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Canada conveys discontent over treatment of Miguna

Thursday February 8 2018

Miguna Miguna

Miguna Miguna participates in a gubernatorial debate at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Nairobi, on June 29, 2017. He said he will still protest against the sitting Jubilee government. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MAUREEN KAKAH
By MAUREEN KAKAH
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Details of frantic but fruitless efforts by the Canadian government to intervene in the Miguna Miguna saga using diplomatic channels have been revealed.

In correspondence seen by Nation, the Canadian High Commission wrote to the Foreign Affairs ministry expressing concern over the government’s handling of the self-declared “general” of the National Resistance Movement (NRM).

Dr Miguna holds both Kenyan and Canadian citizenship.

In the letter dated February 5, the Canadian High Commission protested that it was not only notified of Dr Miguna’s arrest and subsequent detention in police custody but was also denied information and access to him.

VIOLATION
This, the commission noted, was in blatant non-compliance with the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations.

“The High Commission of Canada is concerned that such actions prevent the Canadian government from monitoring the health and wellbeing of its citizens, the embassy seeks assurances that future consular visits will not face similar restrictions,” the letter reads.

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The Canadian government demanded assurances from Kenya that none of its citizens would be mistreated while living and working in the country.

The letter details how officials from the Canadian High Commission wrote to Kenyan authorities seeking authorization to visit Dr Miguna at Lari police station in Kiambu on February 4, only for the officer in charge to decline to identify himself or confirm the lawyer’s status.

INVESTIGATION
The Canadian diplomats also sought to know his wellbeing following reports that he had suffered an asthma attack besides being denied access to his lawyers.

The envoys also raised concerns over the fact that they attempted to call the police service number 911 but it was never received or returned.

They further demanded immediate consular access to Dr Miguna as per the Vienna diplomatic relations.

“The government of Canada takes allegations of mistreatment of a Canadian citizen very seriously.

"The High Commission would be grateful for ministry’s assistance in ensuring an official investigation is conducted and in providing it with updates on the progress as well as results of the probe,” the letter read.

DEPORTATION
The letter was presented before court on Wednesday by State lawyer Duncan Ondimu while Dr Miguna’s battery of lawyers protested over the turn of events that had seen him deported even after a Kajiado court had ordered that he be presented before High Court judge Luka Kimaru.

Following the deportation, Justice Kimaru ordered that Immigration director Gordon Kihalangwa files an affidavit explaining under what circumstances his office took custody of the Nasa activist and deported him in blatant breach of an existing order that he be produced before the High Court.

He also ordered that Inspector General of police Joseph Boinnet and Director of Criminal Investigation George Kinoti appear in person on February 14.
The judge also directed that the duo swear affidavits and file them by Friday 9th, explaining how Dr Miguna was handed over to immigration officials who oversaw his deportation.

RELENTLESS
Dr Miguna arrived in Canada on Wednesday afternoon and immediately declared the struggle to unseat the Jubilee government had just began.

The lawyer who touched down at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport almost two hours late because the flight from Amsterdam had been delayed by a winter storm battering the North East, said he was safe and sound because the Jubilee government could not break him.

“I’m safe. I’m alive. It’s not easy to kill a revolutionary,” He said adding, “They tried but they can’t.”

Assuming his bombastic posture, Dr Miguna said his recent trials and tribulations at the hands of the Jubilee government had only increased his resolve to dislodge the administration.

The Nasa activist was received by a crowd of supporters living in Canada.

Speaking to a group of supporters and members of the Press who had gathered at the arrival lounge to welcome him, he said he was wrongly deported because he had not renounced his Kenyan Citizenship.

Additional reporting by Chris Wamalwa in Philadelphia