Human RightsNews

Zakzaky’s Daughter Laments Parents’ Health After 2,000 Days In Detention

Suhaila Ibrahim Zakzaky has spoken out about her parents' worsening health condition while in detention despite a court order to free them.

Suhaila Ibrahim Zakzaky, the daughter of the detained leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), has pleaded with the Nigerian Government to release her parents who have been detained for over 2,000 days.

Suhaila told BBC Hausa Service on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 that her life has not been the same after her brothers died and her father, Ibrahim Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat Ibrahim, were unlawfully detained.

She bemoaned her parents’ worsening health while in custody due to a lack of sufficient medical attention.

“They used to be visited, but they are no longer allowed to be seen,” Suhaila complained.

Her father has had bullet fragments in his body for over six years, and her mother has leg injuries, according to her.

After the Nigerian Army accused his students of blocking the road of the former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Tukur Buratai, Zakzaky was arrested, imprisoned, and his residence was demolished in 2015.

Approximately 1,000 IMN members were slain that day, and a mass grave containing at least 300 corpses was uncovered later in Kaduna State, Northwest, Nigeria, where some of them were secretly buried.

The Nigerian Army stated that it had retaliated against an effort by the IMN to assassinate Buratai, the former Nigerian Chief of Army Staff.

There have been numerous calls for the release of Zakzaky and his wife but the Nigerian Government has not yielded despite a High Court order that the IMN leader be granted bail.

Several non-governmental organisations described the killings as a massacre and activists have continued to demand justice for the victims.

Buhari should be held responsible – IMN

On Tuesday, June 8, 2021, while Zakzaky marked 2,000 days in detention, the IMN accused the President Muhammadu Buhari leg government of planning to annihilate its members in Nigeria.

“It should be noted that should anything happen to him and his wife, the Buhari led Government would be held responsible,” the IMN said in a statement signed by Professor S.A. Maigandi, for the organisation.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the unfortunate massacre of brothers and sisters of the Islamic Movement whose bodies were buried in mass grave; the subsequent arrest of Sheikh El-Zakzaky and hundreds of his followers and the destruction of the property that belong to him perpetrated by the Nigerian Army in Zaria, have led to the death of more than 1,000 people, rendered 1,866 children orphaned. Even while calling for his immediate and unconditional release; in Abuja alone, 78 protesters were killed in cold blood.”

“The health of Shaikh El-Zakzaky and his wife in Kaduna prison is giving us serious cause for concern, as, of recent, Malama Zeenat Ibraheem contracted COVID-19. Their health deteriorates on a daily basis, as reliable information available to us reveals. In fact they need urgent medical attention,” the movement said.

The group further said it would continue staging protests till the release of its leader and will continue to push the case of the Zaria massacre to the International Criminal Court of Justice.

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Aliyu Dahiru

Aliyu is an Assistant Editor at HumAngle and Head of the Radicalism and Extremism Desk. He has years of experience researching misinformation and influence operations. He is passionate about analysing jihadism in Africa and has published several articles on the topic. His work has been featured in various local and international publications.

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