Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Zakzaky, a 66-year-ld leading Muslim figure, who is currently being held in detention by the Federal Government of Nigeria, along with his wife, and a large number of followers, is on the deathbed due to the torture he has suffered in detention. Al-Zakzaky, who is head of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) he founded in the late 1970. He was arrested on 14th December 2015 during a military crackdown on his bastion of Zaria in the Kaduna State. The brutal carnage left scores of his followers, including three of his sons, dead. He was also blinded in the attack and left severely injured. Since then, Mr. and Mrs. Zakzaky have been held in detention by the military. They have been denied any sort of medical treatment ever since. However, it is to be recalled that in 2016, the Federal High Court of Nigeria had declared their detention illegal and had ordered for their release within 45 days with the set compensation. But, despite the court’s order, the Government of Nigeria continued to be recalcitrant.
According to the recent report by the medical team of experts that visited Al-Zakzaky in detention – the health condition of the couple is deteriorating at a rapid pace, and their lives are at the sake now. They are in urgent need of well-equipped medical treatment which can only be provided abroad. In spite of the health issues of Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Zakzaky and his spouse, the Government of Nigeria seems to be acting in a bad faith, by not allowing them to go out for the medical treatment. It is the sheer violation of their fundamental rights. It is through and through another human rights violation by the Nigerian regime.
Earlier this year, we have witnessed the deplorable and untoward death of the former Egyptian President, Mohammad Morsi, at the hands of the tyrannical regime. History will be seen repeating itself, if we do not act now. It is our collective responsibility to raise our concern in the nick of the time about the prominent Muslim leader. A leader, who is at odds against the ferocious regime, a leader, who has lost everything he had, yet did not budge. A leader, who is an epitome of resistance. A leader one needs to look up to during the time of oppression. A leader who defined what courage, patience, and determination is, through his conduct. A leader who is unwilling to deflect from his line of anecdote, despite physical and mental hardships. A symbol of peace and a lone voice in the wilderness that is standing the test of time.
Let us knock the doors of the United Nations, UN Human Rights Commission. Let us demand the release of Zakzaky on humanitarian grounds. Let us make a move to set Zakzaky free for treatment. Let strive to stand against the inhuman and barbarous regimes. Let us stand to defeat hatred, subjugation and bestiality. Let us stand for Al-Zakzaky!
School of Legal Studies,
Central University of Kashmir