In a recent phone conversation with the son of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, SaharaReporters learned that Mr. Zakzaky’s family has not spoken directly to him since his arrest on Sunday.
This has raised concerns that the Nigerian military is acting unlawfully because no evidence demonstrates that Mr. Zakzaky’s rights are being preserved.
His arrest followed a massacre of Shiites by the Nigerian military in Zaria, Kaduna State which took place during the weekend with Muslims being rounded up by the military into Monday morning. The action by the military has been condemned by human rights organizations globally and foreign governments, including the United States and Iran.
According to the son, Mr. Zakzaky’s family does not know about his current medical condition and want him to see a doctor immediately. The family has not even been able to speak to any officials who have had direct contact with Mr. Zakzaky. Instead, the son informed SaharaReporters, a military official assured the family that their patriarch is “safe and well”.
“We are concerned [Mr. Zakzaky may not be alive]. We want a doctor to speak to him who we can trust,” the son told a SaharaReporters correspondent.
Some of those arrested along with the IMN leader were released and those wounded during the massacre have been allowed free access to hospitals. However, the son stressed that he and others are hearing disturbing reports of mass graves, which are being hidden by the Nigerian army.
The son is the only one of Mr. Zakzaky’s children not currently jailed or dead. The son told SaharaReporters that 3 of his brothers were reportedly killed and, therefore, he is Mr. Zakaky’s last remaining son.