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Zakzaky's lawyer claims army attack left Shi'ite leader near-blind

09 April 2016, 07:02

Kano — The detained leader of the Shi'ite Muslims has been left near-blind and underwent several operations to remove bullets from when he was shot in an army raid on his home, a human rights lawyer said Friday.

Lawyer Femi Falana spoke after he was granted access to Ibraheem Zakzaky for the first time since he and his wife, Zeenat Ibraheem, were detained in December and denied access to their doctors and family.

Falana gave passed on a copy of a letter dated April 5 to the director general of the Department of State Security, demanding "the unconditional release" of the couple from "unlawful detention." Neither has been brought to court, which the law says must be within 48 hours of arrest.

Also read: Zakzaky makes U-turn, agrees to participate in clash probe

Hundreds of other Shi'ites also are detained and some have died for lack of medical care, the Shi'ite movement has charged.

Human rights groups say the military killed hundreds of them over three days in Zaria. The Shi'ites last week petitioned the International Criminal Court to investigate the alleged military killings of nearly 1,000 Shiites, calling them crimes against humanity.

The raids were ordered by chief of army staff Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, who claimed unarmed Shiites tried to assassinate him, Falana said.

Falana saw his clients a week ago, after refusing to cooperate with a commission of inquiry until he got access.

Iran has protested the killings and demanded compensation for victims.

- AP

Tags kano state

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