Down The Path of Justice, Oppression Becomes an Inspiration

By Nour Rida

So little has been written in mainstream media on Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky, yet many people are learning about his case and cause. Nigerian people have been taking to the streets of the capital, to demand the immediate release of ailing the Muslim cleric.

Sheikh Zakzaky, who is in his mid-sixties, lost his left eyesight in a 2015 raid by security forces that left more than 300 of his followers and three of his sons dead. His wife also sustained serious wounds. The Islamic Human Rights Commission [IHRC], based in London, said earlier this week that the cleric’s health condition has further deteriorated, since he was reportedly poisoned in prison.

On this note, the Sheikh’s daughter, Suhaila al-Zakzaky, told al-Ahed news “The updates we have on my father’s condition is that he is still having difficulty getting things done. He is experiencing a lot of pain physically, and as a result it is difficult for him to sleep. His blood pressure has been fluctuating. Generally we have been very concerned; the doctors have not been able to conduct any proper further investigations into his condition. So, there is no full or conclusive statement on the status of his health.”

According to earlier reports, medical examinations on the Sheikh have found that the levels of lead toxicity in his body are much higher than the critical levels previously reported and 45 times over the normal acceptable limit. They have also found worrying levels of cadmium poisoning in the Sheikh. The news said that such are the levels of toxicity that the doctors have concluded that Sheikh Zakzaky is at risk of death unless he is urgently treated.

The daughter said she had no information on how lead poisoning took place. “I am not exactly sure how lead got there, they might have done it, and a medical team must investigate the case to conclude if he was poisoned or comment on how the lead got into his blood in first place.”

Answering whether she has direct contact with her father today, Suhaila pointed out “Yes, we do have direct contact because they gave him a phone now. Since the court case, they have allowed him to have a phone.”

Nigerians, according to the young activist, are protesting the injustice to which Sheikh Zakzaky is being subjected. “As you know there have been continuous protests almost on a daily basis and when it comes to the people, tremendous numbers have come to condemn what the government is doing,” Suhaila noted, adding “There are also some people who believe whatever the news says and think that the government is doing the right thing. The president’s aide held a press conference and claimed that the government has no power to interfere in the judicial process. However, the Islamic movement is trying as hard as possible to spread awareness and allow people to understand what is truly going on. It is so far very impressive how people are realizing the truth, and even many people in the government today condemn what is taking place.”

In regards on how this experience has affected her life, Suhaila explained “I would say that we have always expected possible adversities to be faced, and the massacre and the events that followed after to me, are more like what I would call the cost of this path (of justice). The only thing I can say is that it affects my outlook on everything. You know we have already sacrificed down this path, therefore it serves as an inspiration or motivation which would hopefully make us more steadfast.”

Furthermore, Suhaila underscored that she strongly believes that the detention of her father does make the Islamic movement stronger. “I believe that many people are finding out more about the Islamic movement not only due to the detention of my father but also due to the massacres that have happened. In terms of Nigeria for example, we have had a great level of supporters that we never knew we had. These people who show support to the Islamic movement did not bother to look into the Islamic movement earlier or even understand what it’s about. But now they show a great deal of support. Even on an international level, I believe that people, especially outside of Nigeria do not know much about the Islamic movement and with the level of media silence still a lot of people have become acquainted with the Islamic movement because of this, and hence yes I think it makes the Islamic movement stronger.”

Suhaila concluded that she, like many other young activists, will remain to participate in protests to sound her objection to the unjust detention of the Sheikh who is not only a father but also a leader in her eyes.

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Sheikh Zakzaky’s Message from India: I Have Never Seen a Detention like the One I Am in Now

By Staff

Al-Ahed News obtained a message voiced by Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky who traveled with his wife to India on Monday evening to supposedly ‘receive urgent medical treatment they were in need to.’

However, it was reported that Sheikh Zakzaky’s trip was a trap to assassinate him. And following is the text of an audio message he sent to his family and supporters.

The translation of the message by Sheikh Ibrahim’s daughter, Suhaila, is as the following:

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem!

Wasallahu Ala Sayyedina Wa Nabiyyena Muhammadin Wa Aalihid dayyebinad Daheereenal Ma’asumeen!

We are now here in New Delhi, India. As you all know there was an arrangement for us to come here to seek medical care regarding the ailments that we have, myself and Malama Zeenah. She, Malama Zeenah has a full bullet lodged in her body (that needs to be removed), also she is in need of a knee replacement surgery in addition to other problems. As for me, there are shrapnel, very small fragments in my eyes, in my hands and some in my right thigh that were slowly releasing toxins into my system which caused a lot of complications, which we later discovered that they were the cause of the mini strokes I have had, both the first and the second time. So we were thinking the first thing to be done is to remove the shrapnel, which is a procedure that couldn’t be done at home and the doctors suggested that we should go abroad where it will be possible for the procedure to be done.

Then the second thing would be to clean my body of the toxins, which I was told are deposited in the bones and some in the flesh and this normally takes time to be done.

I also have a problem with my eye which the doctors that attended to us since after I had a second operation and my sight weakened, suggested that I should be taken to better facilities to have it tended to.

After all this we were all happy that we are in Delhi and we would be going to a suitable hospital to receive appropriate treatment. In addition the doctors that came to visit us when we were in Nigeria advised us to come to this hospital called Medanta. That is why we requested to be brought to this hospital.

So before we left Nigeria we heard the news that the American embassy here in India was pressuring the hospital not to admit us when we arrive. And that the hospital had agreed to refuse admitting us. So we were considering going somewhere else when we arrive. But we were later informed that the problem had been sorted out and we would be admitted to the hospital. So we set out from Nigeria.

As soon as we arrived here we were met with some hospital staff at the airport that escorted us to the hospital. Since when we were in the ambulance they informed that there were a lot of people at the airport waiting to see us even if just when we are boarding the ambulance. But they have evaded them and distracted them by placing two ambulances at that exit claiming we will be boarding those but they decided to bring a different ambulance and leave through a different route so the people at the airport didn’t even get a glimpse.

And they also said that there was a lot of people at the hospital entrance to see us arrive. But they informed us that if we arrive we will be taken in through a back entrance. They said they did this due to the high number of people, they were concerned that in the people’s attempt to reach us in the crowd some harm can be done to us, that’s what they said.

After we arrived we realized that in this hospital, or better yet someone working in the Nigerian embassy here told us that before we came, they had carried out a meeting with the hospital staff, the workers from the Nigerian embassy and some security operatives on how to go about things once we are here.

So we saw that we were practically brought to another detention facility which is even stricter than the one we were in back in Nigeria. They came here with police armed with guns and a lot of staff from the Nigerian embassy. And we also noticed we were brought into another detention that we only came based on trust.

Even in Nigeria they agreed where we were detained that we would be treated only by the doctors we choose and are comfortable with allowing to treat us. But here we understand that the doctors that advised us to come here are blocked from having any say in our case. They even told us when we spoke to them, they are only allowed to advise but the hospital reserves the right to decide the course of our treatment. So I told them that, we came here based on the trust we have in our doctors, we cannot just see any doctor that we don’t know, or trust to treat us. And without recommendation from those we do trust, we cannot allow a stranger to treat us, lest not what couldn’t be done with bullets be carried out in a different way.

Due to this, we think that based on everything we have seen so far indicates to us that we are not safe here. We were just brought to another detention.

I have been detained now for a collective total of about 13 years but I have never seen a detention like the one I am in now. Even at the doors they have placed armed police. Even between one room and the other we are not allowed to move. Then I see that even where we were, and of all the times I have been imprisoned in Nigeria, I have not seen anything like this. When I was in an actual prison they used to lock us up around 9pm and open the doors at 7am, and we could move about where ever we wish within the prison facility we were detained in.

I see here that even when I was in kirikiri prison it wasn’t as constricting as in this situation. So I feel that it is not reasonable to leave detention in order to seek medical help and we be placed in a different detention and on top of that we be handed over to be treated by people we do not trust. So based on this we are thinking that Insha Allah by all apparent indications that there is a need for us to return home since we were allowed to travel abroad for medical care and India doesn’t appear to be a safe place for us. We would have to return home, after all there are other countries that offered to receive us if we could go there. These countries include Malaysia, Indonesia and Turkey, we can convene to decide which one to go to and then go there insha Allahul adheem.

 

Wasallalahu Ala Muhammadin wa Alihid Tayyebeen Taheereen.

Wassalamu alaikum Warahmatullah

Nigeria Crackdown: Sheikh Zakzaky Granted Bail after Mass Protests

By Staff, Agencies

A Nigerian court granted bail to Muslim cleric Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky so that he can fly to India for medical care, his lawyer says.

“The judge has ordered that Zakzaky be flown to India for proper medical attention,” his lawyer Femi Falana told AFP on Monday.

Sheikh Zakzaky, the founder of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria [IMN], has been in detention since December 2015 after his residence in the city of Zaria was raided by Nigeria’s forces, during which he was beaten and lost vision in his left eye.

During the brutal crackdown, three of his sons were martyred, his wife sustained serious wounds, and some 350 of his followers were killed.

Since then, the government has been violently cracking down on the IMN and its members.

The Islamic Human Rights Commission [IHRC], based in London, said last month that the cleric’s health condition had further deteriorated, since he was reportedly poisoned in prison.

Sheikh Zakzaky was in dire need of medical treatment, as large and dangerous quantities of lead and cadmium have been found in his blood.

Recently, a Nigerian court granted the government permission to label the IMN as a “terrorist” group, a move that many believe would give the officials the opportunity to clamp down harder on it.

IMN members regularly take to the streets of the Nigerian capital to call for the release of Zakzaky.

In recent weeks, dozens of demonstrators were martyred after Nigerian troops used live ammunition and tear gas. The IMN says it has lost at least 20 of its members during the clashes.

Sheikh Zakzaky in Critical Condition; US, Saudi Arabia Extend His Detention

By Al-Ahed

Beirut – Al-Ahed news sources uncovered that the Nigerian Judiciary delayed the trial of the Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky for 11 days after rounds of discussions between lawyers and the prosecution in Kaduna’s Supreme Court.

According to the information, Sheikh Zakzaky is in critical health condition. He is suffering from poisoning due to the bullets remaining in his body since 2015, when the Baqiatullah Husseinieh in the Zaria city was subjected to a bloody attack by the Nigerian forces and was detained consequently after being shot.

The Nigerian sources also noted that Sheikh Zakzaky has totally lost his left eyesight, while his right eye has lost 45% of its function. His wife, Zeenat, also is in need of urgent medical care due to the bullets in her body. She also needs installing artificial knees.

The Nigerian judiciary set a condition in return of releasing Sheikh Zakzaky, which is that he shall receive medical treatment on the Nigerian soil. However, estimations suggest the option of transferring him abroad, namely to Turkey, according to a previous agreement with the court.

According to al-Ahed sources, Nigeria’s Supreme Federal Court issued a year and a half earlier a decision to release Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife and compensating each of them with an amount of $120,000. However, the decision was not implemented and his eminence remained arbitrarily detained by the General Intelligence due to American, Saudi and ‘Israeli’ pressures imposed on the Nigerian government that is led by the country’s president Muhammadu Buhari, who in turn banned applying the judgement.

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