‘Stateless’ man unwanted by Kenya and Tanzania wins court case
The African Court on Human and Peoples rights has ruled that Tanzania violated the rights of its citizen who has been living in ‘no-man’s land’ on the Kenyan border since 2014.
The nine-judge bench, led by its president Sylvain Ore, said Tanzania arbitrarily deprived Anudo Ochieng Anudo of his citizenship.
Anudo was expelled from Tanzania in 2014 when his citizenship was withdrawn. He was consequently deported to Kenya which in turn sent him back to Tanzania.
Anudo said since he could not enter Tanzania, he remained in the “no man’s land in Sirare.
The court ordered Tanzania to amend its legislation to provide individuals with judicial remedies in the event of a dispute over citizenship.
Anudo told the court that he is a Tanzanian by birth, just like his parents and had a valid Tanzanian birth certificate and a voter’s card, which were seized by authorities.
He also said the immigration office in Manyara, Tanzania invited him to collect his passport on August 26, 2014 upon which he was detained for six days, beaten and made to admit that he was a Kenyan.
Tanzania argued Anudo was stripped off citizenship after investigations showed that he was not a resident of Masinono village.
The court was told that in light of the discrepancies between the questionnaire completed by Anudo at the immigration office and statements obtained during investigation, authorities concluded that he was not a Tanzanian.
The court said the power to deprive a person of citizenship has to be exercised in accordance with global standards.
“International law does not allow, except, under very exceptional situations, the loss of nationality,” the judges said.