The Prosecutor-General (Attorney-General) of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mohammed Montazeri, has appealed to the Federal Government of Nigeria and the judicial arm to release the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and transfer him to Iran for medical treatment.
According to AhlulBayt News Agency, an Iran-based news organisation, Montazeri said this in a letter on Saturday.
The Iranian official also called on the judiciary to grant bail to El-Zakzaky who is the leader of all Shiites in Nigeria.
Montazeri also criticised the Federal Government’s handling of the crisis, adding that El-Zakzakky’s current medical condition had become a source of worry.
The letter read in part,
“I, as the prosecutor general of the Islamic Republic of Iran, urge the Nigerian judicial authorities (to take steps) in line with their judicial independence and support for a captive citizen, and provide the ground for his release and transfer him to the Islamic Republic of Iran for treatment.”
Sheikh El-Zakzaky, who is in his mid-sixties, has been kept in custody along with his wife and a large number of his followers ever since.
El-Zakzky’s followers have for the last two years been holding protests mainly in Abuja, calling for his immediate release.
Iran, which is the stronghold of the Shi’a Muslim faith, has been demanding the release of El-Zakzaky for over three years despite reports that the Office of the National Security Adviser has asked for Iran to withdraw support for the Shi’ite leader.
Another bail hearing is expected to take place on Monday, July 29.