Nigeria Crackdown: Islamic Movement Slams Regime’s Move to Label It ‘Terror’ Group
By Staff, Agencies
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria [IMN] condemned a recent court order that allows the government to label it as a “terrorist” group.
At a news conference in Abuja on Sunday, senior IMN official Yahiya Dahiru condemned the move as a "dangerous development".
"You can never stop an ideology, you can never stop an idea, you can never stop our religion," he added, AFP reported.
He also said that protests would not stop until Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, the IMN’s leader, who has been in detention since 2015, was released.
On Saturday, a court in Abuja granted an order permitting the government to label the IMN as being involved in “terrorism and illegality.”
Sheikh Zakzaky has been held in detention since December 2015 and was charged just in April 2018 with murder, culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, disruption of public peace and other accusations. He has pleaded not guilty.
In 2016, Nigeria’s federal high court ordered his unconditional release from jail following a trial, but the government has so far refused to set him free.
Sheikh Zakzaky, in his mid-sixties, lost his left eyesight in a raid which was carried out by the Nigerian army on his residence in the northern town of Zaria in December 2015.
During the raid, Sheikh Zakzaky’s wife sustained serious wounds too and more than 300 of his followers and three of his sons were killed. Zakzaky, his wife, and a large number of the cleric’s followers have since been in custody.
Recently, the UK-based Islamic Human Rights Commission [IHRC] announced that it had received reports about Zakzaky’s health condition that it had further worsened.
The IHRC — which had sent a medical team to Nigeria in April to examine the health condition of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife — has already said the specialist treatment they require can only be fully accessed outside the African country.