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Abuses in Nairobi, Kenya


Women Refugees

Amina P., a girl who had fled the fighting in Somalia in 1994 when she was twelve years old, had been raped repeatedly in the refugee camps. She was also raped in Nairobi, when she was sleeping outside UNHCR's Westlands office:

"There were four men standing there and one of them held a knife up to my throat. I tried to fight him off with my hands. He was 'hanging' [choking] me. He pushed me down and pulled up my dress. They were all going to rape me - but I refused to open my legs. So, then he took his knife and sliced my thigh. [...] They started raping me. I passed out eventually."

Unaccompanied Children

Pauline F., is a sixteen-year-old Rwandan refugee who fled with her sister, who is five years old. Her housing situation in Nairobi made her feel terribly unsafe:

"There are some thieves who terrorize the neighbors. [...] The main thing I am worried about is not those thieves, but the men who live around me, they keep on coming back to me, because anyone can break into our little house and they come and beat on the door and tell me to let them in. [...] I am afraid of that day and night."

Security Agents

Berhanu C. is an Ethiopian man in his thirties who was involved in EPRP in the 1970s. Following his arrest and torture in Ethiopia, he escaped to Nairobi:

"Three Ethiopian officers came up to me and started shouting at me about who I was and what I was doing there. They put me in the middle of them and staring hitting me on many sides. I received a very hard hit on my left eye and ear."

UNHCR Plagued by Delay

A man with six children showed a Human Rights Watch researcher his appointment slip (from UNHCR) and said: "When I first came to Nairobi I went to UNHCR. I arrived there on February 21, 2002. I was given an appointment for June 2, 2002. What will I do until then?"

Kenyan Police

Caleb M. is a refugee who had spent several years in prison in Ethiopia. He had been arrested multiple times by Kenyan police:

"[The Kenyan police] started shouting at me 'who are you? Where do you come from?' I said I am a UNHCR mandate refugee. The officer said, 'What is that?' and he started beating me with a stick. My wife started crying when she saw that he became angry with her for crying and beat her too. He took me to the station after beating us like that, again to KICC jail, which has underground cells. I could not bear to spend another night in a place like that [...]"


Abuses in Kampala, Uganda


Human Rights Activists

On March 17, 2002, a male local government [LC1] leader came to the home of a Congolese human rights activist and refugee Angeline Y. and asked for her papers, which she showed him. He accused her landlady, an elderly Ugandan woman, of housing refugees. Later, he again came to her house with six other men, his advisors. They said, "Ugandans die in your country." They threatened to beat Angeline and asked for her papers again. Angeline escaped another attack on July 23, 2002.

Detained Refugees

Beatrice K. is a Rwandan refugee who fled from Kigali with her six children in 2000, and was part of a group of several Rwandan refugees who were arrested and detained in Kololo military base. She told Human Rights Watch that the Ugandan police came there with several vehicles. They beat her, and kicked her repeatedly in her middle torso, harming her bladder. After the beatings she had blood in her urine for three days. Asked whether the men assaulted the women during her time in detention, she told a Human Rights Watch researcher, "The policemen harassed us every day. A woman was taken and then raped."

Security Agents

Leonard N., is a twenty-year-old refugee from Kigali, Rwanda. Most of his parents were killed in the genocide and Leonard N. fled to Kampala. There he was refused refugee status within two weeks of of his arrival. His story implies collaboration between the Rwandan and Ugandan military:

"[Rwandan army officers] picked me up off the street. [. . .] I was packed in the vehicle with many soldiers. They kept asking me questions and beat me up in the vehicle. One used barbed wire to beat me over and over on the legs. He cut me very badly on the leg. My teeth were also broken from that beating. [. . .] They beat me so hard and I even still have pains in my back from those beatings."

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