Nairobi- Kenya (PANA) -- Kenyan Police officers routinely abuse Somali asylum seekers and refugees fleeing the fighting in the Horn of Africa nation, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report released Thursday.
The report alleges that Police stationed at the border with Somalia engage in the extortion of refugees attempting to reach three United Nations refugee centres in Northern Kenya.
''Police use violence, arbitrary arrests, and unlawful detention in inhuman and degrading conditions, threats of deportations and unlawful prosecution,'' the HRW report said.
Kenyan Police have denied the allegations, saying the report was biased because none of the cases or the witnesses interviewed in the report had reported their cases to the Police.
The report said the Police extort money from new arrivals, who include men, women and children indiscriminately.
At least 40,000 Somali refugees have crossed into the Kenyan side of the common border since January, fleeing the intense fighting in Somalia.
HWR Researcher, Gerry Simpson, said he interviewed 100 victims of the Police extortion ring and that some of the victims were raped and threatened with deportation.
The report accuses the Kenyan authorities of violating the international law by sending back thousands of refugees fleeing the fighting in Somalia and seeking refuge in Kenya.
''People fleeing the mayhem in Somalia, the vast majority women and children, are welcomed in Kenya with rape, whippings, beatings, detention and summary deportation,'' Simpson said in the report, titled: ''Welcome to Kenya, Police Abuse of Somali Refugees.
'' The HRW alleges the Kenyan Police have refused to investigate and prosecute suspected perpetrators of rape against women and girls.
The report also examines what it terms ''Kenya's illegal policy'' of prohibiting the refugees registered in the camps from traveling to other parts of Kenya, unless they have special permission for reasons such as medical appointments or education in Nairobi.
''Under international law, Kenya must justify any such prohibition as the least restrictive measure necessary to protect national security, public order, or public health, which it has failed to do,'' the report alleged.
In 2009, the authorities allowed 6,000 of Dadaab's almost 300,000 refugees to travel outside the squalid and overcrowded camps, HRW said.
The report documents how police arrest refugees traveling without - and increasingly those with - government-issued ''movement passes'', extort money from them, and sometimes take them to court in Garissa, where they are fined or sent to prison.