Lobby group, 3 victims of double registration sue government

Friday, August 13th, 2021 00:00 |

A lobby group and three victims of double registration have sued the government for refusing to issue them with Identity Cards.

Haki Na Sheria Initiative, Hamdi Mohamed Muhumed, Sahal Abdi Amin and Deka Muktar Gure claim they have been subjected to unfair vetting severally which they have willingly cooperated with and they are yet to be issued with ID documents.

They have sued the Attorney General, Interior Cabinet Secretary, Director of National Registration Bureau, the Commissioner For Refugee Affairs and UNHCR.

They want an order restraining the police or anyone else from arresting or detaining them as they are bonafide Kenyans and victims of double registration for lack of the national identity card.

They also seek an order restraining the government or anyone else from repatriating them to Somalia or any other country, for lack of the national identification card, and on the mere basis that their data appears in the refugee database.

In court documents, the petitioners through lawyer Yussuf Bashir claim they have for a long period of time faced the problem of double registration

Double registration referred to is a situation where genuine Kenyans in areas close to refugee camps such as Daadab were registered as refugees and are in the refugee database so as to have access to the necessities available to refugees such as medical services and food especially during the drought periods in their areas.

They claim this happened majorly during the periods of drought and hunger when such parents had no means to cater for their large families and unaware of the future repercussions on such children, they with the best intention to provide for the children rushed them to the refugee camp.

“The Respondents have now used the registration of such persons to deny them their constitutional right to nationality by refusing to issue them with the national IDs,” states their lawyer Bashir in court documents.

They argue that the respondents erroneously facilitated the entry of their names in the refugee database without taking all the necessary steps in verifying whether such persons are indeed refugees or not

“Those people, now adults from the marginalized groups, found themselves registered as refugees as children, a fact they did not have control over. The Respondents have never systematically addressed the issue of nationality documents through the removal of the victims’ names from the refugee database,” states the lawyer in court documents.

According to the petitioners, they have suffered and continue to suffer as they have been unable to acquire National IDs which are required for one to be able to access basic services such as health services and education.

“The victims of double registration have been denied so many political rights and economic entitlements are inaccessible to them for lack of their national IDs,” They argue in court documents.

They contend that the government has threatened to close Daadab refugee camp and with that, despite being bona fide Kenyans, they are at risk of being repatriated to Somalia.

They claim that the police are now harassing them, arresting and threatening to have them deported to Somalia, a country that is not their origin

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