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Islamic Movement worried about El-Zakzaky, wife whereabouts

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• Group condemns execution of Shiites leader by Saudi Arabia Shiites[/caption]MEMBERS of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Shiites, have raised concern over the whereabouts and condition of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, as well as his wife, three weeks after their arrest by the Nigerian military.

According to a statement by the President, Media Forum of IMN, Mallam Ibrahim Musa, in Kaduna yesterday, “it is on record that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General T.Y. Buratai had said on December 18th, 2015 that Sheikh El-Zakzaky had been transferred from the army to appropriate authorities for prosecution. We presumed he meant the Nigerian police. However, to our bewilderment, when a committee of National Supreme Council for Islamic affairs (NSCIA) met the Inspector General of Police and demanded to see the Sheikh, he refused.

“Not long ago, the Force Public Relations Officer, Olabisi Kolawole, had said that Sheikh Zakzaky was being prosecuted. And that he has been arraigned in court where he was charged with criminal conspiracy, inciting public disturbances among others.

“The Nigerian authorities had announced that he was detained and arraigned in Kaduna prisons. The Controller of Kaduna prisons, Abubakar Argungu, however denied he was in their custody. So whom should we believe?”

“The Islamic Movement as well as the general public are now seriously anxious. Where is Sheikh Zakzaky and why has he been denied his constitutional rights to an attorney, bail and visitation?”

Meanwhile, members of the Movement have condemned the execution of top Shiite leader, Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, by the Saudi Arabia government.

“Today, Saudi Arabia announced the execution of prominent Shia Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr, who was has been in prison custody since July 2012. He was killed after being convicted by what the interior ministry called terrorism offences,” said Musa, in a statement issued in Kaduna yesterday.

According to him, “it is known by everyone watching the international scene that Sheikh Nimr was a vocal supporter of the mass anti-government protests that erupted in the eastern province in 2011, where a Shia majority have long complained of marginalisation.”

He explained that, “We condemn in strong terms the execution of the Sheikh, because killing of Ulama of his status who advocate for change in their societies will not augur well for peace and development.”

Musa further said that, “We are however not surprised by what the Saudi regime did, because it is known for its poor human rights record. It is known that Saudi Arabia carried out more than 150 executions last year, the highest figure recorded by human rights groups for 20 years.”


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