Minnesota House of Representatives


State Representative Karen Clark

273 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

For more information contact: Megan Nelson 651-296-6970

Posted: May 14 2014 9:50AM
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Press/News Releases

The Minnesota House Unanimously Passes Resolution on the Somali Detention in Kenya

ST. PAUL, MN – Yesterday, the Minnesota House unanimously passed HF 3368, a resolution urging President Obama and Congress to take every possible action to safeguard the innocent and noncombatant Somali people who are being detained and tortured in Kenya. The resolution was authored by Rep. Karen Clark (DFL – Minneapolis).
On April 2, 2014, the Kenyan police started arresting people without identity documents as part of a security operation to root out terrorists in the country. In one week, nearly 4,000 Somali and Kenyans of Somali descent were arrested across Kenya. Detainees are being packed by the hundreds in cells meant to accommodate 20 people, whipped, beaten, and verbally abused.
“Nobody should be subjected to this horrendous type of treatment,” said Rep. Clark. “The United States should not and cannot stand idly by as thousands of innocent Somali refugee women, men, children and elderly are being wrongfully targeted and tortured.”
Kenya has deported hundreds of the Somali detainees to Somalia without providing an opportunity for them to file an application for asylum. International law prohibits the forcible return to certain persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership or a particular social group, or political opinion, or to a situation where a person would be at real risk for torture, cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment. 
“We should join with Amnesty International, the state-funded Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, Transparency International Kenya, and the Kenyan branch of the International commission of Jurists to demand human rights is upheld and protected during the ongoing crackdown in Kenya,” said Rep. Clark. “I hope that our words from Minnesota will help bring an end to what is happening to the Somali people in Kenya.”
Rep. Clark encourages all constituents to contact her directly with any questions, comments, or concerns on any legislative issue. Rep. Clark can be reached by phone at (651) 296-0294 or by email at rep.karen.clark@house.mn.

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