Kenyan activist charged over riots

January 19, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 19 – The Chairman of Kenya’s Muslim Human Rights Forum Al-Amin Kimathi was on Tuesday charged in court with incitement to violence and resisting arrest over Friday’s demonstrations in Nairobi that led to the death of five people.

Mr Kimathi however refused to answer to the charges after his lawyers led by Haroun Ndubi objected claiming the charges were defective as they did not disclose an offence as required by law.

The outspoken campaigner was arrested on Monday when he went to the Nairobi Law Courts to follow proceedings of seven suspects who have been charged for taking part in the deadly demonstrations that also saw destruction of property estimated at more than Sh100 million.

Mr Kimathi was accused of telling Muslim youth to proceed with the demonstration which had earlier been outlawed by police.

The charge read in part: “The words he uttered on 15 January led to injuries of police officers and destructions of window panes a property belonging to Mohammed Osman.”

On Monday there was drama at the Nairobi High Court corridors when Mr Kimathi’s supporters attempted to block police from enforcing his arrest and at one point the prison warders had to draw guns to ward off the youths.

Police have also applied to the court to have Mr Kimathi held in police custody as investigations into the role of Al Shabab terror group in the Friday’s protest are determined.

Nairobi Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei was due to make a ruling later on Tuesday.


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