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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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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[Infographic] 7 facts the Home Office concealed: Damning data on terror arrests

The most recent data published by the Home Office on police powers under the Terrorism Act show a trend of racial discrimination and increasing evidence of what has been referred to as ‘Al Capone’ style disruption in communities.

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Click on image to enlarge and save

1- 70% of those arrested are never charged with a terrorism offence:

While arrests are often grandly announced in the media, a close look at their aftermath reveals that the overwhelming majority of those arrested are never charged under terrorism laws. An alarming 63% are not charged with any offence at all.

However what these numbers conceal is the impact arrests and raids under terrorism laws have on families. ‘Khalid’ who was raided by the police told CAGE:  “It is after this day that my mother and father find it hard to sleep at night. Any time there is a small movement or noise they think it’s the police.”

‘Khalid’ had to endure “a year of going through hard times and explaining to [his] family that I am not involved in terrorism”. Such is the stigma attached to victims of these raids.

His case is an example of the many who experienced raids but were never charged or convicted of a crime.


Read more: 6 months as a terror suspect, stopped, followed, raided and held on bail

2- Increase use of police bail

A trend CAGE has picked up, is the use of bail as a means to restrict individuals’ freedoms. At times clients feel that they have been placed on bail for an indefinite period of time.

When compared with the relatively small conviction rate, it seems that police bails are used vindictively with the aim of stopping otherwise innocent individuals from living freely.

‘Imran’ who was held under bail conditions for 2½ years described it “like a prison sentence without being in prison.” He said “It’s a huge burden on my shoulders. I can’t plan anything and my family and I live in fear that they may raid our home again.”

3- 90% of those arrested are not convicted under terrorism laws

Of all the 260 individuals arrested, those actually found guilty of a terrorism offence are just 10% or 26 people.

The low rate of conviction must be used as call to review policing tactics in order to improve police-community relations.

The continued heightening of tensions between police and communities, as well as the ongoing fear campaigns in the media, seem completely at odds with the figures available.

The rate of error – 90% of all arrests –  naturally gives rise to a broader attitude amongst impacted communities that they feel specifically targeted by the authorities.

4- 88.4% of those detained at ports and airports are from an ethnic minority or otherwise ‘not stated’

This shocking figure proves the discriminatory nature of the controversial Schedule 7 powers. (According to the last UK census, minorities constitute only 14% of the population).

This is further exacerbated because of 19,355 people stopped at airports, only 5 were charged with not complying or other terror related charges. This is a total of 0.02% or a rate of error 99.98%!

For years, CAGE has advocated that people should not be stopped if there is no indication they have committed a crime.


know your rights: schedule 7

As far back as 2012, former reviewer of terrorism legislation David Anderson stated: “Indeed, despite having made the necessary inquiries, I have not been able to identify from the police any case of a Schedule 7 examination leading directly to an arrest followed by a conviction in which the initial stop was not prompted by intelligence of some kind.”

All this demonstrates that Schedule 7 is of little value to detect crimes but, since it allows invasive questioning by police, it is rather a mass intelligence gathering operation.

5-  72% of those stopped and searched under terror laws are from ethnic minorities or ‘not stated’.

The police carried out 483 stops, 54% belonged to ethnic minorities, a further 18% refused to state, and only 28% identified as white. These stops target and profiles communities in a similar fashion as it once did black communities.

Ayman Marwa, who was stopped under these powers, said: “I was traumatised by the arrest. Before I used to have a fear of people, because I was a victim of a stabbing, and now I also fear the police. I have nerve damage on my left side and I also have a colostomy bag. The police showed no regard for my health conditions despite my protests and agony. The reason they allege [they stopped me] was because I was carrying a box, that I bought from a hardware store, which they believed was an explosive.”

Hindering the lives of the innocent

There is a clear continuation of the trend of ‘disruption’, an approach by security services which focusses on hindering the lives of ‘suspected’ individuals rather than prosecuting them.

It short-cuts due process since individuals are not given the chance to be presumed innocent nor are they allowed to challenge the assumptions made against them.


Read more: The Henry Jackson Society’s fear-mongering report paints a totally false picture of Terrorism and Muslims in the UK

From CAGE’s work, we have observed that this disruption targets Muslims disproportionately. Officially, however, these statistics remain hidden from the public. The data remains incomplete when it comes to publishing the faith distribution of those impacted, especially in airport stops where this data is recorded according to numerous testimonies we’ve collected.

This gives credence to the belief that these statistics, should they be released, would be highly embarrassing for police, who are continually insisting that they do not target Muslims.


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.

The Kenyan flag.

CAGE Africa calls for fair trial for Kenyan women arrested under terrorism laws

Johannesburg – CAGE Africa calls on the High Court of Kenya to honour due process in the trial of Hania Said Sagar, Luul Ali Tahlil, Nasteho Ali Tahlil and Zam Zam Abdi Abdullahi – four women arrested last week for alleged links to suspects accused of bombing a Mombasa Police Station.

Several due process violations have already occurred. In Hagar’s case, the state did not serve the accused and her lawyer with sworn affidavits attesting to the crime of which she is accused, but which she denies: harbouring information about a suspect in the bombing.

In the cases of all four women, lawyers have in effect not been allowed to bring any evidence before the magistrate to challenge the charges. This is a blatant flouting of the rule of law.

The women are also being subjected to invasive strip searches in detention. This violates their dignity and their religion, and amounts to a form of psychological torture.

Karen Jayes, co-ordinator for CAGE Africa, said:

“The fact that the accused were not allowed to raise evidence to contribute to their pre-bail hearing amounts to a show trial where the accused are in reality not sufficiently represented in their own hearing.”

“The right to legal representation does not hold any effect if lawyers are not allowed to bring any evidence before the court. This state of affairs is divisive and feeds the narrative that the Kenyan government unfairly targets Muslims.”

“Under no circumstances should prisoners be stripped and searched. This is humiliating and traumatic and amounts to a form of psycho-sexual torture. We call on Kenyan authorities to respect the dignity and religion of prisoners, and especially of women.”

Press enquiries:
Karen Jayes
(+27) 84 648 1425
karen@cage.ngo


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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5 Facts about anti-terrorism arrests in Britain

Image:

Extract Summary:

The government and police often use the “threat of terrorism” to induce fear – which leads to the justification of more draconian measures which further curtails civil liberties. In this piece, CAGE sheds light on the arrest statistics in relation to terrorism and the truth behind these statistics.

The government and police often use the "threat of terrorism" to induce fear – which leads to the justification of more draconian measures which further curtails civil liberties. In this piece, CAGE sheds light on the arrest statistics in relation to terrorism and the truth behind these statistics. 
 
(CC image courtesy of Elliott Brown on Flickr/straightened from original
 
The Government, police and security agencies constantly use the "threat" of terrorism to increase their powers and further restrict liberties.
 
However, a careful look at the statistics released by the Home Office itself suffices to debunk warmongering claims.
 

1. 98% of the people arrested are detained for less than 7 days.

British anti-terror laws allow individuals to be detained and repeatedly interrogated for up to 14 days without charge. This is more than in any comparable Western democracy.
 
The Government has repeatedly attempted to extend this pre-charge detention to 28 days and even 42 days.
 

2. Only 32% of those arrested were eventually charged under anti-terrorism laws.

However, the impact of a raid and arrest is everlasting:
 
'Andrew', whose home in West London was raided spoke to CAGE giving an insight into how damaging raids can be:
"I'm a White British-born Muslim who grew up in the UK. In the 90s the UK was a cool place to live, but when I became a Muslim 6 years ago, I noticed a deterioration in how the British government treats the Muslims. Even though I haven't been charged, the raid has traumatised my children, my wife and my in-laws; all of them needed medical attention after. Me and my family now intend to leave the UK as a direct result of the raids, because we don't feel we can live a normal life here any more."
 

3. Only 12% were actually prosecuted

This means that in the overwhelming majority of the cases the Crown Prosecution found there was not enough to provide a 'realistic prospect of conviction' against the defendant. It can also mean that prosecuting them would go against the public interest.
 

4. Only 6% were actually convicted on terrorism charges

This does not mean that they were convicted of a violent crime. Rather, the conviction can simply be related to the possession of an article or the refusal to answer questions at a British airport.
 

5. 84% of those convicted did not go to trial and pleaded guilty for a lesser sentence

Defendants often feel that they have no chance to receive a fair trial due to the islamophobic climate. In some cases, defendants have also reported being pressurised into a guilty plea. For example, they would accept to enter into a guilty plea to avoid a female relative being prosecuted.
 
 

The following infographic was developed based on these points:

 
For more information on your rights please see our Know Your Rights page where our seminar on raids and arrests can be viewed and for more information on your rights during raids see 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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5 Facts About Anti-Terror Arrests

Read our most recent breakdown of terror-arrest stats here.


You can download a PDF of this infographic here and the image here.

 

If you require any further assistance with any of the matters discussed here, please call us on 0207 377 6700 or email us at contact@cageuk.org.


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.