Kenya: Mass Deportation of Somalis

Kenya: Mass Deportation of Somalis

~ From www.hrw.org ~
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The Kenyan authorities have deported 359 Somalis, including at least three registered refugees, since the start of their security crackdown in early April 2014, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have not allowed any to challenge their removal to conflict-ridden Somalia. In the latest move, Kenya deported 98 people, including 12 children, to Mogadishu on May 20 without warning the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) about the deportation.Returning refugees constitutes refoulement, the unlawful forced return of people to situations where they risk being persecuted, tortured, or exposed to other serious harm arising from generalized violence. Some of those deported were known to be refugees, but Kenya also very likely also committed refoulement when it deported undocumented Somalis without first identifying those wishing to claim asylum. Kenya stopped registering urban asylum seekers in December 2012, which means Somalis arriving in Nairobi and other cities since that time have been unable to claim asylum.“Deporting people to conflict zones in Somalia shows a total disregard for their rights and their safety,” said Gerry Simpson, senior refugee researcher at Human Rights Watch. “What little remains of Kenya’s shaky reputation for respecting basic refugee rights is fast disappearing.”The May 20 deportation was the fourth time Kenya has summarily deported Somalis to Mogadishu by plane since the authorities began their massive security crackdown in Nairobi and other cities on April 1. The operation has led to widespread abuses against Kenyans and foreign nationals alike, including arbitrary detention in appalling conditions for periods well beyond the 24-hour limit set by Kenyan law. According to UNHCR, those deported on May 20 were detained for between 10 and 30 days in numerous detention facilities.

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