Kenyan Islamic school closed amid sexual abuse allegations

Coast Regional Police Headquarters where officers are holding 90 children found in a suspected terror cell in Likoni, December 19, 2017. /FILE

BBC

“A Kenyan magistrate court is hearing a case against the administration of an Islamic school in the city of Mombasa.

Security agents raided the institution two weeks ago over concerns that the children enrolled there were at risk of harm.

Close to 100 children were initially detained but some were later handed over to their parents.

Initially after the school was raided in December, local media suggested it was because the children there might have been trafficked and were being radicalised.

But today, at the court in Mombasa, neither claim was mentioned.

The prosecution asked for the closing of the school, alleging that the children there were being molested.

The magistrate agreed that the school should be closed for now and the children enrolled elsewhere, as the case continues.

The whole saga has infuriated local Muslim clerics who say it could lead to other Islamic institutions being shut down on false charges.

The case will resume in court in March.”

The Star – Kenya

“A court in Mombasa has ordered that 65 children rescued from a Likoni Madrassa be admitted to schools so they can pursue formal education.

Resident magistrate L.K Sindani ordered that the children be taken to normal schools.

Sindani further ordered the children’s parents and guardians to present the learner’s admission letters to the court in the next session.

The magistrate also issued orders that the Al-Falah Madrassatul mosque remains closed until police complete their investigations.

She said the children can be taken to another Madrassa but not Al-Falah as its administration is yet to be cleared of accusations.

Sindani further maintained that the children should remain under the custody of their parents and guardians until they are cleared.

The madrassa has both boarding and day scholars and hosts several children, including refugees from Somalia.

The children, from as young as five, were said to be from different countries including US, UK, Canada, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Zambia, Uganda, and Kenya.

The magistrate’s orders came after an officer from the children department filed an application to have the court issue the orders.

Children officer Stanley Mkala told the court that they were still investigating the madrassa over sexual assault allegations.

He revealed to the court that already a worker of the religious institution has been charged at the Mombasa law court with committing a sexual offence.

Mkala told the court that December 19 the raid was conducted by a combined force comprising Kenya and British authorities.

These revelations from the children department disputed earlier reports linking the madrassa with terrorism.

The case will be mentioned on March 29.”

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