Ethiopia detainees demand justice

October 29, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, October 29 – Eight suspects who were detained in Ethiopia alleged terror claims and later returned to Kenya have lodged a complaint against the police over alleged torture and illegal imprisonment.

The suspects are demanding thorough investigations into what they term as ‘illegal incarceration and subsequent transfer to Somalia and then Ethiopia’ where they were held for more than two years.

“We want to know why we were arrested, tortured and later released without charge,” the suspects said in a statement presented to the head of complaints at Police headquarters, Grace Kaindi on Wednesday.

Six of the suspects who presented the petition were accompanied by lawyer Harun Ndubi who gave the police 14 days to carry out sufficient investigations.

He said the other two suspects had gone to hospital to seek treatment on injuries and other health complications sustained during their two-year stay in illegal incarceration.

“The police have promised to act on our complaint but in the event they fail to, I will institute private prosecutions against various State security agencies who detained them and later handed them over to Ethiopia,” he told Capital News shortly after presenting the petition at Vigilance House.

Mr Ndubi said those he planned to sue are the Police Commissioner, the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit and airlines which ferried the suspects to Somalia and Ethiopia.

“Whoever participated in any way will have to face the law,” he said.

The suspects are Hassan Shaban, Ali Musa Mwaruzi, Kasim Musa Mwaruzi, Abdalla Khalif, Swaleh Ali Tunza, Salim Abdala Salim, Bashil Mohid Hussein and Said Hamisi.

Mr Ndubi also said he intended to file a civil suit for compensation over the agony the suspects went through.  They were interrogated by various foreign security agents including America’s Federal Bureau of Investigations.

“We were tortured in the hands of both Kenya and foreign security agents and that is why we need to be compensated,” Hassan Shaban said.

The eight said they had earlier gone to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to file a similar complaint but were turned away.

“Police at the airport chased us away when we went there to record our statements. But we have finally managed to record them at Police headquarters and we hope justice will prevail,” another victim Musa Mwaruzi said.

One of the suspects is alleged to have chauffeured Fazul Abdallah Mohammed, a native of the Comoros who is wanted for terror attacks in Kenya.

They all deny the accusations.


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