At least 20 ATPU officers on July 18 abducted Abdallah Jaffer, a father of 24 children and a husband to three wives.

The Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) detectives alleged Jaffer, 55, is an Al-Shabaab militant. They did not produce any evidence to support their claim.

ATPU ransacked his Bongwe home in Msambweni, Kwale and found nothing, but, without authority, seized his title deed, phone, and some cash.

When we published this article, five days after Jaffer’s abduction, ATPU officers were yet to arraign him or reveal his whereabouts.

Jaffer’s wives have looked for him in all police stations within Kwale and Mombasa, but he is untraceable, even in morgues.

The family don’t know whether the commandos have taken him out—it’s ATPU’s fashion to kill their suspects in custody if they lack evidence to secure a conviction. They have done this to dozens of victims whose cases MUHURI recorded.

Abdallah Jaffer.

Jaffer’s abduction occurred at 9:30 pm when he was showering, Mwanajuma Rahma, his wife, told MUHURI.

She said the officers removed her husband from the bathroom and started assaulting him. He was naked.

“One stepped on his head as others struck him using clubs. They covered their faces,” Ramla Said, Jaffer’s wife, said.

“They had guns, and I was frightened. The children were scared, too, and they kept asking what crime their father had committed.”

The officers asked Jaffer to identify himself. He did.

When Jaffer recognized one of his assaulters whose balaclava had furled, the officers removed him from the scene and drove off using four cars, including a Toyota Probox.

ATPU officers usually try to conceal their faces during their clandestine operations. Like other covert nighttime raids, these vehicles had their windows blackened out.

The wives reported the abduction at Diani police station and got OB number 17/20/07/2021 at 1032 hours.

Jaffer sold groceries to sustain his family, another wife, Afwa Mohamed, said.

Jaffer got charged with murder about six years ago, his family said, but he has been out on bond, whose condition included reporting to Diani police station monthly. He did. His next appearance at the Kwale Law Courts in September remains uncertain.

The family has said Jaffer is not a fugitive and has been cooperating with law enforcers.

“ATPU had no reason to abduct and disappear him,” Mohamed said.

Any person under police custody must be subjected to due process, including being arraigned within 24 hours after the arrest, the law says.

During an arrest, a suspect must be informed about the grounds for his capture and be allowed to communicate with his advocate. But this was not the case for Jaffer and many other victims arrested by ATPU officers. Suspects either end up dead or disappeared for good.