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Rights group tells police to stop raids on immigrants

Human Rights Watch has called for a stop to the ongoing security swoops in the city meant to flush out illegal immigrants.

“Kenyan authorities should immediately end ongoing harassment, arbitrary detentions, forced relocations to refugee camps, and summary deportations,” said Human Rights Watch in a statement.

The group says Operation Usalama Watch, as the swoops have come been named, are characterised by massive rights abuses and theft by police officers.

The group wants the  UN refugee agency to be given access to all those detained in the clampdown.

“The government should also give the UN refugee agency full access to all detainees to identify registered refugees, asylum seekers, and anyone seeking protection, regardless of when they came to Kenya,” the rights group said.

“Government security forces have raided homes, buildings, and shops; looted cell phones, money, and other goods; harassed and extorted residents; and detained thousands without charge and in appalling conditions for periods well beyond the 24-hour limit set by Kenyan law.

Human Rights Watch claims it  interviewed 21 refugees who had been detained at Pangani, Shauri Moyo, Kamukunji, Kasarani, and Gigiri police stations.