Kenyan court says two South Sudanese dissidents should not be deported

By Reuters

Kenya’s High Court on Friday ordered authorities not to deport two South Sudanese dissidents who activists said had been detained by police this week and were at risk if they were sent back to a nation still embroiled in conflict.

Kenyan police have yet to say if they have detained Dong Samuel, a human rights advocate who has been a vocal critic of South Sudan’s government, and another South Sudanese opposition figure Aggrey Idri. Samuel is registered as a refugee.

Their lawyer, Eddy Orinda, said his sources had confirmed their detention and he said they were at risk of deportation, mirroring the fate of another opposition figure who was deported last year and has been held without charge in Juba since then.

South Sudan’s conflict erupted in December 2013, and has rumbled on since despite a 2015 peace deal that failed to stick.

Kenya’s High Court ruling ordered the inspector general of police to produce the two men “before this court together with the original warrant, if any, for detention”, and also said the summons would “act to stop any deportation.”

Orinda told Reuters the inspector general of police and other officials had been summoned to appear in court on Tuesday and were expected to present the two individuals to court then. He said it was possible the men could be released before that.

A police spokesman had no immediate comment.

Kenya deported South Sudanese opposition spokesman James Gatdet Dak in November 2016 to South Sudan, even though he had refugee status. Amnesty said he had been detained without charge in Juba since then.