The Association of Muslims Organisation in Kenya has demanded that powers given to the police by the Prevention of Terrorism Bill 2012 be revised, arguing that the legislation is a threat to individual privacy.
The Association of Muslims Organisation in Kenya has demanded that powers given to the police by the Anti-terrorism Bill be revised. Amok director general Fazul Mohamed said police must seek powers from court to intercept communication gadgets from suspected terrorists.
Mohamed was speaking in Kilifi yesterday during a tour of the region. He said giving enormous powers to police is tantamount to endangering the lives of innocent citizens. "Let police seek interception powers from a neutral body like the court before intercepting a suspect's communication tools. Because if left the way it is, then police might infringe on the right to privacy of many innocent Kenyans," said Mohamed on the phone.
Clauses in Section 4 of the Prevention of Terrorism Bill 2012 seeks to give the police immense powers when spying on suspects, including taping telephone conversations to collect evidence against them, another provision Amok says is a violation of human rights.
The bill further provides that the intercepted communication be presented to court as evidence without much verification on its admissibility by interested parties.
Other provision of the bill is the seizure of the property believed to have been used in terrorism acts by the police. "Police should not be given a free hand but provisions for them to liaise with the courts be provided for in the bill before enactment," he said.
Mohamed added that Muslims were willing to support the bill if the issues raised will be taken into consideration. "Kenya needs legal framework to deal with issues of skyrocketing terrorism and nobody really is against the efforts of government on that including us Muslims. We shall only support the bill if our amendments are taken care of," he added.
A section of the Muslims have strongly opposed terming it as the idea of the west, US and Israeli governments.
Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya officials are on record for wanting the bill shelved and that the current constitution and its subsequent laws were capable of punishing those involved in the terrorism activities in the country. Muslims wants police to seek phone interception powers from court in the new anti-terror bill.
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