7 February 2014

Kenya: Two Child Suspects Released As Backlash Against Mombasa Mosque Police Raid Continues

A Mombasa high court judge on Thursday (February 6th) released two minors under the age of 12 who were arrested following the police raid of Masjid Mussa, but upheld an earlier decision to continue holding all other suspects, including a number of youths under the age of 21, Kenya's The Star reported.

Judge Martin Muyu made the ruling after accepting the submission that young children should not be held criminally responsible.

"Children below 12 years do not have criminal responsibility and should be released immediately. [However], I do not want to disrupt the magistrate court so the others will face the magistrate tomorrow," Muya said.

Representatives speaking on behalf of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims and the Lamu-based Muslim Youth of Kenya urged the authorities to free all the suspects pending charges brought against them, according to Kenya's The Standard.

Meanwhile in further disturbances following Sunday's violence, youths returning from the burial of a victim of the mosque raid clashed with police in downtown Mombasa on Wednesday, leaving one civilian injured, Kenya's The Standard reported.

Mombasa Urban Deputy Police Chief Tom Okoth said police have since banned all public gatherings in a bid to limit outbreaks of violence.

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