Johannesburg – CAGE welcomes the release of Omar Awadh Omar from custody in Kenya, after he was cleared of terrorism charges connected to the 2010 bombings in Uganda. We call for a full and transparent investigation into his abuse, and into who was really responsible for the violence in Uganda that killed more than 70 people.
Omar has lodged a case against the security services in Britain that were complicit in his torture. We hope that once he has recovered his strength, this case will be reinvigorated and the individuals brought to justice.
Omar was cleared of terrorism charges by the High Court in Uganda two months ago, due to lack of evidence. This decision was reached after he had spent nearly eight years in jail, after being kidnapped in Kenya, tortured and extradited to Uganda under the eyes of the Mi5 and FBI.
Omar’s wife, ummSahl, said:
“Omar is well, and in high spirits. It was very emotional to see him. He cried a lot when he saw us. He has lost so much weight and aged. But he is healthy and good. Alhumdullillah – we are just glad to have him home after so many years.”
Moazzam Begg, outreach director for CAGE, said:
“I had the pleasure of visiting Omar’s family in Nairobi several years go. It was clear to me that they were a loving, resilient family but their lives had been filled with a vacuum that has only come to an end now. But the process of becoming a husband, father and active member of society again may even be harder than the years in prison. I urge all those around his family to offer as much emotional and social support as they can.”
“I can only imagine what it must be like for Omar to be reunited with his wife and children after all these years. But I pray his ordeal is finally over and that the process of accounting those involved in his abuse can be allowed to begin, once he is ready.”
Feroze Boda, spokesperson for CAGE Africa, said:
“There are several people that are owed apologies and explanations as this whole case moves forward – Omar himself, his family especially his mother, who was interrogated and detained so that she was unable to bury her husband, and the almost 100 families who have lost loved ones to violence in Uganda in 2010, who still have no answers or closure.”
“We call for a thorough investigation into Omar’s abuse, into the conditions of detention in Uganda, also known as the ‘new Guantanamo’ – and finally, but certainly not least of all, into those behind the violence of 2010 which devastated Ugandans and which has facilitated the wholescale oppression of Muslims, in law and otherwise, in the country.”
(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.)