4 June 2019

Kenyan 'Gay' Rugby Player Faces Deportation From UK

Kenyan rugby player Kenneth Macharia has been asked to leave the United Kingdom soonest possible.

The 39 year-old Macharia went to the UK in 2009 on a student visa. He has been living in the UK on asylum after his work visa expired back in 2016.

According to the Guardian newspaper, the mechanical design engineer has twice been granted extensions to remain, as a student and then as a highly skilled migrant.

While in the UK, he joined Bristol Bisons, a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) rugby team as a photographer and later as a player.

VISA EXPIRED

However, when his visa expired, he applied to live in the UK on asylum out of the fear he will be victimized if he came back to Kenya, considering the Kenyan law criminalizes LGBTQ.

UK's Home Office however declined his recent request to stay longer in the UK, according to the Guardian.

"You have no basis to continue to stay in the United Kingdom and you are expected to make arrangements to leave the United Kingdom without delay," read the letter in part.

Macharia has been through a legal appeal process that has dragged on for several years.

The initial asylum appeal was rejected in October 2016, so too was an appeal against the decision in December that year.

REFUSED APPEAL

He was twice refused the right to appeal to the court of appeal in October 2017 and June 2018.

Macharia lodged new submissions in November and December which were the subject of the Home Office's latest decision.

A judge previously accepted that Macharia is gay but dismissed his claim that he would suffer persecution in Kenya.

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