Seven Kenyans detained for three years in Uganda

Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) on 4 October 2012 released a statement calling on the government of Kenya to address the plight of seven Kenyans arrested by their own government, and illegally renditioned to Uganda to face terrorism-related charges. MUHURI was able to visit the Kenyans detained in Uganda through the assistance of the Uganda Prison Service hosting the African Correctional Services Association Conference in Kampala.

Hussein Khalid, the Executive Director of MUHURI, reminded the Kenyan government that the courts in Kenya on hearing the matter in October 2010, ruled that the fundamental rights of the seven had been violated and that the government had contravened the then recently enacted Constitution. 

"The case of the seven has not commenced in Uganda and the constitutional matter that they presented challenging their treatment and detention in Uganda has not even had a bench appointed to handle it. It seems apparent that the seven will not get justice and they will remain in prison for as long as the authorities wish without due regard to their rights and freedoms, " said Khalid.

Last year when a team from Kenya tried to visit the seven Kenyans being held at Luzira Prison, the team was detained at the airport and subsequently deported.

On 3rd October 2012, Commissioner Fatuma Dullo of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), Hadley Muchela of the Independent Medical Legal Unit (IMLU) and Hussein Khalid of MUHURI were able to visit the seven through the assistance of the Uganda Prison Service, who is hosting the African Correctional Services Association Conference.

"The seven informed us that they were getting good treatment from the Prison authorities and had no complaints of torture or ill treatment. Besides their freedom, they said they had all that they need in the Prison. However, they complained that their family members were being mistreated when they come to visit with several of them being arrested when they leave the prison. They also complained that they were not being allowed to call their families," said Khalid.

"We don’t understand why the case is being handled in clear violation of the rights of the arrested persons. By no means are we saying that the seven be released without going through due process. All we are calling for is the right steps as per the law be undertaken. Let the seven be brought back to their country and face the charges as demanded by the law. The message from the seven Kenyans at Luzira to all Kenyans is that they should not give up on human rights defense. Kenya is going through a reform process that demands our vigilance. As a people, we must be steadfast and champions of human rights," said Khalid.


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