RNA - “You can never stop an ideology, you can never stop an idea, you can never stop our religion,” senior IMN official Yahiya Dahiru said at a news conference in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, on Sunday.
He slammed the court order as a “dangerous development” and said protests would not stop until Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, the IMN’s leader, who has been in detention since 2015, was released.
On Saturday, a court in Abuja granted an order permitting the government to label the IMN as being involved in “terrorism and illegality.”
The Nigerian government has been violently cracking down on the IMN and its members since 2015.
On Friday, spokesmen for the IMN said Nigerian security forces had killed at least 20 members of the movement during protests calling for the release of Sheikh Zakzaky only over the previous week.
Sheikh Zakzaky, who is in his mid-60s, lost his left eyesight in a 2015 raid by security forces that left more than 300 of his followers and three of his sons dead. His wife also sustained serious wounds.
The cleric’s son, Mohammad, told Press TV on July 6 that his father was in dire need of medical treatment, as “large and dangerous quantities of lead and cadmium have been found in his blood.”
In 2016, Nigeria’s federal high court ordered Zakzaky’s unconditional release from jail following a trial, but the government has so far refused to set him free.
The court ruling on Saturday risks further stirring tensions in the country.