Kenya: Muslims For Human Rights (Muhuri) on Behalf of Mohammed Aden Mohammed & 39 others v Minister for Immigration & 3 others

Published: 1/Aug/2014
Source: Kenya High Court at Mombasa

Constitutional Petition 50 of 2011 (interim judgment)

  1. The Petition herein dated 19th August 2011 is presented by the organization MUSLIMS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (MUHURI) on behalf of MOHAMMED ADEN MOHAMMED & 39 OTHERS who the organization alleges  to ‘belong to a minority group the Galjeel Somali of Tana River’ which the organization claimed to have worked with for a long time in addressing the challenges facing the Community.
  2. The petition seeks in accordance with Article 12 of the Constitution that the petitioners as citizens of Kenya be issued with identification documents […]
  3. Orders
    1. The direction that therefore commends itself to the court in the circumstances of this case is an order that the 2nd respondent, the Principal Registrar of Persons, considers on a case by case basis the application for identity cards by the applicants as citizens of Kenya and to give reasons for its decision if it be adverse to interests of the applicants to enable them challenge the decision before the court by further proceedings.
    2. The Report by the Muslim for Human Rights published in the book Banditry and the Politics of Citizenship: The Case of Galjeel Somali of Tana River, Muhuri (1999), on Galjeel Somalis of Tana River with a population of 2400 as at the year 1999, of whom the applicants are said to be members, persuades the court that the matter is serious and important enough to warrant the calling in of expert assistance of the specialized state organizations on human rights and equality to aid in the determination of the truth as to the applicants’ citizenship.
    3. The Kenya National Human Rights Commission and the National Gender and Equality Commission have under their respective statutes, Acts Nos. 14 and 15 of 2011, the functions of promoting respectively human rights and freedom from discrimination, issues which are raised in the petition before the court.  This court has under clause 6 (c) of the Constitution of Kenya (Protection of Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) Practice and Procedure Rules, 2013 the power to invite amicus curiae to assist the court in the following terms: “(c) The Court may on its own motion request a person with expertise to appear as a friend of the Court in proceedings before it.”
    1. Accordingly, without in any way fettering the wide discretion enjoyed by two organizations under their respective statutes to take up complaints of violations, the court respectfully brings this matter to the attention of the organizations with an invitation that they consider investigating the matter and assist both the registrar of persons and the court in reaching a fair decision in the matter of the question of the applicants’ citizenship.  The court will therefore invite the two human rights and equality Commissions, The Kenya National Human Rights Commission and the National Gender and Equality Commission, to attend court as amici curiae and assist in the fair determination of the dispute.
    2. The court considers that further proceedings should be had before the registrar with the assistance of the two national Human Rights and Equality Commissions with report to the court before final orders are made in this case.  This matter will therefore be mentioned in 60 days to determine the outcome of the process before the registrar and for further orders of the court.  There shall be no orders as to costs.

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Themes: Discrimination, Ethnic/Racial/Religious, ID Documents and Passports
Regions: Kenya
Year: 2014