Suspected Somali illegal migrants and refugees arrested in a police swoop arrive at a holding station in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, 7 April, 2014. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
16 April 2014: The round-up and mass detention of Somalis in Nairobi, which began in earnest on 31 March, deliberately conflated immigration issues with counter-terrorism and has widened dangerous communal divides. Al-Shabaab and its extremist allies in Kenya will be very satisfied. What the attack on Nairobi’s Westgate mall last September failed to do – sow division among Kenyans – might well be achieved by these detentions and deportations. This month’s events brought out the worst in Kenya, from the prejudice shown, especially in social media, by ordinary citizens, to petty point scoring by the political class, to police extortion of bribes from lawfully resident Somalis, to the extrajudicial execution of the controversial Muslim preacher known as Makaburi (“graveyard”).
Sri Lanka's army soldiers stand guard in the back of a truck during the opening of a Bartleet Finance Limited investment branch in Jaffna, April 30, 2010. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte
25 March 2014: The heavy militarisation of Sri Lanka’s northern province after the civil war’s bloody end in
2009 has been the subject of growing domestic and international concern. The large numbers
of military personnel in the north, and the deep involvement of the military in the province’s
governance, endanger the re-establishment of democratic institutions that is necessary to
lasting peace (see our Nov 2013 report Sri Lanka’s Potemkin Peace: Democracy Under Fire).
Ruki Fernando speaks to members of the media during a press conference in Manila on April 15, 2009. PHOTO: AFP
17 March 2014:The arbitrary arrest and detention of prominent human rights defenders is an attempt to silence criticism and divert the spotlight from ongoing abuses, leading global and Asian human rights monitors said today in a joint statement.
The statement was issued by Amnesty International, Forum Asia, Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group, and the International Commission of Jurists.
Ruki Fernando of the Colombo-based INFORM and Father Praveen Mahesan, a Catholic priest, were arrested in Kilinochchi on March 16, and are believed to be detained without formal charges under Sri Lanka’s notoriously draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).