Free Sheikh Zakzaky protests held globally

Alwaght- Protests have been held across the world over the weekend demanding the immediate release Nigerian Islamic Movement leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky who is being detained incommunicado by the country’s military.

Free Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky protests/rallies were held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday across the globe, from US to Canada, down to the heart of Europe including London, Paris and various cities to Istanbul. In the West Asia region protests have been held in various parts of Iran, Bahrain, Lebanon and Iraq while other Asian countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan Indonesia and as far as Australia have also seen protests in solidarity with Sheikh Zakzaky.

In Nigeria itself protests are being held almost on a daily basis demanding the unconditional release of Sheikh Zakzaky and hundreds of other Islamic movement members illegally detained by Nigerian the Nigerian military for almost a month now. Protestors also condemned the massacre of over 1,000 Nigerian Muslims by the country’s army.

Zakzaky has been in police custody since Nigerian forces raided his home on December 13 and arrested him after reportedly killing those attempting to protect him, including one of the movement’s senior leaders and its spokesman.

A day before the police raid, Nigerian troops attacked Islamic Movement members attending a ceremony at a religious center in the northern city of Zaria, accusing them of blocking the convoy of the army’s chief of staff and attempting to assassinate him.
During both incidents the army killed hundreds of members of the Islamic Movement, including three of Zakzaky’s sons. According to media reports, dozens of people are believed to have been killed in the violence, but the Britain-based Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) puts the toll at over 1,000.

The condition or whereabouts of Sheikh Zakzaky remain unknown. A picture later emerged of the wounded sheikh showed him being forced to sit on the floor while he is being tortured by military personnel. His face showed signs of evident beating and there is a bullet hole to his torso.

Sheikh Zakzaky’s wife is also currently being detained without charge along with many of the movement’s supporters. It is feared they are being denied much needed medical attention.

Meanwhile IHRC is applying pressure on various international organizations to help secure the release of the detained leader of Nigeria’s Islamic Movement, Sheikh Zakzaky.

Sheikh Zakzaky’s wife is also currently being detained without charge along with many of the movement’s supporters. It is feared they are being denied much needed medical attention.

Following the attack on the Islamic Movement IHRC received photographs and testimonies of mass graves where the army is reported to have buried fatalities from the killing spree in Zaria. The Islamic Movement of Nigeria has accused troops involved in last month’s bloody attack of raping women and burning corpses of those it had killed.

IHRC is writing to the European Union, the United Nations and the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group seeking action over the treatment of Sheikh Zakzaky but also to raise with the bodies the abuses that have been perpetrated by the Nigerian military in the course of its recent assault on the Islamic Movement.

The symbols and institutions of the Islamic Movement were destroyed in the attack, Sheikh Zakzaky’s personal residence in Zaria was destroyed, as was the Hussainiyyah Baqiyatullah which served as the movement’s centre. The army destroyed the home housing the tomb of Sheikh Zakzaky’s mother, and dozens of graves belonging to victims of 2014 Al-Quds Day massacre when troops opened fire on a peaceful procession. A mosque which stood near the site of the graves was also completely destroyed.

“These demonic acts perpetrated by Nigerian Army has not only raised the Army human rights abuse records but has also turned a lot of women in to widows, children in to orphans and has also succeeded in wiping out a lot of families,” said Aisha Hassan, secretary of the Sisters Forum of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria.

By Alwaght