IHRC’s Free Zakzaky campaign asks campaigners to continue demanding that the Nigerian authorities release Sheikh El-Zakzaky, Muallima Zeenah and all those detained during and since the Zaria massacre of 2015 from the Islamic Movement.
The current Covid-19 pandemic crisis is still ongoing. On April 9, Buhari pardoned 2500 prisoners from Nigeria’s prisons. The pardon includes prisoners aged over 60 and those suffering from severe health conditions. However, this pardon did not include Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife Muallima Zeenah, who are both over 60 and have severe health conditions. New information reveal that the health condition of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife is seriously deteriorated.
The Sheikh and his wife have been kept in illegal detention for over four years. The federal high court of Nigeria has ordered the release of the Sheikh and his wife including compensation. However, the state authorities have decided to prosecute the couple and imprison them in the Kaduna State prison where the conditions of living pose a threat for their wellbeing, especially in the current pandemic climate.
We are urging the Nigerian authorities to release Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife Muallima Zeenah, other members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria and other political and relevant prisoners. This is a policy that needs to be implemented quickly in Nigeria, given the worsening coronavirus pandemic.
IHRC are calling upon campaigners to write to their country’s Nigerian ambassador / High Commissioner and copy in the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention demanding the Nigerian authorities order the release of political prisoners immediately. A model letter is provided.
Dear [Insert Ambassador / High Commissioner’s name],
I am shocked to find out that the Nigerian president’s amnesty on 9 April to 2500 prisoners did not include Sheikh El-Zakzaky and Muallima Zeenah, and indeed other political prisoners. The Sheikh and his wife are both aged over 60 and are suffering from severe health conditions. During this week, based on the new information, an academic forum of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria raised concerns about the further deteriorating health condition of Sheikh Zakaky and his wife.
Sheikh El-Zakzaky and Muallima Zeenah continue to be held in illegal detention despite a 2016 Federal High Court ruling that their detention is unlawful and unconstitutional. I urge your government to release Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzaky, his wife Muallima Zeenah and other political prisoners immediately. Their continued illegal detention in Kaduna State prison poses a high risk to their health, especially in the current COVID19 outbreak.
This is a policy that needs to be implemented quickly in Nigeria not just for the Sheikh and his wife, who both have underlying health conditions, but for all political prisoners wherever possible for the sake of justice and also the sake of Nigerian society as a whole.
Click on the following link to find the name, address and contact details of the relevant diplomat in your country:
Selected names and email addresses of Ambassadors / High Commissioners can be found below. Please contact us email@example.com if you have trouble finding the details of your country.
Please remember to also cc/ in Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights: firstname.lastname@example.org
UK: Mr Olukunle A. Bamgbose, Acting High Commissioner, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
France: Mr Hakeem O. Sulaiman , Ambassador, email@example.com
Malaysia: Nurudeen Muhammed , Chargé d’Affaires, firstname.lastname@example.org/ email@example.com
Turkey: Mr Ahmed Abdulhamid, Ambassador, firstname.lastname@example.org
Iran: Mr Hamzat Ibrahim, Ambassador, email@example.comfirstname.lastname@example.org
India: Mr Sola Enikanolaye , High Commissioner, email@example.com
Sweden: Mrs Jane Ada Ndem, Chargé d’Affaires firstname.lastname@example.org