Welcome to Kenya: Police Abuse of Somali Refugees
Based on interviews with over 100 refugees, this report, published by Human Rights Watch, documents widespread police extortion of asylum seekers trying to reach three camps near the Kenyan town of Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee settlement. Police use violence, arbitrary arrest, unlawful detention in inhuman and degrading conditions, threats of deportation, and wrongful prosecution for “unlawful presence” to extort money from the new arrivals – men, women, and children alike. In some cases, police also rape women. In early 2010 alone, hundreds, and possibly thousands, of Somalis unable to pay extortion demands were sent back to Somalia, in flagrant violation of Kenyan and international law.
The report also looks at UNHCR protection failures in and around the camps and at how the Kenyan authorities encampment policy violates international human rights and refugee law.
You can download a copy of the report here: http://www.hrw.org/node/90852
To read the March 2009 Human Rights Watch report, “From Horror to Hopelessness: Kenya’s Forgotten Somali Refugee Crisis,” please visit: http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/2009/03/29/horror-hopelessness
To view a photo gallery by the photographer Marcus Bleasdale documenting
the experience of Somali refugees in the Dadaab refugee camps in northeastern Kenya, please visit: http://www.hrw.org/en/features/kenya-abuse-and-neglect-somali-refugees
To read the April 2010 Human Rights Watch report on Somalia, “Harsh War, Harsh Peace: Abuses by al-Shabaab, the Transitional Federal Government, and AMISOM in Somalia,” please visit: http://www.hrw.org/node/89646