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Release El-zakzaky immediately – Iran

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has been called upon by The Islamic Republic of Iran to release the leader of Shi’ite Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim El-zakzaky, saying his continued detention is illegal and unfair.

The demand was made by the Iranian ambassador to Nigeria, Saeed Koozechi, during an interview with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja. Koozechi is of the belief that El-zakzaky’s detention was not in consonance with the Nigerian constitution, stating that his release would heal the hurt of his followers.

He also advised the Federal Government to compensate those who suffered various losses during the bloody clash between the Shi’ite movement and the Army in Zaria, Kaduna State.

He described the Shi’ite Islamic sect as a peaceful religious movement which he said had no connection to extremism and called for a transparent probe into the clash as well as fair prosecution of those involved.

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.”

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