Kenya to build special prison for terror suspects
In what many have likened to US-run detention facility in Cuba, Guantanamo bay, the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta is pushing for the construction of a new special correctional complex just for terror suspects.
Speaking at the pass out of 2300 prison warders Tuesday at the country’s Prison Training College, President Uhuru Kenyatta stressed the need to have such a high level correctional facility.
“We are setting up more correctional facilities in a bid to reform character, by appreciating the need for compassion, skill and firmness,” the president said. He added that this new project in the prisons department is geared towards improving the terms and conditions of service for all prisons personnel.
The president said, the separate prison will deter the extreme offenders from spreading their venom to other vulnerable Kenyans held at various correctional facilities in the country.
Mr. Kenyatta maintained that the government is committed to ensuring that those who are imprisoned are rehabilitated in the process, for them to fit in society once released.
He went on to commend the prisons staff for their efforts in exhibiting professionalism as they execute their day-to-day duties.
“Even though our officers have had challenging terms of service, they have always maintained their diligence to duty,” he noted
Also in attendance was the Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery, who urged the new staff to apply the knowledge they gathered during their training. “These are the officers who are going to receive those people who have been a problem to society and by the time they exit, they would have become better members of the society,” Nkaissery said.
The Kenyan government has grappled with both home-grown jihadists and the terror threat posed by Somali-based Al-Shabaab.
The Al Qaeda-allied terror group has carried out deadly attacks in Kenya particularly the 2013 Westgate Mall and last year’s Garrisa College attacks respectively in which hundreds of innocent civilians lost their lives. The Kenyan government has deployed its forces to Somalia to flush out the jihadists but Al-Shabaab still poses a potent threat.
The proposed measure by the Kenyan government has already stirred controversy with rights advocates arguing the facility will fuel both human rights violations and extra-judicial detentions.
Others have contend the prison idea is a bad one and counterproductive as it might act as a recruiting tool for groups like Al-Shabaab, critics also say housing extremists together will definitely serve to radicalize them further.