Students fight deportation of NUS Officer for Refugees
Students across Britain are organising protests demanding the immediate release of fellow student Lord Elias Mensah Apetsi, who faces deportation on Tuesday to Ghana following a bureaucratic cock-up in the processing of an application form.
According to NUS Scotland and the University of Strathclyde Students’ Association Lord is studying towards a Masters Degree in Counselling at the University of Strathclyde where he has been active in numerous societies, and last year voted ‘Student of the Year’. Earlier this week he was also elected NUS Scotland’s Officer for Refugees and Asylum Seekers.
Lord has been seeking asylum in the UK as a refugee for almost 10 years, with his life firmly established in Glasgow where he cares for two young children, his son and stepson.
He's very concerned about his future and he is worried for his children. He's shocked by support and very humbled. #SaveLord
— Gary Paterson (@MrGaryPaterson) March 20, 2016
Having been detained 10 days ago he has since been transported from Glasgow to detention centres in Lincolnshire, then Oxford, and is now being held in a detention centre in Gatwick Airport. He is expected to be further moved to Stansted Airport, from where he is due to be deported on a Titan Airways chartered flight at 11.00 on Tuesday.
Gary Paterson, President of the University of Strathclyde Students’ Association said, “After a human error in the application process Lord, who has lived in the UK for 9 years and has grown a life and a family up around Glasgow and our university, was detained and moved down to England where he now faces a perilous future ripped apart from his children, against human rights legislation.”
“We are travelling down to London, and will be staying there for the coming days to protest the Home Office in Westminster, and seek to make representations and contact with our student who has been told will be forced to leave his home of 9 years and his children for an uncertain future in Ghana.”
Spoke to Lord on the phone just there, he's very encouraged by everyone fighting for him! #SaveLord
— Kwaku Adjei (@MrKwakuAdjei) March 19, 2016
Vonnie Sandlan, President of NUS Scotland said: “We’re deeply concerned for Lord’s well-being if he is forcibly deported. This case reveals the shocking and degrading inadequacies of our asylum and immigration system, and is sadly far from an isolated example. Lord is just one of countless people who are let down every year by a system that should to protect them, but instead condemns them to inhumane treatment and an uncertain future.”
Get to the demo at 1pm outside the Home Office tomorrow to stop the deportation of s student parent from Glasgow! #SaveLord
— Deborah Hermanns (@Deborah_Malina) March 20, 2016
— Andrew (@andy_ashe) March 20, 2016
Bright Green will endeavour to bring you the latest as Lord’s situation develops.