Last-minute stay of execution for Ugandan facing deportation

Police officers at Athena Avenue. Picture: Malcolm Wells

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A DECISION to defer the deportation of a Ugandan national at the eleventh hour has been welcomed by Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock.

The UK Border Agency decided tonight to postpone plans to remove Robert Segwanyi from the country, just an hour before he was due to leave on an 8pm flight.

Lib Dem MP Mr Hancock has raised fears that the 32-year-old, who has been held at Haslar Detention Centre in Gosport, could be jailed and tortured on his return to Uganda for being gay.

He said: ‘I welcome the decision not to deport Mr Segwanyi and all I ask is that Mr Segwanyi’s case is properly considered which I believe it hasn’t been up until now. I have grave concerns about the way has been handled by the tribunals and the Home Office. I am also disappointed about the letters that have been sent to me by the UK Border Agency which I believe contained errors on the law and factual errors.

‘I hope that the UKBA will now consider his case properly.

‘However it is bad that Mr Segwanyi was put through the agony of thinking he would be deported right up until the eleventh hour.’

Mr Segwanyi is claiming asylum on the basis of being gay and ill treatment and torture because of his sexuality by the police and authorities in Uganda.

The UK Border Agency is still considering representations put in today by Mr Segwanyi’s lawyers and so has deferred the removal, Mr Hancock said.

Bishop Christopher Senjonyo, of The Ugandan Anglican Church, has called for Mr Segwanyi to be allowed to stay in the UK.

Immigration judges decided Mr Segwanyi should be deported to Uganda at the UK Border Agency’s request.