Radical muslim cleric back in Kenya

January 10, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 10 – Radical Jamaican Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdullah Al-Faisal is back to Nairobi after airlines in Nigeria declined to fly him to the Gambia where he had been deported to last Thursday.

One of his lawyers Mbugua Mureithi who addressed a press conference alongside Muslim Human Rights Forum Executive Director Al Amin Kimathi on Sunday said they had located him to a prison facility in Nairobi.

“We have been able to locate him, he is being held at the Industrial Area GK Prison and we don’t understand why he is there because he has never been charged in court,” Mr Kimathi said.

They then telephoned his mobile phone and put him on loudspeaker during the press conference and he was heard saying: “I was deported to the Gambia but when I reached Nigeria, an airline there declined to fly me to Gambia. I was then returned to Nairobi and now I am here.”

“I am a public figure, the Gambian government does not have a problem accepting me. I was given a choice to make and chose there, but the airline that was to fly me from Nigeria declined to take me on board.”

“Now I am in prison, I do not know how I got here and I would like the Muslim community out there to help me because I am a public figure,” Sheikh Al Faisa added.

The preacher was deported from Nairobi on Thursday following orders by Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang.

During the press conference, Mr Kimathi and his lawyer asked him to confirm if he was interrogated by any other foreign security forces other than the Kenyan officers and he said: “I was not interrogated by any other forces, I was only interrogated by the police and the Immigration police, they wanted to know how I had travelled to Kenya and I told them I came on (December 24), and I said I only have one passport which has my names. I did not travel with any other documents and that is what I told them, and they said I was not supposed to be in Kenya.”

“They were claiming that I travelled in a Christian name of Trevor William Forest. That is a lie, I became a Muslim at the age of 16, and that is when I got the Muslim name which I have been using,” he said.

Terrorism links.

The cleric also denied knowledge of terrorism links, saying he has never been charged. “I have never been tried with terrorism at any time in my life. Not at all, therefore I am not in any list.”

His lawyer Mr Mureithi said he planned to go to court on Monday morning to compel the government to release Al –Faisal.

He said they were concerned “because he has expressed concerns at his health which is now deteriorating and you see he is being held without having committed any crime. He wants to be released to the Muslim community.”

Police Spokesman Erick Kiraithe and Prisons Commissioner Isaiah Osugo were not immediately available for comment.


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