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Government Should Protect Refugees, Not Send People Back to Dangerous Conditions

The Kenyan government has again issued an ultimatum to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide a plan and timeline for closing the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps. Though the government has issued these demands before, its…
Photo: An aerial picture shows a section of the Hagadera camp in Dadaab near the Kenya-Somalia border, May 8, 2015.
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Thousands, Including Children, Expelled to Niger Without Due Process

(Beirut) – Algerian authorities expelled thousands of migrants and asylum seekers to Niger during waves of roundups of mostly sub-Saharan Africans across at least nine cities in recent weeks, Human Rights Watch said today. Security personnel have…
Migrants of several nationalities, part of a group of 270 people, arrive from Algeria to Assamaka, Niger, on September 30, 2020. © 2020 IOM Niger
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Churches Sealed; Worshipers Beaten

(Beirut) – The recent closure of three Protestant churches and a police assault on worshipers at one church are the latest examples of the repression of this tiny religious minority in Algeria, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
A Protestant Berber boy attends a weekly mass at a church in Tizi-Ouzou, 100 kilometers east of Algeria's capital, Algiers, October 2, 2010.
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Prosecution, Judicial Control for Criticizing Courts on Facebook

(Beirut) – An Algerian human rights lawyer is facing charges and restrictions on his activities, apparently for exercising his right to free speech, Human Rights Watch said today. Salah Dabouz, a former president of the Algerian League…
Lawyer, Mr. Salah Dabouz, former president of the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LADDH).
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More Than 50 Tried in December on Charges Relating to Religion

(Beirut) – Algerian authorities have stepped up trials of members of the Ahmadiyya religious minority on charges related to the exercise of their religion, Human Rights Watch said today. Sentences range from fines to a year in prison. …
Mohamed Fali.
News

Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
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286 Prosecutions of Ahmadis

Update: On September 13, 2017, the court of First Instance in Ain Tedles, Mostaganem, sentenced Mohamed Fali to a term of six months in prison, suspended, and a fine.    (Beirut) – The arrest of Mohamed Fali, president of Algeria’s…
Mohamed Fali.
News

Ensure Asylum Access, Humane Conditions

(Tunis) – Algerian and Moroccan border authorities appear to be blocking two groups of Syrian asylum seekers from leaving the border area near the Moroccan city of Figuig, Human Rights Watch said today. The Syrians, including women and…
People stand near a border post on the Algerian side of the Morocco-Algeria border in the north east of Morocco July 31, 2011. © 2011 Youssef Boudlal /Reuters
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Transfer Sexual Minorities from Ceuta to Mainland

(Milan) – Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) asylum seekers in Spain’s North African enclave, Ceuta, are exposed to harassment and abuse, Human Rights Watch said today. Spanish authorities should transfer them to mainland Spain without…
Double-layer fence around Spain’s north Africa enclave Ceuta, January 2017.
News
Pressure is building on Afghan and Somali refugees to go home, even if they no longer have homes to return to. It is not surprising that this pressure is coming from governments that have been hosting huge numbers of refugees and want…
Member of Greek Red Cross helps an Afghan refugee who has just arrived from Turkey with an inflatable boat in the area of airport of Mytilene, Lesvos Island, Greece.
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Kenya’s High Court Overturns Government Bid to Send Somali Refugees Back Home

Early this morning, Somali friends in Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp that’s home to more than 300,000 people, were celebrating the selection of Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” as the new president of Somalia. Residents in Dadaab have been waiting…
An aerial view shows makeshift shelters at the Dagahaley camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border in Garissa County, Kenya. Photo taken April 2011.
News

Sub-Saharan Migrants Rounded Up; Some Bussed into Niger

(Beirut) – Algerian authorities since December 1, 2016, have rounded up more than 1,400 sub-Saharan migrants and reportedly deported at least several hundred across the border into Niger, Human Rights Watch said today. …
Sub-Saharan migrants rounded up and held in makeshift holding center in Zeralda, December 3, 2016.
News

Limiting Extension to Six Months Prolongs Confusion, Suffering

This year, widespread attention has focussed on Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp, which the Kenyan government threatened to close by late November. But on Wednesday, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for interior announced that the closure will be delayed…
Photo: Refugees stand outside their tent at the Ifo Extension refugee camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border in Garissa County, Kenya, October 19, 2011.
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Camp Closure Threat Triggers Thousands Returning to Danger

(Nairobi) – Kenya’s repatriation program for Somali refugees, fueled by fear and misinformation, does not meet international standards for voluntary refugee return. Many refugees living in Kenya’s sprawling Dadaab camp, home to at least 263,000 Somalis,…
Photo of Somali refugees getting on buses to leave Dadaab refugee camp.
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Kenya is home to the world’s largest refugee camp, Dadaab, which provides shelter to 360,000 mostly Somali refugees. In May 2016, Kenya’s government disbanded its department responsible for refugees and announced plans to repatriate Somalis and close…
An aerial view shows makeshift shelters at the Dagahaley camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border in Garissa County, Kenya. Photo taken April 2011.
News

Ensure Required Protections for Refugees

(Nairobi) – Kenya’s announcement on May 6, 2016 that it would no longer host refugees is contrary to principles it has pledged to respect. Dr. Eng Karanja Kibicho, interior ministry principal secretary, announced that the government would no longer…
Somali women and children fleeing their homes in Nairobi’s predominantly Somali suburb of Eastleigh on November 20, 2012, two days after an attack on a bus by unknown perpetrators caused Kenyan gangs to riot and attack Somali refugees and Somali Kenyans.
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359 Deported Without Access to Lawyers, Courts, UN Refugee Agency

The Kenyan authorities have deported 359 Somalis, including at least three registered refugees, since the start of their security crackdown in early April 2014, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have not allowed any to challenge their removal…
News

Thousands Arrested, Almost 100 Deported

Kenyan police and other security agencies should stop arbitrary arrests and detentions, extortion, and other abuses against Somalis during security operations,  Human Rights Watch said today. The government should also halt summary deportations and ensure…