After six months of arbitrary detention, torture and mistreatment, Kenyan Refugee and Activist NM has just been released by the Lebanese authorities.
NM has been detained by the General Security Office since April this year. She was granted refugee status after being arrested, as she faces life-threatening risks in Kenya. Her arrest was based on false accusations of which she has been acquitted, however, she remained detained by the General Security Office beyond the legal limit who had actively tried to deport her on the premises of her expired residency. NM committed no crime and paid a price no one should pay for her activism in Lebanon to protect Kenyan workers.
NM has reported multiple incidents of torture and ill treatment including facing physical abuse during the initial investigations, being denied medical treatment for an injury resulting from this abuse until ARM’s intervenetion, as well as being punished for resisting her deportation on the 4th of August by forcing her into solitary confinement for a night and denying her visits.
The General Security Office have violated International and National laws by bypassing the UNHCR’s legal mandate and attempting to forcibly deport a registered asylum seeker, arbitrarily detaining an innocent woman beyond the legal time limit, and keeping her in inhumane conditions even after she received a refugee status from UNHCR.
And so while we celebrate NM’s long overdue release, we still demand that those responsible for her arrest and mistreatment are held accountable, and for Lebanese authorities to grant N.M. full protection while awaiting her resettlement.
We hold the government liable for the abuses endured by N.M. and other refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in detention, and demand to stop the targeting and persecution of Migrant Women and Activists in the country.