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Kenya

Kenyan Muslim NGO bank accounts stay frozen despite terror links ruling

Photo: Twitter/Haki Africa

A Kenyan court ruled on Thursday that two Muslim rights groups must be removed from the government’s list of terrorist groups. In April Muslims for Human Rights and Haki Africa were put on a list of groups associated with the Somali Islamist group Al-Shebab. Their inclusion on the list was part of a crackdown on Shebab supporters in the wake of the attack against Garissa university which left almost 150 people dead.

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"In the beginning they closed our accounts because of the linkage with terrorism. But the judge did not unfreeze our account. It is very sad that the police, the prosecution and judiciary, they have become tools of repression. It also creates uneasiness for the donors; all of our donors are Western donors. That money comes from taxpayers’ money in their respective countries. So the money is frozen, indirectly the government is accusing our donors of participating or helping Al-Shebab. This is what it means."

"Vindicated in the sense that they are clearly not terrorist organisations, according to that ruling, which is the position that the majority of us in Kenyan civil society field have held. But again, the fact that the court did not rule on the accounts that were frozen, which in effect rendered the organisations unable to operate or unable to discharge their mandate, is again an unclear sign that the courts went deeper into interrogating the issues."

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