Kenya blasted over opposition leader's court absence

Kenya blasted over opposition leader's court absence

Opposition leader not seen since arrest 4 days ago, despite orders that he be produced in court

By Andrew Wasike

NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) – Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday condemned the Kenyan government for ignoring court orders directing them to produce an opposition leader detained four days ago.

Miguna Miguna, a former presidential candidate, was arrested last Friday for taking part in last week’s unofficial mock swearing-in of opposition leader Raila Odinga as president and has not been seen since opposition supporters took to the streets to demand his release, resulting in two deaths during running battles with the police.

Miguna's absence in court has fuelled rumors among his supporters that he is dead.

The rights group said: “Police have failed to produce Miguna in court in accordance with court orders on both Feb. 2 and Feb. 5, as well as Kenyan law, which requires the accused to be brought to court within 24 hours.”

In a statement Otsieno Namwaya, Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch, said: “Kenyan authorities should urgently obey a court order to either release or produce Miguna Miguna in court, [as] the flagrant flouting of court orders undermines the basic concept of the rule of law.”

George Kinoti, Kenya’s director of criminal investigations, and Police Inspector General Joseph Boinett have been summoned to appear in court today to explain why they have failed to produce Miguna in court.

Opposition leader Odinga rejected President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory in last October’s elections and has vowed to pressure Kenyatta’s government until he steps aside. clearing the way for what he calls “free, fair and credible elections”.

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