Tiberias marathon winner allowed to leave Kenya

April 5, 2007 02:40
1 minute read.


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Mushir Salem Jawher is reportedly no longer stuck in Nairobi. The Kenyan-born runner, who had accepted Bahrain citizenship and was representing the Persian Gulf country when he won the 30th Tiberias Marathon in January, was allowed to leave Nairobi on Monday evening after he officially renounced his Kenyan citizenship in writing and under oath before immigration officials, according to The Daily Nation. After the news of his participation in an Israeli race first broke, the Bahrain athletics federation immediately announced it had stripped Mushir of his citizenship, but the government eventually rescinded this decision for fear of being isolated by the international sporting community. Mushir had sought and found refuge in Kenya, where the government, which was not keen on taking him back, took away his Bahrain passport until he returned the Kenyan passport he is said to have used to enter Israel in January. Mushir, who denounced his Kenyan citizenship verbally in 2003, could not surrender his Kenyan passport, which he said is being held by the Bahrain government in Manama, the country's capital. He was given back his Bahrain passport on Monday and Mushir promised to surrender within 30 days the Kenyan passport. Mushir did not know when he would be allowed to return, as the Immigration Department directed him to apply for an entry visa at a Kenyan mission abroad instead of doing the same at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on arrival, as had been the procedure for him and fellow defectors since 2003. For Mushir to live with his family or train in Kenya, he will be required to apply for a work permit and pay a significant sum bi-annually for investment in Kenya. "I feel like I am being persecuted in a country where I was born, live with my family and invested all my track earnings," Mushir, who claimed he visited the Immigration Department for two months without any assistance, told The Daily Nation. "I have even filed an affidavit with the sports commissioner and I have a feeling that either I am unwanted or am an innocent victim of a vicious war between Kenya, Qatar and Bahrain."

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