SHAFAQNA- Mehr News: Nigerian government’s measures prove that the pressures are increased and the conditions are not set for having the leader of Nigerian Shia Muslims, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky released, the Head of the London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), Massoud Shajareh, said in an interview with Mehr news agency.
Following is text of the interview with Mr. Shajareh:
Sheikh Zakzaky is in a hospital in Katona. Please inform us about his present conditions.
Yes, Zakzay has been sent to the central jail of Kantona, Nigeria. It is worth noting that the named prison does not meet the standards to guarantee the health of the prisoners. It is among the most dangerous prisons not only in Nigeria but in Africa.
All its prisoners are dealing with terrible conditions. Sheikh was transferred to that prison while Kantona court did not issue the order to send him to the hospital. We believe that being under tough conditions, Zakzaky had to be sent to hospital but due to the Nigerian government’s decision, he was transferred to prison.
Have the measures taken by IHRC been fruitful? What barriers have you faced?
Despite the made efforts in the long-run, we could not reach any conclusions. We sought to transfer Sheikh to a hospital in other countries than Nigeria but we did not become successful.
We also attempted hard to provide documents to get him out of prison in the hope of improving his conditions.
Our efforts did not bear fruit due to the measures done by the Nigerian government. We had to negotiate the issue with different bodies and organizations but the Nigerian government put barriers on the path of the held talks.
Some media have recently reported the probability of having Sheikh released before February 2020. Even his doctor has put forward the subject. What is your idea about the news?
The chance for his freedom is low. In the past two years, the Nigerian government has increased his pressure on Sheikh, while we expected the conditions to improve.
Presently, there is no sign of improvement in their behavior with Sheikh. In general, the conditions are not going on in his favor.
What about Sheikh’s wife, Zinat Ibrahim? How high are the possibilities for her freedom?
The chances are low for her, too. Her health conditions are tough and the restrictions has worsened the situation for her, as well.
Sheikh and his wife have been coping with terrible conditions in the prison for the past four years and based on our estimations, their conditions are getting tougher incrementally.
Interview by Ramin Hosseinabadian
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