An LGBT+ inclusive rugby club – the Bristol Bisons – are rallying around their teammate Kenneth Macharia as he faces possible deportation to Kenya.
Macharia, who came to the UK in 2009, had his asylum claim denied by the UK home office. He is currently being detained by authorities as they consider his deportation.
In response, the Bristol Bisons launched a petition calling on Home Secretary Sajid Javid to intervene in Macharia’s deportation. The petition, which has already received 3,000 signatures, outlines the situation:
“Ken is deeply concerned about being deported to Kenya where he would face persecution and he wishes to stay in the UK to contribute to society. Ken’s story is yet another example of the Home Office ignoring the risks that LGBT people face in multiple countries around the world.”
Holmes continued: “Ken is a quiet, kind and caring person and he is one of the most loved people at our rugby club. Our team would not be the same without his warm character.”
The Bristol Bisons shared a photo of Macharia on Twitter yesterday with the news that he had been detained:
“With heavy hearts we are sharing the news that one of our members had been detained pending deportation from the UK.
“Kenneth Macharia has had his request for asylum rejected and now risks being deported to Kenya, fearful of persecution and violence in Kenya because he is gay.”
With heavy hearts we are sharing the news that one of our members has been detained pending deportation from the UK.
Kenneth Macharia has had his request for asylum rejected and now risks being deported to Kenya, fearful of persecution and violence in Kenya because he is gay. pic.twitter.com/qySfq3XUAy
— Bristol Bisons RFC (@bisonsrfc) November 18, 2018
Bristol Bisons are the only inclusive and gay-friendly rugby team in the South West of England. They offer an open and welcoming environment to players and supporters regardless of sexuality.
LGBT+ people face extreme persecution in Kenya. Homosexuality is currently illegal and the country’s law decrees that adults engaging in consensual same-sex relations may face up to fourteen years in prison.
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