3 December 2012

Kenya: Refugees Have Overwhelmed Us - Magistrate

Kenya has no capacity to host the swelling number of refugees, a Nairobi magistrate has said. Principal magistrate Anthony Mucigi said the current high number of refugees has over-stretched the country's resources.

He, however, added that it is the right of every refugee to be hosted and taken care of because human rights are fundamental and must be observed. Mucigi was speaking at a three-day workshop which brought together judicial officers, police officers, human rights bodies and the public at Hotel Nyakoe.

He is the vice president of Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association. The debate on whether the death sentence should abolished took centre stage.

"Human rights must be respected so the death penalty has since been abolished in the new constitution," said senior resident magistrate Ruth Maloba.

Mucigi discouraged police from arresting and detaining refugees but instead give them protection. "Refugees have a right to be in the country but they cannot enjoy same rights as the citizens," he said.

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