In a controversial move, Kenyan police arrested three individuals—Imaduddin Ahmed, Muhammad Musa, and Ubax Abdi—on Sunday for allegedly holding a private gathering to discuss the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict.
Activist Boniface Mwangi confirmed the arrests, expressing his disbelief at the situation, stating, “Kenya Police have arrested Imaduddin Ahmed, Muhammad Musa, and Ubax Abdi at Cheche Books. They were arrested for meeting in a private space to discuss the Gaza genocide. Imagine that!”
“Kenya isn’t an extension of Israeli. These arrests are illegal and foolish!” He added.
The arrest raised concerns among human rights advocates, including Irungu Houghton, the executive director of Amnesty International Kenya.
Houghton condemned the police action, describing it as deeply disturbing and unlawful, emphasizing the importance of protecting peaceful gatherings.
“This action is deeply disturbing and must be condemned. For the police to disrupt a peaceful private gathering is unlawful,” stated Houghton.
The incident follows recent protests in Mombasa, where residents, including Nyali MP Mohammed Ali, voiced their concerns about the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Ali, along with others, called for an immediate ceasefire and expressed outrage over the dire situation in Gaza, where residents are deprived of basic necessities and are facing severe humanitarian crises due to the ongoing violence.
“We call on our government and every government in the world with any ounce of respect towards human rights and international law to call for an immediate ceasefire,” lamented Ali.
Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga weighed in on the matter, advocating for a peaceful resolution. Speaking in Kajiado, Odinga emphasized the need to grant the people of Palestine permanent residence and recognition of their rights to exist as a free and independent nation, asserting that this step is crucial for lasting peace in Gaza.
“There cannot be lasting peace in Gaza until the people of Palestine are accorded permanent residence and recognition of their rights to exist as a free and independent people,” he told the congregation.
The incident has sparked a wider debate about freedom of speech and assembly, prompting discussions about the right to discuss international issues in private spaces without fear of legal repercussions.