Abuja (IP) - Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria held a rally at Abuja National Mosque to condemn Azerbaijan's persecution and torture against Shi'a members of the Muslim Movement for Unity (MMU) and its leader Sheikh Haj Taleh Baqir Zadeh who was jailed for life with 17 other activists from the organization.

Iran PressAfrica: The London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission released a statement on Friday about the persecution of MMU members. The statement reads: "The extremely secular and corrupt Azerbaijani government has severely persecuted Azerbaijani activists as well as harassment, censorship and blockading of the town of Nadaran, a town with large support for the Muslim Movement for Unity (MMU) organization, the government forces have arrested, imprisoned and tortured many activists."

Haj Taleh Baqir Zadeh was accused of attempting to overthrow the government but human rights organizations such as Amnesty International claim he is a prisoner of conscience. Sheikh Baqir Zadeh has become known for speaking out against the ban on headscarves in schools and calling for more Islamic representation in the Azerbaijani political system.

During the rally at Abuja National Mosque on Saturday, Abdullah Musa, National Secretary of the Academic Forum of the Islamic Movement said: "The government (of Azerbaijan) is prosecuting them illegally, unconditionally

"Therefore, every Muslim must stand against tyranny and oppression. The people mostly youth took to the streets chanting "Death to America, death to Israel."

Also, Muslims in Kano State held another rally in solidarity with the oppressed people of Azerbaijan. Hundreds of Muslims gathered at Fagge Eid prayer ground holding photos of Sheikh Haj Baqir Zadeh, where a solidarity speech for the oppressed was also made.

Dawud Nalado in Kano said: "We are from the part of the committee for the solidarity of the Azerbaijani brothers who were unjustly detained by Azerbaijan's authority. Haj Taleh Baqir Zadeh and our brothers and sisters should be released because they are being detained unjustifiably."

Also another member of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Bala Hassan Bauchi said: "Today we came out in mass to conduct a rally. And the essence of the rally is to show our solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Azerbaijan particularly their leader, Haj Taleh Baqir Zadeh who was detained by the authority. We are using this opportunity to call on them to release them immediately. Activism is not something prohibited because they are not threatening the life of anyone."

He further said: "likewise, we use this medium to call on the people of the world to support the people of Azerbaijan and again the people of Yemen and Palestine. All of them are oppressed and they need the world's attention."


Read More:

Zaria massacre anniversary commemorated in Nigeria