The Kenyan flag.

Muslims detained at prayers in Kenya must be released

Johannesburg – CAGE calls for police in Kenya to immediately release Muslims that were detained during taraweeh prayers.

Complaints received by the organisation Haki Africa have come from parts of Mombasa including Kisauni, Floringi/Bondeni and Kongowea areas, where police in groups of ten or more have swooped in on worshippers between 8pm and 11pm when they were attending evening prayers. In some instances men have been illegally detained.

According to Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI), in one case circulating on social media, Suhail Ali was assaulted, harassed, and intimidated while police demanded that he pay them 50,000 Kenyan shillings (380 pounds) otherwise he would be framed with a crime. After negotiations they settled down to 10,000 shillings (75 pounds). However instead of taking Ali to a police station, he was taken to a kangaroo court, where he was “found guilty”.

Police in Kenya have been accused of targeting Muslims, especially in the coastal regions of Kenya, where they are known to have conducted extrajudicial killings under cover of the ‘War on Terror’.

Karen Jayes, spokesperson of CAGE Africa, said:

“This is yet another example of the ‘War on Terror’ being used as a cover for police to flaunt their power, creating fear and anger on the ground. The detention-without-charge of men is a violation of the rule of law and utterly counter-productive.”

“Police denials are disingenuous since video footage attests to men being rounded on and beaten by police outside mosques. We reiterate our call and support the demands of Haki Africa and Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) for an independent investigation into these abuses and dismissal of the police officers concerned.”

“All abuses by police against Muslims in Kenya in the name of counter-terrorism, must end starting with extrajudicial killings, through to these most recent claims of harassment, extortion and detention.”

 

 

 


NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.

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Director of legal rights NGO appeared at Court today to plead not guilty in password case

London – CAGE International Director Muhammad Rabbani has pleaded not guilty today to charges that have serious implications for journalists, human rights defenders and lawyers.

Mr Rabbani was charged on 17th May for not giving up his passwords during an interrogation by border police under Schedule 7 at Heathrow in November last year.

He was unable to hand over the passwords to his devices as he was carrying crucial evidence taken from a torture survivor and did not have permission from the client to share the information.

Muhammad Rabbani, International Director for CAGE, said previously:

“I am innocent of these charges that have serious implications for journalists, lawyers and human rights defenders.”

“I’m going into this eyes wide open and I’m not a victim, but I’m not a hero either. I do believe I am doing what any reasonable person would do under the circumstances in order to protect the privacy of a client.”

“It was heartening to see the ordinary people that attended the hearing today to show their support, especially the many mothers who I spoke to. They told stories about worrying for their children when they travel through UK borders and they expressed their appreciation of my decision to challenge these powers.”

Ibrahim Mohamoud, spokesperson for CAGE, said:

“Rabbani has taken a principled stance to protect the right to privacy in an ongoing case of torture that implicates high ranking officials. Not only is this of crucial importance, but the outcome of his case has implications for all of our rights to privacy, when there is no suspicion of any crime.”

“Rabbani’s courage and principle in these circumstances has been an inspiration to the community. We continue to support him in his efforts to protect the privacy of us all, and to end the constant harassment at airports.”

Maryam Ahmed, a mother that attended, said:

“We are mothers and have sons, and one day it could be my son. Muslims are vulnerable at this present time and Rabbani is taking this challenge for all of us. We should stand united with one another.”

Soraya Mubeen, another mother that attended, said:

“I stand with Rabbani, just like I’d stand with my own son. As a mother I constantly worry about my children when they travel, I worry they will be stopped and detained. These powers affect all of us and we stand in solidarity to uphold key values and principles.”


NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.

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CAGE calls for the abolition of anti-terror legislation

The latest incident at Finsbury Park underlines the need to abolish all anti-terror legislation. We have witnessed the abject destruction caused by the War on Terror first hand and must resist demands to extend the injustice it has unleashed.

The draconian and oppressive anti-terror laws have led to the dismantling of basic protections. What motivated Darren Osborne or others before him does not negate the fact that these incidents need to be subjected to the scrutiny of the criminal law and overseen by an independent judicial system.

Theresa May has used the latest incident to launch another attack on civil liberties by declaring that the Queen’s speech on Wednesday will include flagship legislation to “confront the menace of extremism, especially Islamist extremism, including a statutory commission to identify and expose examples”. She reaffirmed the review of official counter-terrorism strategy including the possibility of new criminal offences to deny “safe spaces” to extremists, both online and in the real world.

We do not need any more anti-terror laws and call for an abolition of the extensive web of laws that have ensnared our fundamental freedoms and rights. We call upon all right minded people to join our struggle to establish once again the Rule of Law and apply it to all irrespective of their background, race or religion.

Dr Adnan Siddiqui, Director of CAGE, said:

“The insatiable desire by politicians to appeal to the mob mentality and the prejudicial media blitz leads to a poisonous environment in which basic rights are trashed at the altar of populism. The tragedy of the victims is exploited and the perpetrators are shovelled into a two tier justice system where their rights are curtailed because of the terrorism tag.”

“The calls for tougher laws and sentences is led by former extremists to venal politicians who have created a virus that has infected the whole criminal justice system so that the use of secret evidence is normalised, mental health frailties are ignored and teenagers are given disproportionate sentences for immature comments on social media and labelled as terrorists for life.”

“This is the right occasion to declare that we do not seek the lynch mob mentality of the terror laws to be applied to Darren Osborne or anyone else. We have witnessed the abject destruction caused by the War on Terror first hand and are proud to say that we do not call for laws that demean us to be applied or be extended further. Not in our name.”


NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.

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CAGE calls for calm amid attack on Muslim worshippers

Police have confirmed that a major incident took place a couple of hours ago. A man has been arrested in London following an attack in Finsbury Park. The man ploughed into worshippers who were leaving the mosque after taraweeh prayers. The number of fatalities and those injured has yet to be confirmed.

CAGE Director, Adnan Siddiqui said:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of what appears to have been a deliberate attack on worshippers outside Muslim Welfare House in the Finsbury Park area as they left night prayers in the holy month of Ramadhan.

There can never be any justification for such acts which occur at a time of an epidemic rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes. We urge all to remain calm and do their utmost to not inflame an already volatile and distressing situation. We should allow for the investigation to continue and for facts to emerge.

We have always called for the Rule of Law to be applied so that we can assure the protection and safety of all people irrespective of their beliefs.

This is not the time to hold certain sections of society collectively guilty for the acts of a few criminals.

The cycles of violence that are devastating innocent lives must be brought to an end. After #Manchester and #LondonBridge, there is need for serious pause in order to find ways to safeguard the public from harm and bring an end to the cycle of violence.”

 

(image courtesy of Didier on twitter)


NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.

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France has abandoned the rule of law for a perpetual state of emergency: CAGE

London – France’s proposed new bill that would allow state of emergency measures to become the law of the land, must be opposed in order to prevent widespread abuse.

The bill normalises banning protest marches, shutting down places of worship, forcing people under house arrest to give police access to their electronic devices and using electronic tagging for purposes of surveillance. It gives complete power to police to implement these measures without judicial oversight.

Ibrahim Mohamoud, CAGE spokesperson, said:

“This would open the powers to normalised and regular abuse and discrimination with absolutely no basis. These measures will give way to officials to make sweeping intrusions in the lives of many French Muslims without any judicial scrutiny. This will only reinforce the feelings of Muslim citizens as having second class rights to those of their fellow French citizens.

“Given the serious abuses resulting from use of those power, abusive and discriminatory raids and house arrests against Muslims have created economic hardship, stigmatisation and traumatised children.

“Beyond the moral debate, we should also ask the question of the efficiency of these measures. Following the Bataclan, France has seen some of the worst attacks in its history while under the state of emergency. Turning these failed policies into law does not seem to make much sense. Instead, efforts should be invested in fair treatment of its minority and cessation of foreign intervention.”

 


NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.

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CAGE calls for the Charity Commission to act against Henry Jackson Society over Douglas Murray comments on BBC

London – The Charity Commission must act against the Henry Jackson Society, after the BBC gave a platform to extreme right ideologue Douglas Murray during their Sunday Politics programme on 28 May, allowing him to spread anti-Muslim vitriol at a time of heightened sensitivity.

The BBC must also be held to account for airing a programme which has been considered incitement to hate by many.

During the segment, Murray, an associate director at the controversial Henry Jackson Society, advocated that “less Islam leads to less terrorism”, clearly implying that eradicating Islam from Europe was a solution.

Murray has made similar comments in the past which encourage intolerance. He has said that “tolerating Islam is suicide” and penned articles in support of far-right-winger and former EDL leader Tommy Robinson, while also expressing support for the EDL.

Despite his extreme and intolerant views, the mainstream media continues to give him unchallenged platforms. Moreover the Charity Commission refuses to intervene perhaps due to the fact that such opinions of William Shawcross, a former board member of the HJS, and current-head of the Charity Commission. Shawcross once infamously opined: “Europe and Islam is one of the greatest most terrifying problems of our future.”

This is not the first time that the Charity Commission has practiced double standards. Over the last four years, the Commission has regularly monitored and investigated many Muslim charities for even minor “controversial” comments of speakers and trustees. The Commission has claimed such comments put a charity’s public reputation at risk and promote extremism. Such reasoning must therefore be applied particularly to the HJS.

 Cerie Bullivant, spokesperson for CAGE, said:

“Murray’s latest tirade on the BBC shows him up to be particularly hateful towards Islam, and the Charity Commission should take action against him and the Henry Jackson Society. It is shocking that no action is taken against HJS and no conflict of interest given links with board members . In addition we have been given the run around by various parliamentary committees who allegedly oversee the work of the Charity Commission . There appears to be one rule for some favoured charities and another for those who are labelled as irritants – there are no prizes for guessing which category Muslim charities fall into.”


NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.

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Security and public safety must be upheld: CAGE comments on London Bridge attacks

CAGE extends deep sympathy to the families of the seven victims of the London Bridge and Borough Market attacks, and to the 48 injured.

We remain totally opposed to violence of this sort. Such indiscriminate murder of innocent people has no justification whatsoever.

In this traumatic time we urge calm while the authorities carry out their necessary investigations. Security and public safety are of paramount importance. Calls to retaliatory violence and fear mongering of communities must not be tolerated and we advise against counter-productive policy announcements that do not serve the interests of justice nor restore security.

We welcome all evidence-based proposals that are aimed at seeking public safety and security.

(CC Image courtesy of Eduardo Melon on Flikr)


NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.

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New CAGE review explores how the ‘War on Terror’ affects Ethiopia

Johannesburg – CAGE Africa today launches its first chapter of the Africa Review, a series of in-depth country guides on how the War on Terror has affected Muslims and justice in eight countries on the African continent.

The Review provides a glance at how legislation, policing and society has been affected by the US-led ‘War on Terror’, and in turn how these changes have violated the rule of law and resulted in grave injustices.

An important resource for journalists, human rights defenders and all those interested in gaining a deeper look into how the global war is being meted out on the ground in Africa, the Review will be published country by country, month by month until the end of the year.

Karen Jayes, spokesperson for CAGE Africa, said:

“When researching the project, we came to realise how the ‘War on Terror’ has corrupted justice from country to country. From violating the rule of law through broad legislation, to giving free reign to police to target Muslim communities, to disappearances and torture, the influence of United States global policy has been overwhelmingly negative, worsening existing conflict, disrupting religious harmony, and often fueling extremism.”

“Through this Review it has become blatantly clear that the solution to our current global crises lies not in more weaponry and discriminatory legislation, but on less of these things, in favour of more open, trusting relations between people, and negotiation between opposing groups. There also needs to be an honest evaluation of how current government policies are not benefiting all, and courageous policy change needs to take place to bring about more equitable societies. This is the road to peace.”

Read the first chapter on Ethiopia here.


NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.

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CAGE Africa supports Palestinian prison hunger strikers

Johannesburg – CAGE Africa supports the current hunger strike launched on 17 April by over 1500 Palestinian prisoners incarcerated in Israeli prisons.

We call for an end to solitary confinement, itself declared a form of torture by the United Nations, and an end to torture and other inhumane and degrading treatment that features as a daily occurrence in the lives of Palestinian prisoners.

We also call for an end to administrative detention, a process which violates international law and due process, and where individuals are effectively imprisoned without trial. Administrative detention can be indefinitely renewed, creating a torturous existence of perpetual imprisonment.

Nobody could embody the cruelty suffered by Palestinians more than Samar al-Hilmi, who has embarked on more than 4 hunger strikes and has been in Israeli prisons for more than 7 years under administrative detention despite the US saying he was not a terrorism risk in 2003. During that time he has been beaten, put in isolation for long periods in a tiny cell, repeatedly refused family visits and denied medical assistance.

On one occasion while on hunger strike in 2012, guards entered the isolation cell and announced that they were going to transfer the protestors to another section of the medical clinic. When al-Hilmi and one other prisoner refused transfer saying they would be sharing a room with prisoners who would be eating, he was beaten and put in isolation with no mattresses.

This is the treatment that prisoners risk when they are on hunger strike, and they deserve our full support.

Feroze Boda of CAGE Africa, said:

“The Israeli processes that facilitate the indefinite detention of Palestinians without trial are completely illegal under international law. Moreover, the treatment of Palestinians in prisons violate basic human rights standards and fulfil the requirements of being called torture. The hunger strike is a heroic effort by prisoners to better their circumstances and it deserves all the world’s support.”

“We commend all those in South Africa who stood in solidarity with the prisoners in the 24-hour hunger strike on 15 May. No doubt their action gave strength to those inside prison. We urge those partaking in fasting during the upcoming month of Ramadan to spare thoughts and prayers for all those suffering under the occupation of Palestine, but in particular the political prisoners like Samar Al-Hilmi.”

 

 


NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.

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Muhammad Rabbani: “I am innocent of these charges that have serious implications for journalists, lawyers and human rights defenders”

London – CAGE International Director Muhammad Rabbani was charged today at Bethnal Green police station for wilfully obstructing or seeking to frustrate a search examination under Schedule 7 when he was detained at Heathrow in November.

Mr Rabbani was unable to hand over the passwords to his devices as he was carrying crucial evidence taken from a torture survivor and did not have permission from the client to share the information.  

Mr Rabbani has taken a principled stance to protect the right to privacy in an ongoing case of torture that implicates high ranking officials. He will be challenging the charges at Westminster Magistrate’s Court on 20 June 2017.

Muhammad Rabbani, International Director for CAGE, said previously:

“This should be a moment of pride and celebration for Muslims. There are some members of our community that are not just going to complain, but who are going to take some legal steps which are outside the confined parameters of engagement while maintaining their integrity, humanity, commitment to principle and compassion for others.”

“I’m going into this eyes wide open and I’m not a victim, but I’m not a hero either. I do believe I am doing what any reasonable person would do under the circumstances in order to protect the privacy of a client.”

Moazzam Begg, Outreach Director for CAGE, said:

“Rabbani’s courage and principle in these circumstances has been an inspiration to the community. We continue to support him in his efforts to protect the privacy of us all, and to free Muslims from the constant harassment of Schedule 7 at airports.”

“At the core of this issue is the protection of crucial evidence of torture, the key to holding high ranking officials accountable for an international crime. This will be a landmark case that will test the rule of law and justice in the ‘War on Terror’.”

“I know what it is like to be forced to give your password to the authorities. In Bagram, I was tortured into surrendering my password. My colleague Rabbani was safeguarding vital and sensitive testimony, given to him by a victim of torture. Considering both the US and British Governments have been found complicit and responsible for the torture and abuse of hundreds of individuals, it is perfectly right that Rabbani does everything he can to ensure these crimes are accounted for.”

 

Join the campaign:
Visit: www.passwithprivacy.com


NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.