Photo: CC via Flickr

After Being Detained, Drugged and Deported, Miguna Waits in Dubai

Kenyan lawyer and opposition member, Miguna Miguna, denied entry into the country and deported to Dubai

Kenyan opposition member Miguna Miguna has been stranded at Dubai International Airport for two days, after being forcefully deported from Nairobi.

He posted to his Facebook on Friday, saying:

I am alive. I thank God for that. But I am in great pain, stress and inconvenience. My left hand is still badly swollen. I believe that Jubilee thugs had inserted an IV in it to keep me unconscious for the entire duration of the flight between Nairobi and Dubai. My left side is extremely painful.

He later spoke of his treatment in Dubai in an interview with BBC, saying that he had been looked at by a doctor in the airport and given an aspirin for the swelling. He added:

"[The authorities in Dubai are] telling me I can walk around the airport, and that's it. They're telling me I can't do anything else. They're telling me if I want to fly anywhere else, they will take me, but I will not go back to Kenya... I have not taken a shower since I left London on Sunday."

Miguna was travelling to Kenya from London on Sunday, when he was detained at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) for three days. He then claims to have been drugged and dragged unconscious onto an Emirates flight to Dubai on Wednesday night.

Miguna was born in Magina village in 1963, and sought political asylum in Canada after being detained in Kenya for his political activism while at university. He returned to Kenya in 2007, where he joined the Kenyan Bar and served as a senior advisor to former Prime Minister Raila Odinga for two years. He is now a leader in the National Resistance Movement, and has been highly critical of the Uhuru Kenyatta Presidency since 2017.

However, the government claims that Miguna renounced his Kenyan citizenship when he attained Canadian citizenship in 1998, when dual-citizenship was still illegal in country (it was legalized in 2010). They seized his passport in January this year, and deported him to Canada.

Although Miguna could still enter Kenya with his Canadian passport, he refused to do so on principle, insisting: "My right to travel in and out of the country freely must also be respected and upheld at all times, in the same manner that these rights apply to all Kenyans equally."

Speaking to BBC Africa, spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior, Mwenda Njoka, said that Miguna "is on his way back to where he came from because he refused to got through the process of being immigrated into the country." On Miguna's claims that he was drugged, Njoka said that "those are just allegations."

This response is in spite of an order from the Kenyan High Court earlier this week, which had ordered Miguna's release from detention and released his Kenyan passport. For failing to appear in before the judge in response to their actions against Minuga, three top officials were fined for contempt of court.

Meanwhile, Miguna continues to wait in Dubai for his lawyers to deliver his passport to him later today.

"I intend to fly back to Nairobi as soon as possible," he said on Facebook. "It's my birthright, constitutional and legal right."

The Miguna's saga has captivated Kenyans on social media since it began. Here's a taste of the conversation:

And because there's always that one person:

Artwork: Barthélémy Toguo Lockdown Selfportrait 10, 2020. Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Goes to Paris in 2021

The longstanding celebration of African art will be hosted by Parisian hot spot Christie's for the first time ever.

In admittedly unideal circumstances, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair will be touching French soil in 2021. The internationally celebrated art fair devoted to contemporary art from Africa and the African diaspora will be hosted in Paris, France from January 20 - 23. With COVID-19 still having its way around the globe, finding new ways to connect is what it's all about and 1-54 is certainly taking the innovative steps to keep African art alive and well.
In partnership with Christie's, the in-person exhibits will take place at the auction house's city HQ at Avenue Matignon, while 20 international exhibitors will be featured online at Christies.com. And the fun doesn't stop there as the collaboration has brought in new ways to admire the talent from participating galleries from across Africa and Europe. The fair's multi-disciplinary program of talks, screenings, performances, workshops, and readings are set to excite and entice revelers.

Artwork: Delphine Desane Deep Sorrow, 2020. Courtesy Luce Gallery

The tech dependant program, curated by Le 18, a multi-disciplinary art space in Marrakech medina, will see events take place during the Parisian run fair, followed by more throughout February.
This year's 1-54 online will be accessible to global visitors virtually, following the success of the 2019's fair in New York City and London in 2020. In the wake of COVID-19 related regulations and public guidelines, 1-54 in collaboration with Christie's Paris is in compliance with all national regulations, strict sanitary measures, and security.

Artwork: Cristiano Mongovo Murmurantes Acrilico Sobre Tela 190x200cm 2019

1-54 founding director Touria El Glaoui commented, "Whilst we're sad not to be able to go ahead with the fourth edition of 1-54 Marrakech in February as hoped, we are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to be in Paris this January with our first-ever fair on French soil thanks to our dedicated partners Christie's. 1-54's vision has always been to promote vibrant and dynamic contemporary art from a diverse set of African perspectives and bring it to new audiences, and what better way of doing so than to launch an edition somewhere completely new. Thanks to the special Season of African Culture in France, 2021 is already set to be a great year for African art in the country so we are excited to be playing our part and look forward, all being well, to welcoming our French friends to Christie's and many more from around the world to our online fair in January."

Julien Pradels, General Director of Christie's France, said, "Christie's is delighted to announce our second collaboration with 1-54, the Contemporary African Art Fair, following a successful edition in London this October. Paris, with its strong links to the continent, is a perfect place for such a project and the additional context of the delayed Saison Africa 2020 makes this partnership all the more special. We hope this collaboration will prove a meaningful platform for the vibrant African art scene and we are confident that collectors will be as enthusiastic to see the works presented, as we are."

Artwork: Kwesi Botchway Metamorphose in July, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery 1957

Here's a list of participating galleries to be on the lookout for:


31 PROJECT (Paris, France)
50 Golborne (London, United Kingdom)
Dominique Fiat (Paris, France)
Galerie 127 (Marrakech, Morocco)
Galerie Anne de Villepoix (Paris, France)
Galerie Cécile Fakhoury (Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire/ Dakar, Senegal)
Galerie Eric Dupont (Paris, France)
Galerie Lelong & Co. (Paris, France / New York, USA)
Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris, France / Brussels, Belgium)
Galleria Continua (Beijing, China / Havana, Cuba / Les Moulins, France / San Gimignano, Italy / Rome, Italy)
Gallery 1957 (Accra, Ghana / London, United Kingdom)
Loft Art Gallery (Casablanca, Morocco)

Luce Gallery (Turin, Italy)
MAGNIN-A (Paris, France)
Nil Gallery (Paris, France)
POLARTICS (Lagos, Nigeria)
SEPTIEME Gallery (Paris, France)
This is Not a White Cube (Luanda, Angola) THK Gallery (Cape Town, South Africa) Wilde (Geneva, Switzerland)

For more info visit 1-54

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