Nigeria Digest #75

Nigeria Digest #75

Islamic Human Rights Commission
NIGERIA DIGEST 24 February 2019 (Volume 3 Issue 07)

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Action Alert


Below please find an update on the continuous Free Zakzaky protests. This week IHRC raised concerns about possible unilateral action taken by security apparatus against Sheikh Zakzaky.

Click here to watch the weekly message from IHRC chair Masoud Shadjerah about our fundraising and campaigning for the Islamic Movement of Nigeria. 

We request campaigners keep the pressure on the African Union by writing emails/letters, demanding the immediate release of the Sheikh and all those unjustly imprisoned. Please forward any responses you receive to us and keep the pressure up by continuing to send follow-ups. A model letter is provided below in the Action Alert.

To find out more about the Zaria massacre of 2015, read IHRC’s submission to the International Criminal Court here

To find out how you can help further, please visit the IHRC FreeZakzaky campaign page here

Free Zakzaky!


1. Click here to learn the five things you can do to support the Islamic Movement of Nigeria. You can donate to support the medical expenses of those recently injured by clicking here

2. Send an email to the African Union and demand their intervention in this case. A model letter and contact details of the African Union are provided below. Please forward any responses you receive to IHRC at

Model email / letter
If you are emailing, please use the following in the subject line:
Three Years of Unlawful Detention of Sheikh Zakzaky

Your name
Your address

African Union Chairperson
President Paul Kagame
Roosevelt Street (Old Airport Area), W21K19,
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Dear President Kagame,

Re: Over Three Years of Unlawful Detention of 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 the Islamic Movement of Nigeria Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife Zeenah. They have been held in illegal detention for over 3 years. You are doubtless aware of the details of his case.

On 02 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 three years now and Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife still remain in the custody of the state, in clear contempt of the court order.

The African Union’s silence on this issue is putting more innocent lives at risk. Recently Nigerian authorities have killed over 60 peaceful FreeZakzaky protesters, and arrested, tortured, and injured hundreds of them with live bullets in a barbaric attack on ArbaeenTrek 2018.

I am writing to ask for your urgent intervention to allow the illegally detained Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife to leave Nigeria for urgent medical treatment due to their critically deteriorating, life-threatening medical conditions. The Sheikh’s personal doctor confirmed in his most recent report that his only remaining eye is in danger due to chronic glaucoma and recommended him to be taken abroad for urgent treatment by a specialist, as this is not available in any Nigerian hospital.

It is imperative that you apply pressure on the Nigerian authorities so that they stop killing innocent people and adhere to the High Court judgement of December 2016, and release Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife immediately.

I look forward to hearing from you,
Yours sincerely,

African Union Contact Details:
Postal Address: P.O. Box 3243, Roosevelt Street, W21K19 | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel: (251) 11 551 77 00 | Fax:(251) 11 551 78 44


Concerns over safety of Zakzaky, as press fuel Iran support for Buhari story

22 February 2019

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.

Zakzaky is not Thomas Becket; Buhari be warned
22 February 2019 – Arzu Merali

One can’t help but wonder whether Buhari’s latest campaign tactic – as claimed across the media in Nigeria today – that Iran is now his and not Sheikh Zakzaky’s avid follower – that his king complex has taken him to the place of Harold II of England.  Said monarch lamented to his circle, “Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?” in reference to the Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket.  The result?  An assassinated cleric immediately beatified, and a supposedly penitent but also politically more powerful monarch.

Buhari must understand that there are no such comparisons to be made.  Many observers fear an attempt to provoke some sort of ‘unilateral’ action against Zakzaky by a ‘rogue’ member of the security apparatus to enact the scenario leaked earlier this month to assassinate Zakzaky during the election period is heralded by today’s news stories.  If anything, many see this attempt and media campaign as sideshow to distract from the likelihood of a Buhari defeat.  Murder to justify defeat is a low even for Buhari but really that does seem to be the desperation he reeks of.  
Click here to read the Arzu Merali’s blog.

Daily Free Zakzaky Protest In Front Of Ministry Of Foreign Affairs In Abuja.
20 February 2019

The daily peaceful protest calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria was staged today Wednesday the  20/2/2019, staged earlier in the city of Abuja, federal capital territory, by thousands of brothers and sisters.

The protest marched peacefully chanting slogans for the demand of immediate release of the leader, his wife and several others in illegal detention.

It would be recalled that, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky had been in illegal detention for more than 3 years now, after Nigerian Army attack on Sheikh Zakzaky’s house and Hussainiyyah, centre for religious gathering of the Movement, killed more than 1000 innocent members, buried more than 360 corpses in  one grave to cover their unforgettable atrocity.

Free Zakzaky Protest in Abuja on 19 Feb
19 February 2019
Daily  Free Zakzaky protest staged at Garki Village Abuja on Tuesday the 19th of Feb 2019 demanding the unconditional release of Sheikh Zakzaky from more than three years unlawful detention.

Massive Daily Free Sheikh Zakzaky Protests Continues In the City of Abuja, Nigeria
18 February 2019

Massive peaceful protest demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria continues today Monday 18/2/2019, by multitudes of members of the Movement.

Sheikh Zakzaky spent over 3 years in illegal detention in contempt of court order that had since ordered his release since December 2016, by tyrant Nigeria authorities have refused to obey the order.


Appeal to Help Recent Nigeria Massacre Victims
01 November 2018 – IHRC Weekly
The Nigerian authorities have attacked the Islamic Movement of Nigeria leaving dozens dead. They need your help now.

IHRC Takes Massacre of Nigerian Muslims to ICC
Published on 22 March 2016 – Press TV Report


Click here to read IHRC PRESS RELEASE – Nigeria: Evidence emerges of mass burials after Arbaeen massacre, published on 24 November 2016

Click here to read A Letter by IHRC Chair Massoud Shadjareh to President Buhari regarding possible attacks on Arbaeen processions in Nigeria, the letter was sent on 08 November 2016.

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
United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
Twitter @ihrc

The opinions expressed in this email do not necessarily reflect the views of IHRC

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