14 February 2017
PRESS RELEASE – Nigeria: President urged to allow IMN leader access to medical care
IHRC has written to the Nigerian President urging him to allow the detained leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria access to urgently needed medical treatment.
In a direct appeal to President Buhari the letter highlights the deteriorating condition of Sheikh Ibrahim el-Zakzaky who family members say is in severe danger of losing the sight in his remaining eye.
Concerns over the health of Sheikh Zakzaky have been mounting ever since he was shot during a military assault against the IMN in December 2015 in which he lost the use of an arm and one eye.
Since the attack Sheikh Zakzaky has been in the custody of Nigeria’s domestic intelligence agency (DSS), detained without charge. Reports from family members now indicate that he is in real danger of losing his sight completely unless he receives urgent medical treatment.
Despite repeated pleas Sheikh Zakzaky has been denied access to suitable medical treatment, something which has aggravated his condition. The most immediate requirement is for him to be seen by a specialist opthalmologist in a well-equipped facility where treatment can be urgently administered if deemed to be necessary.
The letter points to President Buhari’s own visits to London recently to seek medical care.
“You will no doubt be mindful of the fact that prompt and effective intervention can help secure the best medical outcomes for patients. This is why you yourself have travelled to London to seek medical treatment twice since last June.
Having availed yourself of the opportunity to access specialist treatment it would surely be wrong of you to prevent other Nigerian citizens from doing the same whether that it is inside or outside the country,” says the letter.
Sheikh Zakzaky is being held illegally by the DSS in flagrant violation of a recent High Court order demanding his release.