Johannesburg – CAGE Africa calls on the High Court of Kenya to honour due process in the trial of Hania Said Sagar, Luul Ali Tahlil, Nasteho Ali Tahlil and Zam Zam Abdi Abdullahi – four women arrested last week for alleged links to suspects accused of bombing a Mombasa Police Station.
Several due process violations have already occurred. In Hagar’s case, the state did not serve the accused and her lawyer with sworn affidavits attesting to the crime of which she is accused, but which she denies: harbouring information about a suspect in the bombing.
In the cases of all four women, lawyers have in effect not been allowed to bring any evidence before the magistrate to challenge the charges. This is a blatant flouting of the rule of law.
The women are also being subjected to invasive strip searches in detention. This violates their dignity and their religion, and amounts to a form of psychological torture.
Karen Jayes, co-ordinator for CAGE Africa, said:
“The fact that the accused were not allowed to raise evidence to contribute to their pre-bail hearing amounts to a show trial where the accused are in reality not sufficiently represented in their own hearing.”
“The right to legal representation does not hold any effect if lawyers are not allowed to bring any evidence before the court. This state of affairs is divisive and feeds the narrative that the Kenyan government unfairly targets Muslims.”
“Under no circumstances should prisoners be stripped and searched. This is humiliating and traumatic and amounts to a form of psycho-sexual torture. We call on Kenyan authorities to respect the dignity and religion of prisoners, and especially of women.”
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(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)