11 April 2014

Kenya: My Life Is in Danger, Says Al Amin Kimathi

MUSLIM for Human Rights Forum executive director Al Amin Kimathi hassaid his life is in danger. He said he fears for his life after officials from human rights bodies told him that he is on a 'next-to-be-killed' order after Sheikh Abubakar Shariff alias Makaburi.

According to an email by a senior Kenyan researcher with an international human rights body that was forwarded to the Star, and while quoting an officer from the anti-terrorism police unit based at the Pangani police station, Al Amin "will be the next high profile" person the "death squad" will be looking for.

"During a chat at the police station, at some point he (the ATPU officer) started talking about Mombasa and Makaburi. Then he commented that the next high profile person they will be looking for is Al Amin Kimathi. This was Friday the 4th. I just wanted to flag this out just in case," said the researcher, who cannot be named for fear of his life may be endangered.

The email was allegedly sent to Kimathi and copied to a number of local and international human rights organisations including the Kenya National Rights Commission, the Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa, Freedom House and Front Line Defenders .

Kimathi, who is known for his fiery approaches on what he calls human rights abuses by state agents especially the police, said he is being targeted for elimination due to his "struggle for justice".

"I am not worried as I must die one day and if it is to die for my ideals and the positions I have adopted in my work, I will gladly do so," he said.

"My struggle for justice is my jihad. Dying for the cause,without inviting such an ending, will be the most honourable thing to do for me. I see these threats as an opportunity to focus more on our work and I hope to turn them around to become such advocacy."

Asked whether he recorded statement with the police, Kimathi said that "will be unnecessary".

"I don't see the logic of doing that with your would-be eliminators. It is absolutely useless," he said.

He said will seek audience with the Interior Secretary Joseph ole Lenku and Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo.

Kimathi has condemned "police excesses" in the Eastleigh operation.

He has paid numerous visits to Safaricom Kasarani Stadium where suspected illegal immigrants are being held and screened.

On Tuesday, an angry Kimathi spoke at Jamia Mosque and told Muslims to "fight for your rights".

"We can no longer tolerate what is going in this country.You must defend your rights, even if it means paying it with the ultimate price," Kimathi told Muslims at the four o'clock prayers.

On September 15, 2010 Al Amin was arrested at the Entebbe International Airport while traveling to Kampala for a court hearing of Kenyan suspects arrested in connection with terror attacks that killed 70 people in the Ugandan city on July 11, 2010.

He was released a year later without being charged.

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