Buhari free Sheikh Zakzaky now!

Tehran Times - - FRONT PAGE -

TEHRAN — (MNA) – Musa, the Pres­i­dent of IMN’s Me­dia Forum told Mehr News Agency that af­ter 700 days of un­war­ranted de­ten­tion of Sheikh Zakzaky, Zakzaky’s wife, and com­pan­ions, still no­body has heard of his des­tiny.

Ibrahim Musa, the Pres­i­dent of Me­dia Forum of the Is­lamic Move­ment in Nige­ria (IMN) told Mehr News Agency on Sun­day that Nige­rian Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari is try­ing to cover up his tyran­ni­cal treat­ment of Mus­lims in the African coun­try.

Here comes the full text of his mes­sage sent to Mehr News on Sun­day:

700 days of il­le­gal de­ten­tion: Buhari free Sheikh Zakzaky now! It is now 700 days since the un­war­ranted de­ten­tion of our leader, Sheikh Ibra­heem Zakzaky, his wife, Zeenah, and sev­eral hun­dreds of other mem­bers of the Is­lamic Move­ment in Nige­ria in var­i­ous de­ten­tion cen­ters. That was se­quel to the cruel at­tack by the Fed­eral govern­ment us­ing its Mil­i­tary might in an at­tempt at ex­ter­mi­nat­ing the Move­ment, its lead­er­ship, mem­ber­ship and prop­er­ties. As we are all aware, since that mur­der­ous week­end of De­cem­ber 12, 2015, we are still look­ing for jus­tice on the mat­ter.

What hap­pened be­tween De­cem­ber 12 and 14, 2015 and sub­se­quently has largely been de­lib­er­ately kept hid­den by the per­pe­tra­tors. Amnesty In­ter­na­tional (AI) in its re­port called it “’Un­earthing the Truth’: Un­law­ful killings and mass cover-up in Zaria.” The re­port, which was a prod­uct of ex­ten­sive field in­ves­ti­ga­tion by in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tors, has since been ir­ri­tat­ing the Nige­rian govern­ment, who are hell-bent on cov­er­ing what ac­tu­ally hap­pened that cost the lives of over a thou­sand in­no­cent cit­i­zens, us­ing all in­stru­ments of state pow­ers.

Only re­cently, they have tried un­suc­cess­fully to stamp the cover up us­ing the so-called Pres­i­den­tial In­ves­ti­ga­tion Panel, headed by Jus­tice Bio­bele A. Ge­orgewill, pur­port­edly es­tab­lished to probe hu­man rights abuses of the mil­i­tary. How­ever, when it mat­tered most, the panel clearly demon­strated its lack of cred­i­bil­ity and in­de­pen­dence, when it took weeks be­fore the panel was given “per­mis­sion” to en­ter­tain the memo of the most vic­tim­ized pe­ti­tioner, who suf­fered what could best be de­scribed as state-sanc­tioned geno­cide. Even at that, the panel did not have the liver to take tes­ti­mony in pub­lic, as it tried to hide ev­i­dence from pub­lic glare and scru­tiny. The govern­ment of Buhari was not pre­pared to face the truth.

It is only now that it is be­com­ing clear to peo­ple that right from the out­set; the in­tent was to de­stroy in whole the Is­lamic Move­ment in Nige­ria (IMN). That was clearly demon­strated by the mil­i­tary per­son­nel that re­peat­edly chanted “No more Shi’ah” and other anti-IMN slo­gans as they mas­sa­cred women, chil­dren and all oth­ers in Zaria. That would ex­plain why they de­stroyed all prop­er­ties of IMN in­clud­ing schools and re­li­gious cen­ters as well as des­e­crated grave yards where mem­bers of IMN were buried. They mas­sively killed over a thou­sand mem­bers of the IMN, in­clud­ing those they had shot and in­jured but could not be taken to shel­ter. They burnt peo­ple alive as well as the corpses of those they had killed!

Who would quan­tify the se­ri­ous bod­ily or men­tal harm the un­prece­dented Zaria mas­sacre and the per­sis­tent fol­low through had caused to mem­bers of the Is­lamic Move­ment and their re­la­tions? Those who had es­caped with their lives faced other shades of bru­tal­ity till this day. Hun­dreds were ar­bi­trar­ily ar­rested and are de­tained, some be­ing wrongly ac­cused with framed up charges. It is only now that the courts have been vin­di­cat­ing us, dis­charg­ing and ac­quit­ting the wrong­fully ac­cused and de­tained. Many are still be­ing kept in se­cret con­fine­ment with­out charges or tri­als. Many were de­nied ap­pro­pri­ate med­i­cal at­ten­tion and died in cus­tody. Preg­nant women had pre­ma­ture de­liv­er­ies while in cus­tody and some oth­ers suf­fered mis­car­riages. The hall­mark of the men­tal tor­ture was the se­cret burial of those they killed in mass graves with­out let­ting their re­la­tions give them a be­fit­ting burial. In fact, their rel­a­tives have not been in­formed of the ex­tra­ju­di­cial ex­e­cu­tion of their loved ones.

Shaikh Zakzaky’s health con­di­tion con­tin­ues to de­te­ri­o­rate in de­ten­tion, a con­di­tion cal­cu­lated to bring about his phys­i­cal de­struc­tion. Even as the courts had passed judg­ment call­ing for the re­lease of the Sheikh and com­pen­sa­tion for il­le­gal de­ten­tion, the govern­ment is still hold­ing him in con­tempt to that judg­ment al­most a year af­ter. For the last seven hun­dred days of their in­car­cer­a­tion, Sheikh Zakzaky was al­lowed ac­cess to his lawyers only twice.

For the last seven hun­dred days, we are be­ing de­nied our rights to our faith in Kaduna, Kano and Sokoto as well as some few other states. We have been de­nied the right to freely as­so­ciate, as­sem­ble or peace­fully protest. You all are wit­nesses to all these acts of in­tim­i­da­tion.

As of to­day, the govern­ment of Buhari has not ar­rested a sin­gle per­son for these se­ri­ous crimes. It has shown ob­vi­ous un­will­ing­ness to ap­pro­pri­ately pros­e­cute the per­pe­tra­tors of this geno­cide. It only seeks to fur­ther pro­tect them and even fur­ther per­pe­trate more crimes. We are pre­pared to take all nec­es­sary le­gal ways to seek re­dress. In the in­ter­na­tional scene, we shall pro­ceed to urge the Pros­e­cu­tor at the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Court (ICC) at The Hague to in­dict Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari, Gov­er­nors Nasiru ElR­u­fai and Umaru Gan­duje, Gen­eral Yusuf Bu­ratai and all oth­ers who metic­u­lously planned and ex­e­cuted the Zaria geno­cide and are ac­tively per­pet­u­at­ing it.

The Is­lamic Move­ment in Nige­ria wishes to ap­pre­ci­ate all per­sons and groups who are stand­ing by us since the last seven hun­dred days. The road was long, rough and tor­tu­ous, but at every turn you were all there with us. The work ahead re­mains ar­du­ous. We will how­ever not re­lent in step­ping up our peace­ful protests for the re­lease of our leader and all those be­ing held. We are not cowed by their ter­ror tac­tics against us.

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