Press Statement : We Demand the Release of Shaikh Zakzaky for Proper Medication
The following is a Press Statement on the most recent development on the health situation of the revered leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria IMN His Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H), delivered at Kaduna today by the National Coordinator of the Resource Forum of the IMN Prof. Abdullahi Danladi:
WE DEMAND THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF SHAIKH ZAKZAKY FOR APPROPRIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION
Good morning ladies and gentlemen.
It has become increasingly clear that the Nigerian authorities are not too bothered about the survival or health of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Shaikh Ibraheem Zakzaky. While they recently cynically told the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that they are detaining him with his consent in protective custody and that they have spent close to five million Naira on him, evidence glaringly point to the contrary. The Shaikh is being held and allowed to gradually loose his sight and die in detention.
On a very rarely allowed visit by his immediate family members, the actual condition in which the Shaikh is being detained once again came in focus. What is obvious is that his health condition in general and his sight in particular, is gradually but rapidly deteriorating. His only surviving son raised an alarm soon after only the fourth allowed visit by family members since the past eight months he is in detention without charges.
In an open letter released last week, Shaikh Zakzaky’s son wrote "as his sight continues to fail day by day, the DSS continues to refuse, under the guise of bureaucratic excuses, our request that a known qualified doctor be allowed to attend to him." Elaborating further in an interview, the younger brother of the Shaikh, who was in the team of family members that were allowed to visit, explained that Shaikh’s left eye is in dire need of specialized medical attention. He complained that surgery earlier done to the eye by DSS chosen doctor in an attempt to save his sight appears to have failed, and the doctor had confessed that he could no longer do anything else as he has reached the limits of his professional abilities. The doctor had reportedly also told the Shaikh that perhaps an intervention in a better equipped facility could save his sight. Additionally, the left arm where he sustained gunshot wounds is still demobilized and the wounds are yet to completely heal. There is no mention of how well-controlled his elevated blood pressure for which he had been on medications prior to the attack eight months ago is.
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) is deeply concerned about the health of our incarcerated leader and believe that it is in the interest of the Nigerian State and those holding him to release him unconditionally to enable him attend to his heath. The Nigerian people and the international community know too well that our leader has not been accused of committing any crime and has not been charged or arraigned before any competent court of the land for the past eight months in clear violation of his Fundamental Human rights.
We would like to strongly appeal to those that are holding him hostage illegally in violation of his basic rights, to release him as a matter of urgency to enable him seek medical attention in any place of his choice.
Similarly, we call on all human rights groups and rights activists, well-meaning citizens and journalists, who are conscience of the nation, to join hands in demanding for Justice for the Islamic Movement, its leadership and members who are currently languishing in Kaduna prison, and in particular all those still being kept captives by the military in various military and DSS detention facilities, whose health condition we don’t even know. This must start from the immediate release of Shaikh Zakzaky.
Prof. Abdullahi Danladi
Islamic Movement in Nigeria