AFRICA/KENYA - Activist expelled: "Respect the rights of every Kenyan", asks "Justice and Peace"

Friday, 6 April 2018 civil society   human rights  

Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - "We are deeply concerned with the manner in which the case of Dr Miguna Miguna is being handled and the attack of the journalists who were doing their duty of informing the public", says the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops-Catholic "Justice and Peace" Commission in a statement sent to Agenzia Fides. "This is against the Constitution and a threat to fundamental rights and freedoms of Kenyans".
On March 26, lawyer Miguna Miguna was stopped at Nairobi airport on his return to Kenya from Canada. The Kenyan authorities questioned the validity of his Kenyan passport, claiming that the lawyer lost his Kenyan citizenship in 1998 and is now a Canadian citizen. Miguna refused to present the Canadian passport, stating that he is still a citizen of his Country of origin. After detaining him for three days, the Nairobi authorities expelled him from the Country and was then put on a plane to Dubai.
Some journalists who followed the case report they were threatened and attacked by the police.
"We further wish to state that the rights as provided for in the Constitution and in the various International instruments ratified by the Kenyan Government guarantee free and responsible press freedom" remarks "Justice and Peace".
"As a Country that professes the rule of law, action should be taken against those police officers who attacked the media personnel. As a Commission, we condemn such unbecoming acts. We also challenge the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) and the National Police Service to take their responsibility seriously and act now to bring to a stop the wave of impunity we are currently witnessing. We too call upon the lawyers in Dr. Miguna Miguna’s defense and Government to be truthful and come out clear on the whole saga".
The episode of Miguna’s expulsion, who was an adviser to former Prime Minister Raila Odinga from 2009 to 2011, happened in a delicate moment in the life of Kenya. President Uhuru Kenyatta and Odinga indeed agreed (see Fides 15/3/2018) to seek together a way out of the political crisis created by the disputed presidential elections, repeated in October after the Supreme Court had canceled the vote in August for irregularities.
Both votes saw the victory of former outgoing President Kenyatta.
"We appeal to our leaders and Kenyans in general to safeguard the opportunity of calmness brought by the coming together of our two political leaders.
We believe that as we go through these trying moments of our democracy, Kenya will in the long run be stronger than weaker", the message concludes. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 6/4/2018)