The Iranian government on Wednesday condemned the violence and use of force against Shiite demonstrators taking part in protest rallies across Nigeria.

A statement issued in Abuja by the country’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Seyyed Abbas Mousavi has expressed deep concern over the recent unrest and clashes in the Nigerian capital. 

He touched upon the deteriorating health condition of the detained leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, more than two months after his medical team reported that the Islamic cleric and his wife needed immediate medical treatment.

“Nigerian authorities are expected to immediately get Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky out of the detention centre and provide him with access to proper medical services,” the spokesman said.

While highlighting the need to preserve security and stability and to restore peace in Nigeria, Mousavi appealed for calm by both sides, urging the Nigerian government to exercise restraint.

Recently, the Nigerian capital, Abuja and  other cities around the country have witnessed protest rallies where demonstrators called for the release of the Muslim cleric.

Demonstrations in Abuja turned violent and bloody on Monday as security forces tried to halt the demonstration. A deputy police commissioner and a reporter with Channels TV were killed during the clash.