Extrajudicial Killings Shock Kenya Muslims
19 Nov 2012 09:18 GMT
 

MOMBASA — The death of a Kenyan Muslim has stocked fresh tensions between the police and the Muslim community who demand an end to a string of extrajudicial killings and abductions carried out by Kenyan anti-terror security f (more)

MOMBASA — The death of a Kenyan Muslim has stocked fresh tensions between the police and the Muslim community who demand an end to a string of extrajudicial killings and abductions carried out by Kenyan anti-terror security forces.

“Many customers have not come back… the customers who do come are very upset,” butcher Joseph Kawemba, who worked with Omar Faraj since 2008, told Voice of America on Sunday, November 18.

“They come here and they cry,” he added, as the till where Faraj worked was still unmanned.

Grisly Murders Shock Kenya Muslims

Muslim Renditions Taint Kenya's Image

Faraj, a 40-year-old cashier, was killed at home by police forces in late October, accusing him of planning a terrorist attack.

Early on a Sunday morning, anti-terror police surrounded Faraj's apartment, firing at the building and lobbing canisters of tear gas inside.

After the raid, neighbors found Faraj's dead body on top of his wife Rahma, who had passed out.

Police said they recovered grenades and ammunition from the apartment, yet none of these items were shown to the public.

At the Memon Villa mosque where Faraj often led prayers, Muslim worshippers believe the police made a mistake.

"They claimed he was found with grenades, and yet we know he doesn't even own a knife to slaughter a chicken," said the friend.

“He wouldn't even know where to buy a grenade.

“These things, they surprise us. Even now.”

The death of Faraj is not the first case to stock the Muslim community tensions.

Last August, Muslim cleric Aboud Rogo, with alleged ties to al-Shabab, was shot dead by police.

Though the police deny responsibility, human rights groups believe Rogo's was one of several extrajudicial killings and abductions carried out by Kenyan security forces.

Earlier in April, Kenyan Muslims protested after the sudden death of two Muslim activists, who had been arrested by people believed to be state security operatives.

Police denied arresting the pair when relatives and friends sought to ask about their fate.

But to the shock of the Muslim community, the two activists were later found dead.

Investigation

The Mombasa-based Muslims for Human Rights, or MUHURI, is now investigating Faraj's death.

"The responsibility to investigate, it is the police, it is not a human rights organization or anyone else," explains MUHURI's director, Khelef Khalifa.

“They are mandated by law."

Kenya receives US funding and intelligence support for its anti-terror efforts.

In October, it passed new anti-terrorism legislation, giving authorities more leeway to root out suspected terror cells.

The passing of the anti-terror bill has allowed the police, which have a long history of committing extrajudicial killings, to act with impunity.

"Now we ask ourselves, why did they go and shoot somebody if that person was not hiding?" Khalifa said.

“They could have easily gone to his place of work and arrested him.

"Going to a place at 2 o'clock and terrorizing the whole "neighborhood, it is not fair, really," he added.

There are nearly ten million Muslims in Kenya, which has a population of 36 million.

Muslims make up nearly 98 percent of the communities of the North Eastern Province.

Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net



-- OnIslam


© islamonline.com