100 children detained and put into protective custody by Kenya police

100 children detained and put into protective custody by Kenya police

Kenyan police raided an Islamic school on Tuesday, arresting two teachers and taking around 100 children into protective custody in what police described as a counter-terrorism operation involving foreign law-enforcement agencies. Police described the school in Likoni, south of the port city of Mombasa, as a center for indoctrinating young men and children with militant ideology.

“The place has been monitored for a long time,” said a police source who asked not to be named. The six-year-old institution teaches Quran memorization to Muslims at its elementary levels. Learners are later introduced to other Islamic subjects like jurisprudence or fiqh or hadith and seera – the biography of Prophet Mohamed.

Kenya is mostly Christian but has a large Islamic population. It is relatively free from religious tension, although it has suffered repeated deadly attacks from Somali Islamic extremists. A local Muslim leader confirmed the operation but said there was no evidence of any illegal activity.

“A group of local and foreign police officers raided the madrasa (Islamic school) where the pupils were sleeping and took them with their teachers,” Sheikh Hassan Omar, a senior official in the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK), an umbrella body for Kenya’s religious leaders, told journalists in Mombasa.

“There are nearly 100 pupils and four madrasa teachers who have been arrested and detained at police headquarters and nobody is telling us what crime they have committed.” It was not immediately clear why the police and (CIPK) gave different totals for the number of teachers arrested.

Omar said the officers asked for identification documents, including birth certificates from the children, and their teachers before they took them. Another police source told reuters the operation was sparked by intelligence information that both foreign and local children were being indoctrinated in the school.

Local media report that the children are from different countries including US, UK, Canada, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Zambia, Uganda and Kenya. Grace Ndiragu, an officer in charge of anti-human trafficking and child protection unit shed more light on the raid saying it was done following cases of mistreatment of kids but some parents whose children have been arrested have said the raid was unlawful and victimizing.


Source: Africa News