Iran Condemns Violence, Use of Force against Nigeria Protesters

Iran Condemns Violence, Use of Force against Nigeria Protesters
Nigerian police officers patrol in the streets of Abuja during clashes with members of the shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) on July 22, 2019. / Photo by AFP

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi has expressed deep concern over the recent unrest and clashes in the Nigerian capital Abuja.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mousavi condemned violence and the use of force against demonstrators taking part in Monday protest rallies.

He touched upon the worsening health condition of detained Muslim leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, and said it has been more than two months since the medical team reported Zakzaky and his wife needed immediate medical treatment abroad.

“Nigerian authorities are expected to immediately get Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky out of the detention centre and provide him with access to proper medical services,” the spokesman said.

Highlighting the need for preserving security and stability and restoring peace in Nigeria, Mousavi appealed for calm by both sides, and urged Nigerian officials to exercise restraint.

He further called on authorities to speed up the trend of Zakzaky’s treatment and ease worries about his deteriorating health condition. He also called for a negotiated settlement of existing problems.

Abuja as well as several other cities around the world has, in recent days witnessed protest rallies where demonstrators called for the release of the Muslim cleric.

Demonstrations in Abuja turned ugly on Monday as security forces used violence against protesters.

Meanwhile there have been growing concerns over Zakzaky’s frail health.

Recently, a lawyer for the imprisoned cleric warned that his client’s health was in critical condition and that he might die if he was not released very soon.

The warning came after a Nigerian court ordered to extend Zakzaky’s detention for another eleven days. Zakzaky’s legal team says the cleric suffered a stroke last week and has got no sleep for seven days. The hearing will now be adjourned until July 29th.

Meanwhile, a group of 50 activists wrote a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, demanding Nigeria’s religious leader be allowed to leave the country for urgent medical treatment. Zakzaky has been in prison since 2015.

   
   

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