Amnesty says Kenya sending refugees to camps unlawful

December 21, 2012 17:12

NAIROBI - Kenya's order for all urban asylum seekers and refugees to report to two rural camps is in breach of international law, human rights group Amnesty International said on Friday.

Kenya houses over 630,000 refugees, with more than half a million of those from war-torn Somalia, which shares a porous border with east Africa's biggest economy.

But a series of bombings, shootings and hand-grenade attacks blamed on Somali militants prompted Kenya on Tuesday to stop registering asylum seekers and refugees in urban areas.

"The government cannot simply scapegoat refugees and asylum-seekers en masse for security incidents," said Kathryn Achilles, Amnesty International's East Africa expert.

The government's decision to place refugees and asylum seekers in camps is discriminatory and an unlawful restriction on freedom of movement, Amnesty said.

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