NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A Kenyan lawyer says he was removed from an Air France flight as he tried to return home months after being deported to Canada, despite court orders saying he is a Kenyan citizen and should be accorded all rights.
Miguna Miguna said in a Facebook post Wednesday he had been to Germany, Austria, France and Switzerland in his attempt to get home. Air France confirmed the Paris incident in a tweet, saying it had received a request from Kenyan officials.
Miguna was first deported after he swore in Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga in early 2018 as the “people’s president” to protest elections that saw President Uhuru Kenyatta sworn in for a second term. The opposition boycotted the vote and called it flawed.
Kenya’s government asserted that Miguna is a Canadian citizen and had acquired Kenyan citizenship illegally. But Kenya’s high court later ordered that his Kenyan passport be restored and he be given safe passage into the country.
Kenya’s president in a recent speech alluded to Miguna’s situation, saying the government did not have objections to his travel.
But a statement by government spokesman Cyrus Oguna on Wednesday said Miguna had been categorised as an unruly passenger in line with International Civil Aviation Organisation-recommended standards following his second deportation in March 2018, which Miguna attempted to resist.
Oguna denied that Kenya’s government blocked Miguna from boarding aircraft and asserted that he did not have valid travel documents.
In 2018 Kenyatta’s government had warned that any attempt to swear in opposition leader Odinga was treasonous and those attending the ceremony faced arrest. Despite that, tens of thousands attended the swearing-in.
Kenyatta and Odinga shook hands in March 2018, ending months of deadly political turmoil that also hurt the East African nation’s economy.