, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 1 – The Law Society of Kenya has moved to court to challenge the dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed in Lamu County since June.
LSK Chief Executive Officer Apollo Mboya also wants the Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo barred from any further involvement in the Lamu security operation.
High Court Judge Mumbi Ngugi has certified the matter as urgent and directed the LSK to serve the Kimaiyo and the Attorney General with the suit papers.
The matter will be mentioned on December 5 before the High Court in Malindi.
LSK contends that the curfew is contrary to provisions of the Constitution.
“Local leaders have raised concern over the illegality of the curfew considering the effect it has had on the Lamu economy,” argues Mboya in an affidavit.
He says the society has established that following the imposition of the curfew, innocent citizens were arrested but later released without being charged for lack of evidence to connect them with the terror attack in Lamu.
He said: “There are fears from residents that their arrests were politically instigated.”
The continued imposition and extension of the curfew is punitive and discriminatory, he said.
Kimaiyo initially imposed the 6.30pm-6.30am curfew in Lamu and its environs starting June 20 to August 20.
The IG issued the orders after seven people among them four police officers were killed by gun men in Witu.
The IG has since extended the curfew in Lamu and its environs to December 24 without due regard to the effect on the economy of the county as well as freedom of movement and socialization of the residents in the region, according to the LSK.
“The curfew imposition and the extension is detrimental to the Lamu economy and the wellbeing of the people who depend on tourist activities which thrive on the hours during which the curfew has been enforced,” he added.
LSK says numerous complaints of human rights violations including rape and torture have been raised by the people of Lamu against security agencies since enforcement of the curfew and ongoing security operation.