Last Updated on by
Police in Nigeria have tightened security ahead of a bail hearing for imprisoned Muslim cleric, Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky, whose supporters are expected to stage protests for his release during the court hearing.
The Kaduna State High Court will on Monday decide whether to grant bail to the cleric, who isin dire need of medical treatment overseas.
The cleric, who has been in prison since December 2015, was reportedly poisoned in prison and requires urgent medical care abroad, according to members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).
IMN members regularly take to the streets of the Nigerian capital to call for the release of Sheikh Zakzaky, who has been in detention since 2015. Nigerian forces have used live ammunition against the protesters.
Just days ahead of the court hearing, a Federal High Court in the capital Abuja granted the government permission to label the Islamic movement a “terrorist” organization.
Police in Kaduna said in a statement on Sunday that they have deployed a security detail to the city in anticipation of protests as a result of the court hearing.
Security forces killed at least 20 members of the movement during protests on Friday, according to a spokesman for the IMN.
Protests have also been underway in recent weeks outside the Nigerian embassy in the British capital, London.
On Monday, Zakzaky’s supporters were staging protests outside the Nigerian embassy in London ahead of his appearance in court.
The London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission, (IHRC), have previously called on the Nigerian government to immediately release the cleric and send him abroad for urgent medical treatment.
The IHRC, which sent a medical team to Nigeria in April to examine the health and overall condition of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife, has already said the specialist treatment they require can only be fully accessed outside the African country.