Again, Shiites protest in Abuja, demand El-Zakzaky’s release

Shiite members protesting with pictures of their members that have died
Shiite members protesting with pictures of their members that have died

Hundreds of Shiites on Monday rallied in Abuja to demand the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

The protest started at the Wuse Ultramodern Market in Abuja.

The Shiite leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, has remained in detention since he was arrested in December 2015, following a clampdown on his members by soldiers. Over 300 Shiites were killed during the onslaught by soldiers who accused the Shiites, members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, of blocking a road being used by the army chief, Tukur Buratai. A soldier was also killed in the violence.

After his detention, the federal government failed to file formal charges against Mr El-Zakzaky but rather appealed a December 2016 order for his release.

Following the inability of government to release Mr El-Zakzaky, Shiite members began a daily protest in Abuja and parts of the north. This forced the government to file a formal charge against Mr El-Zakzaky in April, over two years after he was detained.

The Shiite leader and his wife were arraigned on an eight-count charge for alleged homicide.

The trial is expected to continue on August 2 at a Federal High Court in Kaduna State.

On Monday, the Shiites took to the streets of Abuja brandishing pictures of their members, whom they claimed had been killed by security operatives during past protests.

Past Shiite protests have resulted in clashes between them and the police. Monday’s protest was violence free.

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