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Kenya expels hundreds of Somalis Total deported reaches 359: HRW

NAIROBI, May 23, (AFP): Hundreds of Somalis have been expelled from Kenya, with 98 in the latest batch detained and sent back in a major crackdown on suspected Islamists, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Friday.

The crackdown, which has seen people held in police cells or a football stadium, follows a spate of attacks in Kenya by suspected supporters of Somalia’s Al-Qaedalinked Shebab rebels. A batch sent to Somalia by airplane on Tuesday was the fourth round sent home, taking the total expelled to 359, HRWsaid. “Deporting people to conflict zones in Somalia shows a total disregard for their rights and their safety,” said HRW’s Gerry Simpson, adding that returning refugees against their will to a war zone is unlawful. “What little remains of Kenya’s shaky reputation for respecting basic refugee rights is fast disappearing,” Simpson added.

The UN’s refugee agency has said it was “concerned” at the wave of arrests and has demanded access to those detained. The Shebab on Thursday vowed to move their war to Kenya, in a broadcast by a top commander urging fighters to rise up against Nairobi.

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