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Daily News Analysis

Canadian Right Activists Hold Rally in Ottawa to demand Shaykh Zakzaky's Release

Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Shaykh Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife Mallima Zeenah have languished in prison since December 2015. Demands for their release have intensified worldwide
A Special Correspondent

Shaykh Ibrahim Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), and his wife Mallima Zeenah may be languishing in a Nigerian prison cell, they have not been forgotten by human rights activists around the world.

Justice seeking Canadians from all walks of life gathered in Canada’s capital city Ottawa on Friday July 19 to demand the immediate release of the Nigerian Islamic movement leader and his wife. Similar rallies were held in Britain, Pakistan, India and Nigeria.

In Ottawa, rally participants demanded proper medical care for the Shaykh and his wife Zeenah that is only available abroad.

The rally started in front of the Saudi embassy, the principal sponsor of the brutal Nigerian regime that is illegally holding Shaykh Zakzaky, his wife and many of his followers. They denounced the Saudi regime for supporting the Nigerian tyrants as well as its brutal suppression of people inside the medieval kingdom.

While Bani Saud and oppression are synonymous, the regime’s brutality has intensified since the Muhammad bin Salman (MbS), became de facto ruler in June 2017.

Better known as Mr. Bone Saw because of the horrific murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and dismemberment of his body inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, Bin Salman has aroused immense loathing.

Many observers believe that the Saudi regime’s oppression has increased hatred for the Bani Saud clan and an armed insurrection cannot be ruled out. Its many foreign meddlings—from the disastrous war on Yemen to sponsoring terrorist groups worldwide—include support for extremists in Nigeria as well.

The federal Nigerian regime, the governor of Kaduna state as well as terrorist groups like Boko Haram—the Nigerian equivalent of ISIS—continue to receive financial support from the Bani Saud clan.

Since Shaykh Zakzaky has been a vocal critic of oppression, these illegitimate rulers view him as a threat, hence his imprisonment and subjection to intense brutality.

From the Saudi embassy, the rally marched to the Nigerian High Commission in Ottawa. On the way, thousands of onlookers witnessed the vocal but disciplined rally march through the streets of the Canadian capital.

Participants included men, women and children.

Outside the Nigerian high commission, speakers demanded Shaykh Zakzaky’s immediate release to receive proper treatment abroad.

In December 2015, when the Nigerian army attacked peaceful members of the Islamic movement, more than 1,000 were gunned down in cold blood including three sons of Shaykh Zakzaky.

The Islamic movement’s compound was bulldozed.

Shaykh Zakzaky and his wife also sustained serious injuries. He has lost sight in one eye as a result of injuries. Because of lack of proper medical care, their wounds are still fresh.

Recent reports say that large levels of lead and cadmium have been found in his blood. This is the result of slow poisoning.

The regime plans to kill him through slow poisoning.

Under these circumstances, the Ottawa rally and similar rallies in Britain, Pakistan, India as well as Nigeria have assumed great significance. Rally organizers have launched several petitions.

These include petitions to the UN Secretary General, to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Amnesty International as well as directly to the Nigerian regime.

They have urged justice-seeking people all over the world to support the just demand for the immediate release of Shaykh Zakzaky, his wife and faithful followers.

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