, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 30 – The Kenya National Human Rights Commission (KNCHR) has raised concerns over the manner in which controversial lawyer Miguna Miguna was deported to through Dubai on Wednesday.
Miguna was bundled onto an Emirates flight to Dubai while sedated, but attempts to force onto an onward flight to the UK flopped after he protested that he was unwell and had no requisite travel documents. He said to have originated from the UK when he landed in Nairobi on Monday.
On arrival in Nairobi, immigration officials said he declined to hand over his Canadian passport to be stamped and therefore could not be allowed in.
He also frustrated a second attempt to have him sign documents to regularize his Kenyan status, which the government said he denounced when he acquired dual citizenship.
“He tore the documents and waved his Kenyan National Identification Card which is not valid because he denounced his citizenship here,” one immigration official said on condition of anonymity, “how should we have handled such a case because he insisted he is not a foreigner. There is no way we could have allowed him in with following the right procedure.”
Two consecutive court orders directed at the Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi, Police Chief Joseph Boinnet and Immigration Principal Secretary Gordon Kihalangwa to produce Miguna in court were not honoured, and none of them went to court to explain his wherebouts, leading to their conviction on Thursday before they were ordered to pay Sh200,000 each for defiance.
The state has faulted the order issued by Justice George Odunga and is now planning to file an appeal on Tuesday–according to Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho.
The fiery lawyer was first deported to Canada on February 6 after overseeing the mock swearing in of NASA leader Raila Odinga as the People’s President, but flew back on March 26 following a court order that compelled the government to facilitate his entry to enable him pursue a case he filed to challenge his deportation.
But how was he deported for the second time Wednesday?
Kamanda Mucheke, the KNHRC Principal Human Rights officer said he was the last person to see Miguna before his deportation.
This was until 8.30pm when he left to buy dinner for the self declared NRM General until he received a distress call from him.
“It was a distress call and said he was being attacked. He also said he was fearing for his life,” the commission chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori told journalists of the Wednesday night events, quoting Mucheke.
While out buying dinner for the lawyer, Mucheke further explained, “his lawyers Senator James Orengo and Nelson Havi had told hime that they had obtained further orders for Miguna’s release but were unable to serve the immigration department.
“They asked me where I was, and I told them that I was at the café waiting for Miguna’s food and told them I would be there shortly. But as I was waiting, Havi came with Soweto in panic. They had been beaten and they wanted to exit the airport because the GSU officers were pursuing them,” he recounted.
At that point, he got concerned about Miguna’s safety and decided to rush to the place where Miguna was being held.
“I panicked and quickly dashed to the car with food. But before I entered the car Miguna called in distress and told me that they were killing him. He asked me to return quickly and inform everyone,” he said.
At that point, Miguna’s mobile phone abruptly went off.
Upon return to where the ‘General’ was, Mucheke said he found about a 100 General Service Unit officers, all armed.
Miguna has since explained on his Twitter handle that he was wrestled down and sedated before being forced onto an Emirates flight destined for Dubai where he regained his conscious.
“How is it that he was seated on seat 45 J, peacefully, quietly and compliantly making no noise aboard flight EK722?,” Mbogori wondered.
On his Twitter handle, Miguna said “About 50 heavily armed thugs led by the uniformed Somali policeman who had commanded them on Monday, violently broke into the toilet I had been detained incommunicado in at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport, didn’t identify themselves, wrestled me to the ground, held onto and sat on me as a group of four different thugs injected substances to both my soles, arms, hands, both sides of my ribs and basically all over my body until I passed out.”
The government has not issued any statement over Miguna’s second deportation.
But two days later, Miguna is still holed up in Dubai International Airport and has vowed to only take a flight back to Nairobi “because I am a Kenyan and there is a court order saying I must be allowed entry.”
The lawyer, according to Mucheke was staying in a toilet meant for the disabled at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
An earlier attempt to deport him on Monday night had flopped after he protested and became unruly, even shouting at an Emirates Captain before they declined to fly him.