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The gay Nigerian who was seeking asylum was deported despite support from his friends (15 October 2012)

Date: 15/10/2012
Duncan Lewis, Legal News Solicitors, The gay Nigerian who was seeking asylum was deported despite support from his friends

A gay Nigerian asylum seeker and a nursing student who was living in Bradford and who was being supported by his friends, was eventually deported.
Ola Ayelokun, 28, was flown out of the UK and is believed to be staying with family in his home village.
The supporters campaigning for him were worried that his life in his home country could be in danger. His friends were hoping that he would not be deported.
They argued that UK immigration officials were breaching the European Convention on Human Rights by “sending someone to a situation where he or she was in a ‘real risk’ of being subjected to ‘torture or an inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
NEARLY 2,000 people have signed an online petition to support Ayelokun a gay Nigerian asylum seeker, who fears he might be killed if deported.
Jason Feather, who helped set up a Facebook group and an on-line petition to stop his deportation, said that he was devastated. They have decided to send a gay man back to one of the most homophobic countries in the world. He said it was putting a lamb in with the lions.
Mr Feather, had earlier said that he was told that the Nigerian authorities did monitor international news. And if he the authorities in Nigeria would know he was a gay man he would face upto 14 years in the South and if caught in north where Sharia law was practices he might be killed.
Veteran gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell had also supported Ayelokun. He said that regardless of his past mistakes, Ola should be given asylum on the grounds that, if he was returned to Nigeria, he would be at serious risk of homophobic persecution.
Olamiekan Ayelokun claimed he fled Nigeria eight years ago to escape persecution because of his sexual orientation.
However, a judge at Bradford’s Immigration Court has stated that he is not convinced Ayelokun was gay and ordered him to be deported last week.
The UK Border Agency said Mr Ayelokun had lived illegally in the UK since overstaying a visitor’s visa that expired in 2003, and it was only last year that he claimed asylum.
He had made an application to stay in the country in 2011, and at that point he was required to sign every week. But Ayelokun was detained on September 25th after a routine appointment at the UK Border Agency’s Waterside Court offices in Leeds.
His supporters are now campaigning to get the Government to issue guidelines on how lesbian gay and transgender asylum seekers should be treated by Borders Agency officials.

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