Hemed Salim

After disappearing during a police raid, Hamed’s body has never been found. 

Hemed Saleem's wife. Photo by Boniface Mwangi.

Hemed Saleem’s wife. Photo by Boniface Mwangi.

Hemed Salim went missing in Mombasa after he was arrested on February 2nd, 2014 during the Masjid Musa raid by police. According to his lawyer, at the time of his arrest Hemed had been accused by the police of being in possession of a firearm inside the mosque at the time of the raid. Media coverage including videos and pictures showed him being arrested, tortured, handcuffed and put in a police car with officers guarding him. Hemed has not been seen since.

In a habeas corpus case, Hemed’s family and HAKI Africa demanded that he be produced before a court of law. After evidence of Hemed’s arrest was presented to the court, police claimed that he and others escaped from the police vehicle while being transported to the police station, suggesting that they jumped out of the police vehicle when it slowed down to allow traffic, therefore, they never reached the police station after their arrest. There are no known independent witnesses to support this claim. In judgment on the matter, the court ordered the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Mombasa to conduct an inquest into the circumstances of Hemed’s death on the basis that he is now designated “a missing person presumed dead”.

Mohamed Shahid Butt

Shot and killed while in his car for no known reason, and a small child was caught in the line of fire.

Mohamed Shahid Butt was shot on the night of July 11th, 2014 as he was driving from Mombasa’s Moi International Airport after picking his son who had just flown into Mombasa. His car was sprayed with bullets in the incident, which occurred around 8pm about 400 metres from Changamwe Police Station. Mr. Butt was a renowned businessman in the town with most of his investments being in the transport business. According to media reports, a few months before his death, Mr Butt was arrested and charged with incitement and financing terror activities. To date, Mr Butt’s killers remain unknown.

In the ensuing melee, just minutes after the shooting of Shahid Butt, four year old Baby Ali Mohammed was shot in the leg.  He was badly injured and his leg later had to be amputated. Police claim that the same gunmen who shot Shahid Butt as they were making their way away from the crime scene shot Baby Ali. However, according to Baby Ali’s uncles, who were with him at the time, one of whom was also shot in the leg, the police shot at the group when they were trying to run away from the scene. The Uncles claimed that the police forced them to lie on the ground for about an hour despite Baby Ali’s obvious leg injuries and cries of pain.

Suleiman Salim Swalleh

Bundled into a vehicle by eight men after Friday prayers, Suleiman has never been seen again.

friday-prayer-alone

Suleiman Salim Swalleh was picked up while coming from Friday prayers at Masjid Musa, Mombasa, on August 1st, 2014. The incident occurred just outside his home in Majengo where he was reportedly forced into a waiting vehicle by at least eight men who were using two different vehicles. Eyewitnesses report that one of the vehicles was a blue Subaru with registration plate number KBT 530T.

According to Mr Swalleh’s brother, who was at the scene and witnessed his abduction, the abductors appeared to be police officers. When he tried to intervene and inquire why they were taking his brother away, one of them pointed a gun at him and dared him to get close. Mr Swalleh was bundled into one of the vehicles which then sped away.

Immediately, the brother requested one of his relatives who was also present to take the family vehicle and follow the one Mr Swalleh was put in. At that same time, he rushed to the nearby Makupa Police Station to report the matter. On reaching the police station, the brother claims that he explained the incident to the police and informed them that there was a car tracking the abductors who were by then on Mombasa-Nairobi highway. They requested the police to coordinate with their counterparts on Mombasa-Nairobi highway to mount a roadblock to intercept the abductors. The family report that the police chased them from their office and directed that they file the matter at the reporting desk. According to the family, this was done, and the family then rushed to HAKI Africa to seek assistance. Despite strenuous efforts by HAKI Africa, Suleiman Salim Swaleh remains “disappeared”.

Omar Hesbon Matheka

Killed at point blank range and contradictory police reports. 

Omar Hesbon Matheka, 24 years old, was killed on 1st June 2016, in Mombasa.  Police reported that they were on patrol when they stopped a tuk tuk that had three occupants:  Mr Matheka, another, and the driver.  According to police reports, the driver jumped out and Mr Matheka started running whilst shooting at the police. Police returned fire, killing him whilst the two others escaped. Msambweni OCPD Joseph Omijah claimed that an unexploded grenade was found on Mr Matheka’s body.

Eyewitness reports however, paint a different picture. Several sources told ‘The Standard’ that the young man was killed in a stationary tuk tuk waiting at a bus stage. At the time of his death, Matheka was reportedly sitting at the back of the tuk tuk. A police officer approached the tuk tuk, lifted the plastic back cover and shot him at point blank range.