A Mombasa-based human rights group has condemned night-time police swoops in residential estates in Mombasa County.
Haki Africa claims the police operations target Muslims attending night prayers in the Holy Month of Ramadhan.
“We are alarmed by persistent complaints we keep receiving from community members on police swoops in various Mombasa estates at night between 8pm to around 11pm.
“The swoops are undertaken indiscriminately and the police are alleged to be beating those they arrested before bundling them into their vehicles,” said Haki Africa Executive Director Hussein Khalid in a statement.
He said the organisation has received complaints from residents in Kisauni, Floringi/Bondeni and Kongowea.
“Night prayers are considered sacred but the swoops have targeted the same time when Muslims are expected to be moving between their homes and mosques [and they raise] concerns that cannot be ignored,” he said.
He said such acts amount to infringement of people’s constitutional rights.
“Worshippers of all religions must be allowed to exercise their faiths without harassment from police or any other source.
“We call on the office of the county commissioner to investigate and ensure those responsible are dealt with accordingly,” he said in the statement.
Contacted for comment, County Commissioner Evans Achoki said he would follow up the matter and promised to investigate.
During the beginning of Ramadhan, Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa had said that patrols would be intensified but cautioned officers to operate within the law.