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Iranian Academics Ask for More Efforts to Free Sheikh Zakzaky

Tens of Iranian university professors in a letter to their counterparts in Nigeria underlined the need for more efforts to free detained Nigerian Shiite leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky who is suffering acute health problems.

“The history of Islam has always been witness to the struggle between the freemen and the tyrants and of course the consciousness of the thinkers of the society is a barrier to the oppressors’ ambitions,” the letter by 50 Iranian academics in Isfahan province’s universities said on Monday.

“Today, on the eve of Eid al-Ghdir we observe the manifestation of their arrogance in the measures taken by the Nigerian government against the Sheikh al-ahrar, Ibrahim el-Zakzaky. We feel to be bound to use our pen and tongue to support this great man. Islam has taught us that the ink of the scholar is holier than the blood of the martyr,” it added.

“We the academic staff of the Iranian universities request you to take action and demand that the Nigerian authorities release Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife. We urge you to use all your powers and influence to help bring about a swift and peaceful resolution, the letter said, addressing the Nigerian scholars.

“Our responsibility is very serious. Today, if we let them realize their wicked purpose to silence and drown out Zakzaky’s voice, tomorrow they will dare commit more violent crimes against Muslims around the world. Our attempts to perform this divine responsibility will bring about victory; In shā Allāh,” it added.

They also called on the Iranian Foreign Affairs to take big and rapid legal strides to free the detained leader of the Islamic movement of Nigeria, Allameh Zakzaky, so that he can receive immediate life-saving medical treatment.

Sheikh Zakzaky, a prominent Shiite leader, has been in detention along with his wife for close to four years despite the deterioration of his health conditions.

Last Tuesday, in an exclusive interview with FNA, Dr. Pourrahim Najafabadi, MD, said Sheikh Zakzaky needs to be cured by an experienced medical team of physicians in a specialized multi-specialty hospital outside Nigeria, since there is no such medical center in the African country.

“With the current physical condition of the Sheikh, especially the virulent lead poisoning, Sheikh’s life is seriously at risk by delayed treatment. Meanwhile, there is a need for special medical care even in case of complete medical treatment. There is serious risk to Sheikh’s life if he is kept under detention,” said Najafabadi, the founder and spokesperson of a group of expert physicians who have volunteered to treat Sheikh Zakzaky.

Also, last Sunday, a group of doctors from Pakistan, India, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq in a letter to the Nigerian government pointed to Sheikh Zakzaky’s physical conditions, and asked the Nigerian government to transfer him to a well-equipped hospital as soon as possible.

Finally, the Nigerian government allowed Zakzaky to be treated in India but the senior cleric decided to return to Nigeria after being pressured in India.

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria, in an official statement, rejected the claims spread by state-sponsored media about the reason why Zakzaky cut his treatment visit to India short, revealing that the decision was made after it was found that Abuja was planning to murder the cleric in India.

Sheikh Zakzaky was, from the very beginning of his travel to India, bothered and pressed by the hostile decision of the Nigerian government, according to a Friday statement signed by Ibrahim Musa, the President of the Media Forum of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).

The movement added in its statement that even upon returning from New Delhi, the top cleric was denied a chance to talk to reporters and journalists who had been waiting for his return at Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport for hours.

The IMN condemned the move, and added that it was intended to prevent Sheikh from revealing some realities about his difficulties in New Delhi, and to pave the way for spreading disinformation against him.

According to the statement, upon arriving in New Delhi, Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife were separated from the doctors who accompanied him from Nigeria and were forcibly taken to a hospital which held no respect for the basic rights of patients.

Even a doctor who had flown from London to New Delhi was not allowed to meet with Sheikh Zakzaky.

It asserted that Nigerian agents’ insistence on not allowing Sheikh Zakzaky to meet with his doctors reassured the cleric and his wife that Abuja was planning to kill him in the Indian hospital with the help of their connections and operatives in the place.

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