Kenya court blocks deportation of S Sudanese opponents

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Nairobi - A Kenyan court on Friday issued an order blocking the deportation of two South Sudanese opposition figures after an outcry by rights groups over treatment they would face at home.

The families of prominent lawyer and activist Dong Samuel Luak and opposition member Aggrey Idri filed an application to stop their deportation after they were detained by police earlier this week.

Judge Luka Kimaru at the Nairobi High Court ruled in their favour, and ordered investigators to file a report in court Tuesday.

Luak fled to Kenya in August 2013 after receiving death threats for defending a high-ranking politician accused of treason, and has publicly criticised human rights abuses and corruption by South Sudanese government officials.

Human Rights Watch said he had been brutally attacked at his Nairobi home in October 2015, and was recognised as a refugee under Kenyan law.

HRW noted that in recent years Kenya had "unlawfully deported several prominent opposition members from neighbouring countries to their countries of origin, despite being recognised as refugees under Kenyan law."

Amnesty International's South Sudan researcher Elizabeth Deng warned Thursday that the two men risked "arbitrary detention and ill treatment and torture" if they were sent back to their country.

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