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Iran Pursuing Case of Sheikh Zakzaky’s Health via Diplomatic Channels

Iran Pursuing Case of Sheikh Zakzaky’s Health via Diplomatic Channels
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By Staff, Agencies

Iran constantly pursues the case of Nigeria’s top Shia cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky through diplomatic contacts with the Nigerian government in line with efforts to help improve his health, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Sunday.

Speaking to reporters in Tehran, Mousavi said Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Iranian Vice President for Economic Affairs Mohammad Nahavandian have recently held a meeting on a range of issues, including Sheikh Zakzaky’s case.

The meeting in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, took place on the sidelines of the 5th Summit of Gas Exporting Countries Forum [GECF] in Equatorial Guinea.

“We hope that the consultations and arrangements that are being made will expedite the settlement of this issue,” Mousavi added.

The top Shia cleric, who is in his mid-sixties, has been under arrest since December 2015, when his home in the town of Zaria was raided by Nigerian forces in a deadly incident during which he was beaten and lost his left eye.

Three of Sheikh Zakzaky’s sons were martyred, his wife sustained serious wounds and more than 300 of his followers lost their lives.

Relatively, members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria [IMN], regularly take to the streets of Abuja and several other cities to call for Sheikh Zakzkay’s release.

Most recently, the Nigerian authorities transferred him and his wife, Malama Zeenah, to a dilapidated prison, where many detainees have so far died due to lack of medical care.

A High Court ordered the Department of State Services on Thursday to transfer the couple to the Correctional Center in Kaduna state, northwest of Nigeria.

Earlier on Sunday, Sheikh Zakzaky's daughter, Suhailah, expressed concerns about her parents’ health conditions and said the Nigerian government had ignored her father’s legal right to treatment.

Speaking at a press conference in Tehran, she added that the same court, which had issued a verdict on the necessity for the urgent treatment of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife, on December 5 ordered their transfer to the Correctional Center in Kaduna. She said she knew nothing about her parents' situation in the prison.

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