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People Fleeing Somalia War Secretly Detained

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      -----Original Message-----
      From: Human Rights Watch
      Sent: Wednesday, April 04, 2007 12:39 PM
      To: drreality@...
      Subject: People Fleeing Somalia War Secretly Detained

      People Fleeing Somalia War Secretly Detained
      Kenya, US and Ethiopia Cooperate in Secret Detentions and Renditions
      From: http://hrw-news-africa.c.topica.com/maagaDKabxDsoa4QHAnb/

      (New York, March 30, 2007) -- Kenya, Ethiopia, the United States and the
      Transitional Federal Government of Somalia cooperated in a secret
      detention program for people who had fled the recent conflict in
      Somalia, Human Rights Watch said today.

      In a March 22 letter to the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Human
      Rights Watch detailed the arbitrary detention, expulsion and apparent
      enforced disappearance of dozens of individuals who fled the fighting
      between the Union of Islamic Courts and the joint forces of the
      Transitional Federal Government and Ethiopia from December 2006 through
      January 2007.  
      "Each of these governments has played a shameful role in mistreating
      people fleeing a war zone," said Georgette Gagnon, deputy Africa
      director of Human Rights Watch. "Kenya has secretly expelled people, the
      Ethiopians have caused dozens to 'disappear,' and US security agents
      have routinely interrogated people held incommunicado."  
      Human Rights Watch's recent research in Kenya indicates that since late
      December 2006, Kenyan security forces arrested at least 150 individuals
      from some 18 different nationalities at the Liboi and Kiunga border
      crossing points with Somalia. The Kenyan authorities then transferred
      these individuals to Nairobi where they were detained incommunicado and
      without charge for weeks in violation of Kenyan law.  
      Human Rights Watch recognizes that Kenya may have valid security
      concerns regarding people seeking refuge within its borders. Nonetheless
      these concerns must be addressed through a fair process in accordance
      with international law, not arbitrarily at the expense of fundamental
      human rights.  
      US and other national intelligence services interrogated several foreign
      nationals in detention in Nairobi, who were denied access to legal
      counsel and their consular representatives. At least 85 people were then
      secretly deported from Kenya to Somalia in what appears to be a joint
      rendition operation of those individuals of interest to the Somali,
      Ethiopian, or US governments.  
      Human Rights Watch obtained the flight manifests for three flights from
      Kenya to Mogadishu and Baidoa, Somalia in January and February 2007.
      Each manifest listed the names of several Kenyan police officers who
      accompanied the detainees.  
      Many of the people expelled from Kenya were later transferred from
      Somalia to Ethiopia, but their exact locations in Ethiopia are unknown.
      Several detainees managed to briefly contact relatives prior to or
      following their transfer to Ethiopia, and said they were being held with
      numerous other people who had been deported from Kenya and Somalia.  
      "Dozens of people have effectively disappeared into Ethiopian detention
      facilities," said Gagnon. "It's imperative that the Ethiopians
      acknowledge the people they are holding and permit independent
      international access to them."

      Related Material

      HRW Letter to Kenyan Director of Political Affairs Thomas Amolo
      Letter, March 22, 2007

      Letter to Ethiopian Ministers on Human Rights Violations Against
      Letter, February 20, 2007

      Extrajudicial execution of youths must be investigated
      Letter, March 23, 2006

      Ethiopia: Hidden Crackdown in Rural Areas
      Press Release, March 13, 2006

      Suppressing Dissent: Human Rights Abuses and Political Repression in
      Ethiopia's Oromia Region
      Report, May 10, 2005

      Review of Kenya's Compliance with the ICCPR
      Special Focus, March 10, 2005

      From: http://hrw-news-africa.c.topica.com/maagaDKabxDsoa4QHAnb/

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