Update: Mr. Mureithi released from police custody; Mr. Kimathi remains in detention.
Mr. Mbugua Mureithi, human rights lawyer, was released from Ugandan police custody and escorted onto a plane in Entebbe from where he has since flown back to Kenyan this morning. Mr Mureithi did not have access to a lawyer during his interrogation and was not allowed to make any phone calls during his detention. He was questioned by individuals in civilian clothing whose identity were not revealed to him.
Mr. Al-Amin Kimathi remains in detention. His laptop has been confiscated and information on his laptop accessed. The 48 statutory detention limit has at this point expired. Access was once again denied this morning to a human rights lawyer seeking to meet with the detainee raising concerns as to the safety of Mr. Kimathi. The government should uphold the presumption of innocence and bring Mr. Kimathi to court immediately or release him.
Mr. Kimathi is the Executive Coordinator of the Muslim Human Rights Forum (MUHURI), a human rights organization that has taken the lead in monitoring violations committed in the ‘war against terror’, notably numerous rendition cases. Mr. Mureithi is a widely respected human rights lawyer who has handled a range of key human rights cases, including several cases of individuals detained on terrorism charges in Kenya. He has represented a range of key human rights organizations.
The two defenders were arrested upon their arrival in Entebbe on Wednesday 15th September 2010 to attend a court hearing scheduled for the 16th September. Mr. Mureithi, along with Uganda human rights lawyer, Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi, was to represent 12 suspects charged with terrorism in connection with the July bombings. Following their arrest they were taken to Kireka, a detention facility managed by the Rapid Response Unit. Neither of the two defenders have had access to a lawyer.
For more information please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Laetitia Bader from EHAHRDP on + 256 775 141 756.