Kenya: Flagrant Violations of Human Rights against Asylum Seekers and Refugees HRLHA Urgent Action

 

The Kenyan police and security agents have arbitrary arrested and detained around 6000 refugees who are originally from neighboring Horn of African countries; and have continued hunting for more, reported HRLHA reporter in Nairobi, Kenya on April 13, 2014.
Kenya Stadium

 

Kasarani Football Stadium

  This indiscriminate action against all immigrants who have been in the country began on Friday April 2, 2014; and has mainly targeted the immigrants living in Eastleigh District of Nairobi, a neighbourhood largely dominated by Somalis and Oromo immigrants and is often referred to as district of immigrants.  More than 400 Oromos and other Ethiopian immigrants have been arrested in these crackdowns. The crackdowns against immigrants by Kenyan Police and security began is said to been in response to the three bomb blasts in Eastleigh/ Nairobi and Mombasa in late March 2014, which killed about 12 people and injured 8 others. According to HRLHA’s informant, more than two thousand asylum seekers and refugees have been detained in the Kasarani Football Stadium in the Capital, a location described as a temporary police station, while some are being held at the Pangani police station. Among hundredths of Ethiopian Oromos arrested in Nairobi, HRLHA has managed to obtain the following names:

No Name No Name Status
1 Abdi Mohammed Ahamed 26 Arif   Amin  Abdallaa Asylum Seeker
2 Suleyman Nuure Mohammed 27 Ismail  Iliyas  Kamaal Asylum Seeker
3 Ibsaa Safuan Mohammed Najash 28 Arif  Abdulwad  Abdalle Asylum Seekrd
4 Rudwan Abubakar Ali 29 Ibsaa Jemal Mohammed Asylum Seeker
5 Iliyas Kamal Usma’il 30 Fariya Mohammed Asylum Seeker
6 Abdisaa Mohammed Kalif 31 Mommed Nasir  Yusuf Asylum Seeker
7 Jemaal Sani Mohammed 32 Mommed Nasir  Yusuf Asylum Seeker
8 Anwar Muktar Ahamed 33 Ilillii   Abrahim Asylum Seeker
9 Nabil Abdulaxif 34 Sa’ada  Aqil Asylum Seeker
10 Tumsaa Robaa Qaxxisoo UN.mndt file NETH033036/1 35 Abdoo Nahawi Asylum Seeker
11 Imane Ahamed Yusuf UN file #NETH038280 36 Rihanaa Mohammed Mussaa Asylum Seeker
12 Jbny Najib Abubakar 37 Mistar Jamaal Asylum Seeker
13 Roba  Yusuf Abdalle 38 Guuled  Sheka Asylum Seeker
14 Adam Roba 39 Ifa Abdulahi Hassan file No.NETH035846/1
15 Mohammed  Osman Roba 40 Mahadi  Idiris Asylum Seeker
16 Fuad Aliyi Mumme 41 Azizaa Asylum Seeker
17 Nasri Ibrahim Jibro 42 Yusuf Yahya Ahamed/Somli Asylum Seeker
18 Faami Sharif Ali 43 Abdi Abduraman Kabir Asylum Seeker
19
Jemal  Abdo Osman
44 Zakariya Mohammed Oumer Asylum Seeker
20 Gatiso  Phetroos Eroke 45 Yassin Ahamed/Oromo Asylum Seeker
21 Sani   Ahamed  Yusuf 46 Haaji Shariif Ali Asylum Seeker
22 Xeha   Mohammed 47 Abdusamad Ame With Family
23 Ashrafuu  Ali Mussaa 48 Mubina Abdusamad With Family
24 Mohammed  Osman Mussaa 49 Caaltuu Abdusamad With Family
25 Zanabe  Hobe  Negiso

The HRLHA has also learnt that the Kenyan police and security forces are extorting valuable materials and also committing physical and mental abuses during the arrests. Besides, the Kenyan authorities have disclosed to different media agents that they are intending to deport all UNHCR unregistered asylum seekers; and have already deported 82 Somali refugees based on a pretext that they entered into Kenya without legal document. The HRLHA would like to reiterate that deportations of refugees to their countries of origin against their wills are in breach of Kenyan and international laws.  In case those Ethiopian-Oromo and other refugees have been deported, the Ethiopian Government has a well-documented record of gross and flagrant violations of human rights, including the torturing of its own citizens who were involuntarily returned to the country. The government of Ethiopia routinely imprisons such persons and sentences them to up to life in prison, and often impose death penalty. There have been credible reports of physical and psychological abuses committed against individuals in Ethiopian official prisons and other unofficial or secret detention centers. Under Article 33 (1) of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (189 U.N.T.S. 150), to which Kenya is a party, “[n]o contracting state shall expel or forcibly return a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his . . . political opinion.” This obligation, which is also a principle of customary international law, applies to both asylum seekers and refugees, as affirmed by UNHCR’s Executive Committee and the United Nations General Assembly. By deporting the four refugees and others, the Kenyan Government will be breaching its obligations under international treaties as well as customary law.

  1. Under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1465 U.N.T.S. 185) to which Kenya acceded in 1997, Kenya has an obligation not to return a person to a place where they face torture or ill-treatment. Article 3 of the Convention against Torture provides: No state party shall expel, return (“refouler”) or extradite a person to another state where there are substantial grounds to believe that they would be in danger of being subjected to torture.
  2. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the state concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights. We strongly urge the government of Kenya to respect the international treaties and obligations it has signed.

The Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA) is highly concerned about the safety and security of  all  asylum Seekers and refugees detained in all Kenyan Police stations and other detention centers including  the above listed  asylum seekers and refugees and for those who are still living in Kenya. It urges the government of Kenya to respect the international treaties and obligations, and unconditionally release the arrested asylum seekers and refugees, and refrain from handing over to the governments of their countries where they would definitely face torture and maximum punishments. It also urges all human rights agencies (local, regional and international) to join the HRLHA and condemn these illegal and inhuman acts of the Kenyan Government against defenseless refugees. HRLHA requests the governments of the Western countries as well as international organizations to continue interfering in this matter so that the safety and security of the arrested asylum Seekers and refugees and those refugees currently staying in Kenya could be ensured.

RECOMMENDED ACTION:

Please send appeals to the President and Deputy President of the republic Kenya and its concerned officials as swiftly as possible, in English, or your own language expressing:

  • Your concern at the apprehension and fear of deportation of the refugees who are being held in  detention since they were arrested, and calling for their immediate and unconditional release;
  • Urging the authorities of Kenya to ensure that these detainees are treated in accordance with regional and international standards on the treatment of prisoners.

To:

  • His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya P o. Box 74434-00200 Nairobi, Kenya , Tel: 254 203 247000
  • His Excellency William Ruto , Deputy president of the Republic of Kenya Email: The Deputy president@ODP-Kenya OR dp@deputypresident.go.ke

 

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