Kenyan gay rugby player who was facing deportation from Britain has been given a temporary reprieve.
Kenneth Macharia, a member of Bristol Bisons, a gay and inclusive club, was being held at Colnbrook immigration centre near Heathrow airport, according to the Guardian.
Over 70,000 people signed a petition to have his deportation quashed and for him to be granted asylum.
“There’s lots left to do, but he won’t be going anywhere for now,” MP for Wells, James Heappey confirmed.
Macharia claimed asylum in May 2016, saying that he had a well-founded fear of persecution in Kenya because of his homosexuality which is illegal in the country.
Gay sex is punishable by up to 14 years in jail in Kenya. But authorities did not buy this argument.
Macharia arrived in the UK in 2009 on a student visa. He was twice granted extensions of his leave to remain, first as a student, them as a highly skilled migrant.
His mother Jacinta Macharia, who lives in south Bristol, said her son had depression, which could get worse if he was deported.
“He is the only child I have in this country and has been driving me to and from work in various places because of my arthritis, for which I have been attending physiotherapy sessions,” Jacinta said.
“I am a 69-year-old British citizen and will progressively depend on hi, for support as I grow older.”
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