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Journalists seek clarity, exemption from relocation

13 May 2014, 11:51

Nairobi - Civil Society Organisations called on Cabinet Secretary of Interior, Joseph Ole Lenku, to provide clarity on the government's refugee policy and to exempt journalists from forced relocation to the refugee camps.

The Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ), Reporters Without Borders and Rory Peck Trust, led the call in a joint open letter.

On March 25, Lenku ordered all urban refugees to relocate to one of two refugee camps in a bid to tighten security amid continuing violence, including an attack on a church in Mombasa.

His order came despite the fact that a similar government directive in 2012 was ruled unconstitutional by the High Court.

"Collective research by our three organizations shows that exiled Somali and Ethiopian journalists are not safe in Kenya's refugee camps, where Ethiopian security agents and Somalia's Al-Shabaab militants operate-the very same threats that most such journalists fled in the first place," Tom Rhodes, CPJ East Africa Representative, stated.

He said meanwhile, life for refugee journalists in Nairobi had been made even harder than usual.

It is claimed that Kenyan police conduct raids on the homes of Somali refugees, demanding bribes to avoid forceful relocation to the camps.

 - CAJ News

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