An Oromo refugee has accused the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) for assault leading to serious injuries.
In a statement seen by The Kenya Times, Ms. Robe accompanied by her kins including his brother Aga Anyana from the United States arrived at the UNCHR to seek the status of Robe’s case of immigration to live in the US with his brother Aga. The visit was routine in that they have been going there since Aga’s arrival in Kenya on 18 July 2022.
It is alleged that upon arrival at UNHCR, Ms. Robe in the company of his brother Aga we were greeted by the security officer who holds regular duty during visiting hours and often assists the refugees by informing them when they should return and the policies and procedures of the UNHCR.
Mr. Aga then told the guard that he had continued returning as instructed but had not been served nor given any help in his quest to seek answers and information about his sister Robe’s case status and know about the next steps in the process.
After this brief conversation it is alleged that the officer led him (Mr. Aga) into the building and stationed him in front of the security office. A security officer then came out and told him that he was not allowed to be there. Mr. Aga says he did not understand this because the security guard let him into the building to seek answers to his questions.
The security officer then came out of the security office and asked him to leave. Aga was adamant and refused to leave as he sought help and information about Robe’s case.
Mr. Aga alleges that the security officer from UNHCR began to physically assault him while he refused to leave without some type of cordial assistance. The unnamed security officer then proceeded to beat him continuously and dragged him to the front door where the other G4S and Kenya Police officers were standing guard, who then joined to drag him out.
Aga says his sisters witnessed this and went into hysterics. They began screaming and crying as they ran to his aid. They too were beaten and dragged to the ground, subsequently even kicked in the head by the UNHCR security supervisor in civilian cloth and brutally mishandled by G$S guards as well as a Kenya Police officer. The security forces stationed outside the building proceeded to push him into a police car to take him to the station. The car was then intercepted by another police car. The officer of that car (assumed from the Diplomatic Police) got out and interviewed me and decided to let me go free.
Mr Aga alleges he was badly hurt and needed immediate medical attention. He went to the emergency room for an examination and received X-rays of his foot. He received medical injections and pain medication for his foot which is believed to be broken. His sisters also went to the emergency room for their injuries and received x-rays and medication as well. The complainants are all awaiting the results of the x-rays which they claim was a costly event which put them in a bad financial strain having to part with $200-$300.
Mr. Aga together with his kins went to UNHCR headquarters in Nairobi to report the incident.
“This incident was very unfortunate because of all of our efforts to uphold and follow the rules laid out before us by the UNHCR appear to be now futile.” – Aga said
“The previous week on Tuesday, we went to the HIAS Refugee trust of Kenya office to get help, but they told us to go to R.C.K., because they are the ones who refer refugee cases to them. When we went to R.C.K. that same day, they told us that their services only provide legal help for incidents that affect refugees directly such as being arrested or beaten.” – Aga said
“When we called them the day of the incident mentioned above, they told us to go to the hospital and make a police report. We went to the nearby police station to report the incident, but they sent us to a place where refugees can go to make a report. When we arrived there, they told us that we can only make a police report at the police station near UNHCR, the place where the incident occurred.” – Aga said.
The assaulted said that after visiting four police stations, they finally got aid and that they at least put their names in their system, but didn’t provide them with an OB number. According to the complainants, the authorities said they would be unable to give us police report documents since it may prove hard to return to pick up the reports because of another costly fee of $30-40 demanded.
Aga and his sisters then went back to the UNHCR office but were informed upon arrival that they’d not write a report because they were the ones at fault for refusing to leave the UNHCR premises. The complainants were then taken to the UNHCR office for investigation. Mr Aga and his kins claim the officers told them to wait outside the building. They came out after about 30minutes. They were told to wait there and left with their car. Aga says they waited for them from 2pm to until about 7pm and then left without any documentation of the report given to them.
Mr. Aga further stated that all these events came as a great shock to him because UNHCR has the duty to protect refugees and in no way abuse them.