News / Africa

Kenyan Activist Remains in Uganda, Partner Released from Detention

Michael Onyiego

A Kenyan rights activist providing counsel for suspects of Uganda's July attacks remains in prison following the release of colleague and lawyer Mbugua Mureithi, who has accused Uganda authorities of a "witch hunt." 

The Executive Coordinator of the Muslim Human Rights Forum in Kenya, Al-Amin Kimathi, is being held by Ugandan authorities without being charged with a crime.

Kimathi was arrested Thursday, along with Kenyan Lawyer Mbugua Mureithi, on arrival in Kampala where the two were scheduled to attend court hearings for suspects accused of terrorist attacks in the Ugandan capital.

Twin blasts killed 76 people among crowds watching the World Cup Final in July.  Somali insurgent group al Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which it said were in retaliation for Ugandan peacekeeping forces in the Horn of African nation.

Following condemnations from international organizations such as New York-based Human Rights Watch and members of Kenyan civil society, Mureithi was released by Uganda police Saturday and ordered to return to Kenya.

But the Secretary of the Kenya Law Society, Apollo Mboya, was not satisfied with the release.  Mboya said Uganda must provide legitimate reasons for Mureithi's ordeal.

"Even though we are happy, we would like to get some explanations for why he was detained, because he has been released without charge, his passport was mutilated for unexplained reasons and he was escorted like a criminal for the duration of the detention," Mboya said.  "He was actually escorted by security forces until inside the plane on Saturday morning, to be brought to Kenya.  Up to now we have not had any explanation from the Ugandan authorities for this detention."

Shortly after his release, Ugandan Police issued a statement explaining that Mureithi and Kimathi were arrested as part of a raid targeting members of al Shabab in a Kampala hotel.  Police said the two were with the unnamed suspects when arrested, but Mureithi denied such a meeting took place and said he and Kimathi were lured there by Uganda Police.

According to Mboya, the two received an anonymous phone call from a man asking them to take a letter from one of the Kenyan suspects being held in Uganda. The two traveled to Kampala's Niagara Hotel where they were met by members of the police Rapid Response Unit and detained.

Mboya told VOA that Kimathi and Mureithi were subjected to psychological abuse including death threats and said Kimathi's current condition is unknown.

The activists have criticized the Kenyan and Uganda governments for arresting 10 Kenyan suspects in the Kampala bombings without due process. The two have compared their transfers, done without warrants or court orders, to kidnapping. The activists had travelled to Uganda to provide the suspects with legal counsel.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid