Iran summons Nigerian charge d’affaires over situation of Shia cleric
Iran’s Foreign Ministry has summoned Nigeria’s charge d’affaires to express concern over the deteriorating health situation of the Nigerian Shia leader Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky in detention since December 2015.
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Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi announced the summoning on Monday, describing Zakzaki as a “eruditely and distinguished figure.”
“We hope that the efforts that are being taken [towards bettering Mr. Zakzaky’s condition] yield result and he recovers his health,” Moussavi said.
The 66-year-old leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria has been in detention since December 2015 following a crackdown by Nigerian forces against the African nation’s Muslim community.
He has reportedly sustained serious injury resulting from brutal treatment by security forces that has cost him his left eye.
The crackdown also took the lives of three of his sons and 300 of his followers.
In 2016, Nigeria’s federal high court ordered Zakzaky’s unconditional release from jail following a trial.
However, he was charged in April 2018 with murder, culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, disruption of public peace, and other accusations. He has pleaded not guilty.
Most recently, his son Mohammad said the authorities were determined to take the cleric’s life by exposing him to toxic material.