Johannesburg – The 95 children taken into custody after a raid by the FBI and Scotland Yard on a madrassa in Likoni, Kenya, must be released and returned to their parents immediately.
The raid was conducted on 20 December by local and international forces, who claimed, without evidence, that the madrassa was operating a “terrorist cell”.
But according to the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya treasurer Sheikh Hassan Omar, the parents of the children are still waiting to be told exactly why their children were taken into custody. He said security forces had “picked and harassed our children without any reason”.
The latest news reports on the issue claimed the children are being interrogated by foreign agencies.
Feroze Boda, spokesperson for CAGE Africa, said:
“The fact that foreign security forces from the US and UK can swoop into a madrassa and detain almost 100 children shows how global counter-terrorism operations are a threat to international law, which is supposed to protect children from the trauma of detention and interrogation.”
“We call for the children to be released immediately and for due process. Police cannot use the results of interrogations to build a case. Justice demands that enough evidence be presented first, to determine whether it is necessary to question children, and even then strict legal standards must be maintained. However, foreign agencies are turning due process on its head, traumatising many families. Kenyans should be outraged that foreign agencies are allowed to launch operations of this nature on their soil.”
(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.)