Amnesty Calls for Release of Nigerian Shiite Leader

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Amnesty International Monday urged Nigeria to comply with a court ruling to release a cleric and hundreds of his supporters, as a deadline for them to be freed loomed.

Ibrahim Zakzaky, who leads the Shiite Muslim Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), has spent more than a year in custody.

The three days of violence in the northern city of Zaria left at least 350 IMN members dead, according to human rights groups. Nigeria's military has rejected the claimed death toll.

A judge in Abuja on Dec. 2 called the detention of Zakzaky and his followers illegal and unconstitutional, and imposed a 45-day deadline for their release, which expires later Monday.

Amnesty Nigeria director Makmid Kamara said the government "will demonstrate a flagrant -- and dangerous -- contempt for the rule of law" if it ignored the ruling.

"Zakzaky is being unlawfully detained," he said in an emailed statement, AFP reported.

"This might be part of a wider effort to cover up the gruesome crimes committed by members of the security forces in Zaria in December 2015 that left hundreds dead."

There was no immediate response from the government.

Amnesty Calls for Release of Nigerian Shiite Leader Amnesty Calls for Release of Nigerian Shiite Leader Reviewed by Comrade Okoye Robinson Chibuzo on Monday, January 16, 2017 Rating: 5

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