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Nigeria Relocates Sheikh Zakzaky, Spouse

The detained leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and his wife have been relocated to an undisclosed safe location amid fears of assassination attempts.

According to reports, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and Zeenat were moved to the unnamed detention center in the capital Abuja on Saturday.

In early December, the Abuja division of the Federal High Court of Nigeria announced that both of them should be released unconditionally. After a few days, Kaduna State authorities called for Zakzaky’s prosecution for the alleged “lawlessness” of the IMN.

In October, authorities in the state declared the mainstream Shia group as illegal as part of the state crackdown against the Muslim community.

The prominent cleric and his wife were taken into custody on December 14, 2015, after deadly clashes between the supporters of the IMN movement and Nigerian troops.

Nearly 350 members of the Shia movement were killed in the clashes. The sheikh was brutally injured and his house was reportedly destroyed by the army in the incident.

After detaining Zakzaky, the Nigerian government stepped up its crackdown on the IMN. In November, nearly 100 IMN supporters were killed when Nigerian forces fired live rounds and teargas at mourners during a peaceful march ahead of the Arba’een mourning rituals, which mark 40 days after the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (peace be upon him), the third Shia imam. Authorities also destroyed a number of buildings belonging to the IMN.


About Ali Teymoori

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