PRESS STATEMENT ON THE INTENDED DEPORTATION BY KENYAN AUTHORITIES 0F DONG SAMUEL AND AGREY IDRI TO SOUTH SUDAN
Two South Sudanese members of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) face an imminent risk of deportation to South Sudan after Kenyan authorities detained them in the country’s capital Nairobi.
According to their lawyer, they are being detained by Kenyan authorities in Nairobi Area Police Headquarters and are subject to a deportation order.
We have tried, without success, to obtain comment from the Kenyan authorities regarding the whereabouts of the two, the conditions on which they are held, the process that was involved in any decision that may have been made regarding their deportation.
Dong Samuel, a prominent lawyer and human rights advocate, was last seen in Nairobi city centre at approximately 9:00pm on 23 January, when he was on his way to board a bus and return to his residence. He never arrived at home.
Dong Samuel left South Sudan in August 2013 due to security threats. He has been registered as a refugee in Kenya since November 2016.
From 2002 to 2013, Dong Samuel was Secretary General of the South Sudan Law Society, a South Sudanese civil society organization focused on promotion of justice, human rights and the rule of law.
Following the outbreak of South Sudan’s ongoing armed conflict in December 2013, he joined the SPLM-IO and is a member of its Human Rights and Justice Committee.
Dong Samuel is a vocal critic of the South Sudanese government and is active on Facebook and Twitter.
Aggrey Idri, chairman of the SPLM-IO Humanitarian Affairs Committee was last seen in Kilimani at approximately 8:00am on the morning of 24 January.Aggrey Idri is a vocal critic of the South Sudanese government and active on Facebook.
As Dong Samuel is a refugee, his deportation from Kenya would violate the international law principle of non-refoulement.
Given the serious risk of torture both would face in South Sudan, their deportation would also violate Kenya’s obligations under the UN Convention Against Torture
In November 2016, Kenyan authorities deported South Sudanese opposition spokesperson James Gatdet back to South Sudan in spite of his refugee status. Since his arrival in Juba, he has been held without charge at the South Sudan’s National Security Service headquarters in Juba.
James Gatdet is being held at the NSS headquarters prison since his arrival in Juba, in solitary confinement in a room approximately 3 meters by 1.5 meters large. He is not taken outside and is only provided access to sanitary facilities twice a day.
We are calling on the Kenya government:
- To disclose without delay, the place where Dong Samuel and Aggrey Idri are being held so that their families and lawyers can meet with them and arrange initial assistance.
- To make public the reasons why the two are being held and unless it can demonstrate a lawful basis for their continued detention, to release them without delay;
- To recognise and give effect to the fact that both Dong Samuel and Aggrey Idri run the risk of being subjected to torture if they are deported to South Sudan, and , therefore, to ensure that the two are not deported to that country;
- To recognise the fact that Dong Samuel enjoys refugee status in Kenya and that his deportation from Kenya would violate the international law principle of non-refoulement.
NAIROBI 25th JANUARY 2017
Signed by the Kenya Human Rights Commission