An online campaign has been launched over the UKBA's decision to deport an asylum seeker.
16 August 2011
Campaign launched seeking reversal of UK immigration decision
An online campaign has been launched encouraging the Home Office in the UK to reconsider its decision to deport Sheffield-based Justice Charles, an asylum seeker who is facing deportation from the country.
Justice Charles, 35, arrived in the UK from Sierra Leone in 2002 without a UK visa, seeking asylum. Prior to this, the campaign claims he was attacked by rebels while working with the UN delivering food aid to the country during the civil war, which was declared over in 2002.
The campaign goes on to claim that former rebels continued to threaten Mr. Charles, resulting in him fleeing to the UK. Since 2005, Mr. Charles has been in a relationship with a British woman, and the couple married in 2008.
Mr. Charles was arrested last Thursday while attending a pre-arranged appointment with the UK Border Agency. His wife has since accused Border Agency officials of claiming that the couple’s marriage is a ‘sham’ although the Border Agency deny this to be the case. Mr. Charles is said to have been suicidal following the decision made against his continued residence in the UK, and a further decision to decline his appeal to challenge the ruling.
A UK Border Agency spokesman said: “Mr Charles’s case has been fully considered and it has been found he is not in need of protection. This decision was upheld at appeal by an immigration judge. Where an individual is found to have no right to be in the UK we expect them to leave voluntarily. If they fail to do so the UK Border Agency will enforce their removal.”
The campaign, headed by the Committee to Defend Asylum Seekers, has attracted the attention of Sheffield Central MP Paul Bloomfield who has written to the Home Office in support of Mr. Charles. The vicar of the church that he and his wife attend has also written to the Border Agency, providing a reference to confirm their membership and active participation.
Mr. Charles is currently being held in a detention centre pending his deportation. An online petition set up in August 2010 has so far received just 136 signatures.