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Deported Kenya opposition leader in airport fracas


Late on Wednesday evening, Kenyan authorities deported opposition politician Miguna Miguna on an Emirates flight, his lawyer Cliff Ombeta said, two days after police detained him on his return to the country.

Following a nine-hour stand-off, which included the police physically manhandling him as they attempt to carry him on to a Dubai-bound flight, the pilot of the plane, which had been delayed specifically for Miguna, took off after witnessing the violent scenes.

The standoff between controversial lawyer Miguna Miguna and the government at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) made it to the floor of Parliament after nominated Senator Beatrice Kwamboka demanded a comprehensive statement from Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi on why his re-entry into the country is being frustrated. On Tuesday, his lawyer Nelson Havi tweeted that the opposition figure was "currently detained in a toilet at Terminal 2-Arrivals and has been denied access to his lawyers".

Miguna Miguna denied filling the forms until the High Court issued the order to release him.

Odinga had argued that Kenyatta lacked legitimacy because his initial August 8 re-election victory was nullified by the Supreme Court over "irregularities and illegalities".

Miguna was captured on tape being dragged by plain-cloth police to the airplane.




The airport confrontation came two weeks after a surprise meeting between opposition leader Odinga and Kenya's president as they announced a new initiative to heal the East African nation after months of sometimes deadly election turmoil.

"They want to remove me by force and put me in a plane, purportedly that I am an undocumented person so I am not going". Odinga boycotted the second election, citing lack of electoral reforms.

The lawyers also sought orders barring the government from further deporting Miguna.

Odinga who at the time of taking the oath on January 30 had vowed not to recognize the legitimacy of President Uhuru Kenyatta has since reached out to him, inking a peace deal that has ended months of political hostilities between his brigade and the government.

Kenya's biggest newspaper, the Daily Nation, reported that plainclothes police slapped and kicked journalists covering the incident.

Human rights groups and media have accused Kenyatta's government of infringing on freedoms and attacking watchdog institutions.

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