Iran has described the continued incarceration of the leader of the Shi’ite Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, as illegal and unfair.
According to the Islamic Republic of Iran, El-Zakzaky- who suffered gunshot wounds during the Nigerian Army’s December 2015 clash with the Shi’ite sect- ‘shouldn’t be kept in detention for a long time’.
Speaking on behalf of the Iranian government was the country’s ambassador to Nigeria, Saeed Koozechi, during an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja.
Koozechi said: “The Shi’ite is a small minority group in Nigeria, they engage in peaceful religious activities, they are not harmful to anyone. We have never heard of unrest and extremism from the Shi’ite followers in Nigeria.
“The Zaria incident is unfortunate and regrettable. We hope the investigation and prosecution will be fair and transparent. We hope the government will assist those who suffered financial losses during the clash.
“We don’t believe the continued detention of El-zakyzaky is legal or fair, he shouldn’t be kept for a long time. We look forward to seeing his release and his wife soon. The Shi’ite are Nigerians too and they have rights like other citizens. The government must be clever to not pour fuel on fire. Recognizing the rights of minorities is a real value to social development.”