IRC raises concern about indiscriminate arrests and harassment in Kenya’s crackdown on refugees
Thousands of refugees seeking safety in Kenya’s capital Nairobi are confronted with police harassment.
(Photo: The IRC/CineTrek/John Gyovai)
In a statement released today the International Rescue Committee and partner organization Kituo Cha Sheria expressed concern that Kenyan police are indiscriminately raiding the homes of refugees and making random arrests of individuals suspected of being in Kenya illegally.
Approximately 350 mainly Somali and Ethiopian refugees were detained earlier this week in Nairobi’s largely immigrant suburb of Eastleigh and arrests continue daily. Although local news reports say the raids were in response to two attacks in the area last week that killed three policemen, Kenyan police assert that the raids are part of an ongoing crackdown on illegal immigration.
“Thousands of refugees are now living in fear of arrest even if they have identity papers,” said Kellie Leeson, the IRC’s country director in Kenya. “While the attacks on the policemen are unacceptable, it is also reprehensible to target and victimize the entire refugee community here.”
Read the full statement
Report: “Hidden and Exposed: Urban Refugees in Nairobi, Kenya”
(Humanitarian Policy Group, International Rescue Committee, Refugee Consortium of Kenya - 2010)
Overview: The IRC in Kenya