistance to arrange even a small vigil in your area or need further information about this campaign please do not hesitate to contact us.

Contact: / T: +442089044222 / Whatsapp: +447305307650

Model Email / Letter:

1000 Days of Unlawful Detention of Sheikh Zakzaky

  1. Write to the Commonwealth Secretary General and demand they intervene in this case, a model email / letter and the contact details can be found below for your assistance.
  2. Please forward any response you receive to IHRC on

Model email / letter

Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC
Commonwealth Secretariat
Marlborough House
Pall Mall


Dear Baroness Scotland QC,

Re: Sheikh Zakzaky

I am writing to ask for your urgent intervention and to apply pressure on the Nigerian authorities to immediately release the unlawfully detained leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife Zeenah. 7 September 2018 marks 1000 days of their unlawful detention.  You are doubtless aware of the details of his case.

On 2 December 2016 the Federal High Court in Abuja ruled that Sheikh Zakzaky and Muallimah Zeenah should be released within 45 days. The court described their detention, which began in December 2015 as illegal and unconstitutional. The deadline for the court order expired on 16 January 2017 but the Nigerian Government has refused to obey the court order. The Nigerian government has kept them detained illegally for over two years now and Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife still remain in the custody of the state, in clear contempt of the court order.

I am extremely concerned as Sheikh Zakzaky suffered a stroke in early January and his condition has further deteriorated due to continued unlawful detention preventing his medical treatment. He was shot severally more than two years ago, losing his left eye in the process and is currently at a great risk of losing the other eye.

I urge your office to play an active role and make known in unconditional terms that the Nigerian Government will be held directly responsible if anything happens to the Sheikh or his wife and due to the seriousness and urgency of the situation I demand that the Commonwealth secretariat takes the following actions;

  1. Send a representative to Nigeria to see Mu’allim Zakzaky, his family and other detainees to assess their situation and intervene to allow specialist medical treatment outside Nigeria.
  2. Suspend Nigeria’s membership of the Commonwealth for the violence perpetrated by its army against the IMN;
  3. Demand the release of those held after mass arrests or being handed over to civilian police authorities;
  4. Demand the Nigerian government provide proper and immediate medical attention to all detainees and that all are released;
  5. Call for an independent investigation, under the auspices of an international body like the UN, into the violence against the movement and mass graves. The bodies of those in the mass graves need to be exhumed, identified and returned to their families. The Nigerian government and army needs to be held accountable for these crimes.

I look forward to hearing from you

Yours sincerely,

[Signature if posting]


Commonwealth Contact Details:


Postal Address: Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HX, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7747 6500
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7930 0827

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

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Telephone: +44 20 8904 4222
“And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper.”

Holy Qur’an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

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