Johannesburg – CAGE calls for police in Kenya to immediately release Muslims that were detained during taraweeh prayers.
Complaints received by the organisation Haki Africa have come from parts of Mombasa including Kisauni, Floringi/Bondeni and Kongowea areas, where police in groups of ten or more have swooped in on worshippers between 8pm and 11pm when they were attending evening prayers. In some instances men have been illegally detained.
According to Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI), in one case circulating on social media, Suhail Ali was assaulted, harassed, and intimidated while police demanded that he pay them 50,000 Kenyan shillings (380 pounds) otherwise he would be framed with a crime. After negotiations they settled down to 10,000 shillings (75 pounds). However instead of taking Ali to a police station, he was taken to a kangaroo court, where he was “found guilty”.
Police in Kenya have been accused of targeting Muslims, especially in the coastal regions of Kenya, where they are known to have conducted extrajudicial killings under cover of the ‘War on Terror’.
Karen Jayes, spokesperson of CAGE Africa, said:
“This is yet another example of the ‘War on Terror’ being used as a cover for police to flaunt their power, creating fear and anger on the ground. The detention-without-charge of men is a violation of the rule of law and utterly counter-productive.”
“Police denials are disingenuous since video footage attests to men being rounded on and beaten by police outside mosques. We reiterate our call and support the demands of Haki Africa and Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) for an independent investigation into these abuses and dismissal of the police officers concerned.”
“All abuses by police against Muslims in Kenya in the name of counter-terrorism, must end starting with extrajudicial killings, through to these most recent claims of harassment, extortion and detention.”
CC image courtesy of Amy the Nurse on Flickr
(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.)