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Rights groups plan Friday protests over abductions

NATIONAL
By Pkemoi Ng’enoh | November 9th 2021

Muslim Leaders and LSK Advocacy group led by NAMLEF Chairman Abdullahi Abdi, SUPKEM Chairman Hassan Ole Naado and Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director Irungu Houghton addressing a press conference at Jamia Mosque in Nairobi. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Human Rights agencies have challenged the government to come clean on the rising cases of abductions of Muslims.

The Law Society of Kenya and Muslim leaders announced the start of nationwide peaceful protests over the abductions from Friday. 

The calls come at a time when advocate Prof Wilson Hassan Nandwa who has been missing was found dumped at thicket in Mwingi in the wee hours of Monday. His client, Elgiva Bwire is still missing since October 28.

According to the lawyers, the nationwide protests dubbed Purple Ribbon Campaign were aimed at pushing for the advocate to be produced by whoever was holding him. Nandwa was to address the meeting but family members said he was too tired to speak after the ordeal.

Those in attendance included Amnesty International-Kenya, Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem) and National Muslim Leaders Forum among others who announced nationwide peaceful protests over the cases from Friday.

Raise suspicion

“The perpetrators of these illegalities have confidence that no action will be taken against them as they are assured of protection from high offices in the land,” Hajji Hassan ole Naado, Supkem chairman said in a joint statement.

He said that for 12 days, Nandwa, a well-respected Islamic scholar, academician and lawyer was abducted, leaving his family traumatised.

“All along Muslim leaders have been engaging senior government officials to ensure that he is either released or taken to court if they have any case against him but they have been inconsistent in their response,” he said.

According to the Naado, the police’s denial of Nandwa’s whereabouts raised suspicion that he could have abducted someone with strong connections like security agencies.

Apart from the advocate, the chairman stated that four other men picked up from different mosques in Nairobi and Mombasa are still missing and about 100 people have been killed and disappeared this year alone under mysterious circumstances.

He said Muslim leadership will work closely with LSK and civil society groups to ensure that the constitutional rights of all Kenyans are applied equally.

“Starting Friday, we are calling upon all Muslims around the country to embark on rallies after prayers to protest these gross injustices,” he stated.

On behalf of LSK council, Bernard Kipkoech said they will sue the President and Attorney General citing the incompetence of top leaders at the Ministry of Interior and coordination.

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