Don't deport gay asylum seeker Benjamin to Tanzania where he will be persecuted
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Benjamin Elibariki Nyellah (in the white t-shirt) is a gay asylum seeker and our friend.
Last week he was taken to be deported back to Tanzania where the country’s President Magufuli has launched witch hunt for gay people and sympathizers. The Home Office does not believe that he is gay and though we’ve secured a review for his case, he is still being kept in detention at the Verne’s removal centre.
I, like many members of the LGBT community in London, know Benjamin as an openly gay man and know that he is in a same-sex relationship with his partner Julius. He also sings in the LGBT choir to raise awareness about homophobia and is connected with the Croydon Area Gay society, Out and Proud Diamond group and Rainbows Across Borders.
When in Tanzania, he was attacked and beaten due to his sexuality and suffered a broken arm and receives counselling for the traumatic experience - now he fears for his life.
The UK maintains that torture survivors generally should not be incarcerated but Benjamin has been in detention since 17th July 2017 although his removal is pending a review. Before detention he was receiving counselling for his mental health and risk of self harm and the home office is aware of this but the medical practitioner in detention categorised it as low risk.
People who have been persecuted because of their sexuality face home office officials who refuse to believe them, use explicit questioning and make stereotype assumptions. Benjamin was detained when he went to sign on and the officer questioned how he can be both gay and a Christian this, despite having reconciled his beliefs and sexuality over time when he attended the Metropolitan community and Croydon Unitarian churches.
Please sign this petition to urge the Home office to release our friend and halt any further deportation
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