‘Go home,’ court tells Eritrean girls evading State prosecution

A section of Eriterian girls in the dock at a Milimani court . The court ruled that the over 22 girls be repatriated back to their country. The girls' lawyer had told the court that they were running away from persecution by their state of origin. [George Njunge / Standard]

Over 22 Eritrean girls running away from State persecution have been ordered back to their country by a Milimani court.

The girls were arrested on May 15 at 9am along the Thika Super Highway aboard two motor vehicles while on transit they were found to be illegally in Kenya.

They all pleaded guilty and the prosecution did not object to their release on bond or bail.

Moses Angaya, the girls’ lawyer told the court that they had come to Kenya as refugees and as such they had not broken any law.

“Your honour Eriteria is a hostile nation, these young girls are forced to join compulsory military training where all forms of human rights abuses are perpetrated against them,” he said.

He added, “The girls have intimated to me that they are forced to get married to soldiers; these young girls have aspirations in life, let them go to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to be processed as refugees,” said Angaya.

Angaya told that court that the girls fear they will be oppressed and persecuted by their State of origin since the regime is mindless of human rights.

The girls wailed when Milimani Principal Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot ordered that they should be repatriated back to their country.

“I do not agree with the lawyer’s submissions; the grounds are not strong enough to have them attended to by UNHCR. I believe they were being smuggled into the country,” said Cheruiyot.

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Eritrean girlsState persecutionMilimani court