Following violent clashes in Nairobi on 16 January that left five dead, Kenyan police have arrested more than 300 people, including 16 Somali MPs. Last week’s demonstration were organized to demand the release of Abdullah Al-Faisal, the Jamaican-born Muslim cleric who served five years in jail in the UK for inciting racial hatred. Al-Faisal has been detained without charge pending deportation, Kenya’s efforts to deport the controversial figure have been hampered by their inability to find an airline willing to carry him.
Internal Security Minister George Saitoti has accused the Somali Islamist group Al-Shabab of being involved in the clashes, Saitoti claimed most of those detained have been picked up on suspicion of being illegal immigrants. Kenyan human rights activist Al-Amin Kimathi, who has been campaigning for Al-Faisal’s release, was arrested on Monday 18 January.