Call to Release Eight Held in Uganda Prison

A human rights lobby has accused the Kenyan and Ugandan governments of violating the rights of eight Kenyans held in Uganda.

Haki Africa’s executive director Khalid Hussein said it is four years down the line since the eight Kenyans were unconstitutionally renditioned to Uganda to face terror related charges.

The eight are at the Luzira Maximum Prison on suspicion of their involvement in the July 2010, Kampala bombing attack.

They are Omar Awadh, Muhammad Hamid, Yahya Suleiman, Habib Suleiman, Hussein Agade, Idriss Magondu, Muhamad Ali and Hijjar Nyamadondo.

“They were arrested by Kenyan police in different places and renditioned to Uganda without following due process of the law. In a case brought to court by one of the wives of the 8 Kenyans in 2010, the court ruled that their rendition was unconstitutional and that the government of Kenya violated their constitutional rights,” Khalid said.

He said their court cases have never made any progress and the suspects are in a foreign country without consideration of their human rights.

“Their families have been deprived of their leadership as fathers and heads of the house. The families also incur immense costs to just visit their loved ones as they have to travel across borders only to shake hands and say hallo. Their children undergo security checks when they visit the prison just to see a smile from their fathers,” Khalid said.

He said hopes of justice to the suspects are fast fading.

“Haki Africa condemns both the governments of Kenya and Uganda for outrightly violating the rights of the Kenyans and absconding their duties. The two governments, by contintuing to ignore the plights of the 8 Kenyans, are demonstrating that they have no respect for the rule of law and that they can continue to mistreat citizens in the guise of fighting terrorism,” Khalid said.

He demanded the release of the Kenyans, as they mark the fourth anniversary in prison saying there is no justification for holding them especially if the case is not continuing in court.

“We must remember that human rights are for all people and we cannot turn a blind eye when governments blatantly violate fundamental rights and freedoms of their people. We ask all who value human rights to speak up and demand the release of the eight Kenyans so they can rejoin their familIes,” Khalid said.

Two years ago, Muslim for Human Rights led a delegation to Uganda and met with the suspects and tried to negotiate their release.

They also wrote to the then Internal Security, Foreign Affairs, Attorney General, but said they did not get any response.

Source : The Star