Words: Steve Brown
A team of rugby players are campaigning to save their teammate who could be deported after his request for asylum was rejected.
The Bristol Bisons – a gay and inclusive rugby team in Somerset – are fighting to save teammate Kenneth ‘Ken’ Macharia from being deported despite having been in the UK since 2009 and worked through his visa.
On a change.org petition – which has received nearly 5,000 signatures so far – details Ken’s struggle and says how he “has had his request for asylum rejected by the Home Office and has now been detained and is pending deportation.
“The Home Office rejected his asylum application and his appeal because they deem Kenya to be safe for gay people – in spite of the persecution of gay people and the 14-year imprisonment for homosexuality.
“Deporting Ken from the UK will also mean that he is unable to see his mother who lives in Bristol.
“Ken is deeply concerned about being deported to Kenya, where he would face persecution, and he wishes to stay in the UK to contribute to society.
“Unfortunately, Ken’s story is yet another example of the Home Office ignoring the risks that LGBT people face in multiple countries around the world.”
The Bristol Bisons have called for their local MP James Heappey and Home Office Secretary Sajid Javid to help them in saving their fellow teammate from being deported.
Sign the petition here.