Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife, Zeena, have been in detention since December 2015.
Speaking at a press conference here in Tehran on Sunday, Soheila Zakzaky referred to the Nigerian army’s brutal attack on the Sheikh’s residence and nearby buildings in the northern Nigerian city of Zaria in 2015 and highlighted the inhumane measures taken by the army forces, including killing babies, burning the Sheikh’s followers alive and burying those killed in mass graves.
She said all of these cruel moves were made under the sham pretext that a plot had been hatched to assassinate the army chief.
Soheila further referred to a Nigerian court’s order in 2016 that Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife be released and noted that the Nigerian government has shamelessly refused to carry out the court order over that past three years.
She also voiced concerns about her parents’ deteriorating health conditions, including suffering from lead and cadmium poisoning, and said their health is in danger.
It is thus necessary to put more pressure on the Nigerian government to release them unconditionally, she went on to say.
Sheikh Zakzaky was charged just in April 2018 with murder, culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, disruption of public peace and other accusations. He has pleaded not guilty.
In 2016, Nigeria’s federal high court ordered his unconditional release from jail following a trial, but the government has so far refused to set him free.
The top cleric, who is in his mid-sixties, lost his left eyesight in the raid which was carried out by the Nigerian army on his residence in Zaria in December 2015.
During the raid, Zakzaky’s wife sustained serious wounds too and more than 300 of his followers and three of his sons were killed.