Zakzaky: Trial resumes today as global figures intensify calls for Shiites leader’s release

Zakzaky: Trial resumes today as global figures intensify calls for Shiites leader’s release

The ongoing trial of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, leader of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and his wife, Mallima Zeenah resumes today, Thursday, July 1, 2021.

1st News reports that Zakzaky and his wife are currently standing trial before a Kaduna High Court.

The IMN leader was arrested by the Army and handed over to the Department of State Services after a bloody clash between the soldiers in the entourage of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, in Zaria, Kaduna State, on December 12, 2015. Thereafter, Zakzaky and his wife were detained by the DSS for over two years without charge. This was until April 2018 when the Kaduna State Government eventually filed eight counts against the IMN leader; his wife and two others said to be at large.

The prosecution accused the defendants of, among other sundry offences, killing Corporal Yakuku Dankaduna; who was said to be in Buratai’s convoy during the December 2015 bloody clash between El-Zakzaky’s Shiite followers and the soldiers in the convoy.

Currently, the pair are said to have endured a continually disrupted and delayed hearing to dismiss the case against them.

The hearing continues today at the Kaduna High Court.

Meanwhile, advocates and human rights campaigners worldwide are calling on the Nigerian authorities to release Zakzaky. The campaigners, who claim their continued detention is illegal, are demanding their release and the payment of compensation.

ALSO READ: Zakzaky deserves to be jailed, prosecution tells court

Zakzaky

Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton, and former UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk, is one of those who have lent their voices to the call for Zakzaky’s release.

“I call for the immediate release from forced detention of Sheikh El-Zakzaky and Mallima Zeenah; leaders of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria. They have been unjustly detained in prison since 2015, interfering with their human rights and the freedom of religion.”

Also demanding his release is John Feffer, director of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies.

“The Nigerian courts ruled in 2016 that Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky should be released from detention. Yet he remains detained, along with his wife Mallima Zeenah.

”This is a clear violation of human rights. The Nigerian government must respect not only its own court decisions but international norms and practices by releasing the Zakzakys immediately,” Feffer stated.

In addition, head of the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), Massoud Shadjareh is adamant that the case of the detained Zakzaky is one of oppression.

“Nigeria cannot continue to protest to the world that it is transforming into a democratic state that values equality and social justice; whilst detaining and killing hundreds of innocents and dissidents.  The case of the Zakzakys embodies the stark choice the authorities face.  We urge them to reject their oppressive policies, and start by freeing Sheikh El-Zakzaky and Mallimah Zeenah.”

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