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Kenya lawyer deported after protesting re-election of Kenyatta

[JURIST] A Kenyan lawyer was reportedly deported [Daily Nation report] on Tuesday after being charged with treason for attending the symbolic presidential inauguration of opposition leader Raila Odinga.

The lawyer, Miguna Miguna, was to appear in court under orders from the High Court, but was instead deported overnight after an invalid law, applied by another court, caused him to lose his Kenyan nationality. The Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act of 2011 [text, PDF], which made it illegal to hold dual citizenship in Kenya, classified Miguna as a "prohibited immigrant" due to his obtaining a Kenyan passport while he also held Canadian citizenship; therefore, making his application illegal. However, since the law is now invalid, he attests that his constitutional rights were violated. The court is stating that authorities directly violated a court order. Chief Justice David Maraga released a statement [Twitter post] condemning authorities' actions by saying, "compliance with court orders is not an option for any individual or institution. Neither is it a favour to be doled out to the Judiciary. Rather, it is a crucial matter of constitutional and civic obligation."

Miguna argues that citizenship acquired by birth cannot be lost and, additionally, a deportation hearing must proceed in court prior to his deportation, which he was not given.

The symbolic inauguration was held on Friday as a protest of President Uhuru Kenyatta [official profile], whose presidential election was heavily protested [JURIST database] last year. In November, however, the validity of his re-election as president was upheld [JURIST report] by the Supreme Court of Kenya [official website]. The government, in response [text] to the inauguration, had television stations ban its broadcast, finding it an "attempt to subvert or overthrow the legally constituted Government of the Republic of Kenya."

Miguna is currently in Canada as a result of the deportation.

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