Islamic Body Demands Release of Shiite Muslims in Nigeria
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The World Assembly of Islamic Awakening deplored violent crackdown against Shiite Muslims in Nigeria, calling for the release of the inmates that only want to perform their religious rituals in the African country.
In a statement on Tuesday evening, Secretary General of the World Assembly of Islamic Awakening Ali Akbar Velayati slammed the “brutal” suppression of Shiites in Nigeria, saying the recent wave of crackdown by the Nigerian military forces has caused “grief and sorrow” in the Islamic community.
The Iranian official also demanded justice for the Shiite Muslims that have been killed or wounded by the Nigerian military forces in recent days.
He further noted that the attacks on Nigerian Muslims have been provoked by the Israeli regime and backed by the Wahhabi extremists.
“World Assembly of Islamic Awakening offers condolences to the martyrs' families and wish Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Awakening Movement in Nigeria and his respected family and other victims of this painful incident speedy… recovery,” the statement added.
“World Assembly of Islamic Awakening asks all Muslims around the world to raise their voices on this issue," it noted.
On Saturday night, Nigerian military forces surrounded the house of Sheikh Zakzaky in Zaria. Heavy fighting broke out afterwards between the government forces and members of the Islamic Movement, which stretched into the early hours of Sunday.
Director of a local hospital has reported that at least 60 people have been killed this weekend when the Nigerian army raided the Shiite community and arrested Sheikh Zakzaky.
The Nigerian Army alleges that members of the movement were involved in an attack on the convoy of the Chief of Nigeria’s Army Staff, Tukur Buratai. The Islamic Movement has vehemently denied the allegations.