16 January 2018

Nigeria: El-Zakzaky - Group to Begin Daily Sit-Out for Shiite Leader's Release

A civic group says it would commence a daily sit-out on Wednesday to press for the release of Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, the leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria who has been in custody since 2015.

Concerned Nigerians have condemned the prolonged incarceration of the Shiite leader, who was detained alongside his wife.

The couple was arrested on December 14, 2015, following a clampdown on Shiites by the Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna State.

At least 347 members Shiites were killed and secretly buried in mass graves by the army.

A Federal High Court in Abuja in December 2016 ordered the release of Mr. Zakzaky and his wife by the State Security Service, SSS.

The SSS refused to obey the order, saying it kept Mr. El-Zakzaky in "protective custody."

Mr. El-Zakzaky was publicly seen for the first time since the 2015 massacre after he was paraded before some reporters selected by the SSS on Saturday.

A spokesperson for the IMN said on Sunday that the organisation was not convinced by the brief interview that Mr. El-Zakzaky and his wife are doing fine.

Members of the IMN group have been staging series of processions across the northern states demanding their release.

In a statement to PREMIUM TIMES Tuesday evening, Theophilus Agada, a spokesperson for Concerned Nigerians, said the sit-out would hold daily between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. at Unity Fountain, Abuja.

The group invited top human rights advocates to observe the sit-out when it commences on Wednesday.

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