A gay rugby player threatened with deportation to Kenya has been given a temporary reprieve.
When Bristol Bisons member Kenneth Macharia’s asylum claim was denied, he was held at a detention center and faced deportation to Kenya.
Gay sex is illegal in Kenya with those prosecuted facing up to 14 years in prison.
After his claim was denied, Macharia’s LGBTI-inclusive rugby team started an online petition. More than 70,000 people have signed it to stop the deportation. They also asked the UK Home Office to grant Macharia asylum.
Macharia can still face deportation to Kenya
Despite there is no threat of immediate removal from the UK, Macharia can still face deportation.
His team took to Twitter to post an update on his situation.
We have some news to report regarding our member Ken.
He has been released from the detention centre and the threat of imminant removal from the UK has been lifted.
Whilst this is good news, we have no confirmation that Ken will not be removed from the UK entirely. pic.twitter.com/wku49XY4Er
— Bristol Bisons RFC (@bisonsrfc) November 20, 2018
‘We have some news to report regarding our member Ken,’ they wrote.
‘He has been released from the detention centre and the threat of imminant (sic) removal from the UK has been lifted. Whilst this is good news, we have no confirmation that Ken will not be removed from the UK entirely.’
The Home Office rejected his argument
Macharia arrived in the UK in 2009 on a student visa. He got two extensions of his leave to remain, first as a student, then as a highly skilled migrant.
In May 2016 he claimed asylum, arguing that he had a well-founded fear of persecution in Kenya because of his homosexuality, but his argument that he would be persecuted was rejected.
Macharia joined the Bisons in 2015. He is also a match photographer and first-aider.