Kenya: updates in case against Atheists in Kenya Society
Founded in 2013, Atheists in Kenya Society is an Associate Member of Humanists International. The organization, which unites Kenya’s atheist community, became the first non-religious society to be registered under the Societies Act (CAP108) in February 2016 after its initial rejection. However, only two months later the organization’s registration was suspended after the then-attorney general, Prof. Githu Muigai cited complaints from religious groups.
The organization’s founder and President, Harrison Mumia, challenged their suspension at the High Court, succeeding in the reinstatement of society’s status in 2018.
Since its establishment the organization has worked to provide a community for atheists and foster open, rational, and scientific examination of the universe as well as advocate on the basis of humanist principles. They have sought to create acceptance of atheists living in Kenya.
On 26 September, the Atheists In Kenya Society was served with a petition before the High Court of Kenya seeking to have the organization’s registration revoked on grounds that the registration and continued existence are unconstitutional.
According to Atheists in Kenya Society, at the appearance on 29 November, lawyers acting on their behalf indicated that they were ready to proceed in the matter, however, lawyers acting on behalf of the plaintiff indicated that they needed more time in order to gather evidence. Another individual is also reported to have appeared in court seeking to be enjoined to the case as an interested party.
Humanists International believes that the Atheists in Kenya Society and its members are being targeted simply for exercising their rights to freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression, and calls on the High Court of Kenya to quash the petition to suspend their registration. The organization will continue to monitor the progress of the case closely.
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