Stop the deportation of Ken Macharia
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Kenneth "Ken" Macharia, from Glastonbury, Somerset, has had his request for asylum rejected by the Home Office. In November 2018, he was detained by the Home Office pending deportation to Kenya. Thanks to overwhelming public support, he was granted bail at a court hearing. However, the Home Office may detain Ken at any time. We are continuing to campaign for Ken to be granted asylum in the UK.
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 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.
On 20 November 2018, public support pressured the Home Office into agreeing to release Ken from the detention centre. However, on 27 November 2018, the Home Office unexpectedly decided to reinstate his immediate deportation notice. The following day at Ken's bail hearing, the Home Office opposed bail. Thanks to the huge outcry of public support, the judge granted Ken bail and he has since returned home to his friends and family.
However, his fight is far from over. Ken still does not have asylum here in the UK, and he is still subject to deportation to Kenya by the Home Office. They could send him back to the detention centre at any time. In order to protect Ken from the persecution and imprisonment that he would face in Kenya, we are calling on the Home Office to grant him asylum here in the UK.
On 3 June 2019, Ken received news from the Home Office that they were revoking his right to stay in the UK. Therefore he may be detained imminently by the Home Office, and then sent to Kenya, where he would face homophobic persecution and discrimination.
We are calling on his local MP, James Heappey, and Home Secretary Sajid Javid, to step in to stop Ken's deportation, and to grant him asylum here in the UK.
We ask that people tweet to Sajid Javid and let them know how wrong this decision is and that Ken should be granted asylum here, where he is safe. As the Home Secretary, he has the authority to secure Ken's safety.
The legal process will be expensive. To give Ken the best chance of securing his safety here in the UK, we have announced a crowdfund in order to provide financial support to cover Ken's legal costs. Please donate whatever you can give to this cause!
Ken has lived in the UK since 2009, first on a student visa, through which he qualified as an engineer. He has since worked in the UK through his work visa, however after a subsequent work visa was denied, he applied to seek asylum in the UK. In 2016, Ken joined Bristol Bisons RFC, a gay and inclusive rugby team, and I have known him for over two years.
Ken is an integral part of our rugby family at Bristol Bisons RFC. His commitment to the ethos of rugby and to our team is second to none. He is an important part of our community, and regularly attends our matches across the country as our match photographer, and has also undertaken training to be our first aid medic. This is very typical of Ken’s nature – always wanting to help, and always being concerned for the well-being of other people.
Ken is a quiet, kind, and caring person and he is one of the most loved people at our rugby club. Our team would not be the same without his warm character.
Deporting a good, hard-working, gay man to a country where homophobic violence and imprisonment is rife is immoral and unjust, and should be stopped.
Your support can really make a difference. Please sign this petition to keep Ken in the UK where he is safe.
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