21 Ethiopian ex-convicts found themselves stranded at prison gates after authorities refused to allow them back into their cells.
The Ethiopians had come to the end of the court apportioned 6-month jail terms when they were released on Monday, April 6.
A report published by KBC on Wednesday, April 8 provided that the 21 had been released from the prison following the expiration of their sentence.
The group which comprised of youth in their early 20s was awarded the sentences after being found guilty of staying in the country illegally.
The County Prison Commander Joshua Mutiso provided that he could not continue holding the youth at the facility and handed them over to the National Police Service so they could be sent back to Ethiopia.
“We are trying as much as possible not to confine people in the police cells for fear of contamination and the spread of Corona viral disease,” clarified Isiolo County Police Commander Joseph Kigen.
The Ethiopian nationals were however returned to the prison after police officers failed to secure a way to repatriate them.
In line with the government’s directives on decongestion of cells, the group was forced to camp at the prison gates after authorities denied them entry into the correctional facility.
Joseph Kigen however provided that he was collaborating with the County Immigration Officer John Kandie to send the 21 home using a bus.
In a public statement on March 30, The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) called on governments to suspend arrest and deportation of immigrants to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.
“The ICRC is appealing to governments to suspend all arrest and forced deportation of migrants to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in holding facilities and in the region,” read the statement in part.
The ICRC noted that most of the immigrants came from countries with compromised health care systems.
It further highlighted that these group should be accounted for in the national plans on Covid-19.
“The vulnerability of migrants, notably those in irregular situations or living in precarious conditions, should be factored in any national plan to respond to COVID-19, to ensure their adequate access to information, their inclusion in the prevention response and their access to health care should they fall sick,” read the statement.