HIV prevention worker fights deportation

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An HIV prevention worker in Nottingham is fighting deportation to his country of origin.

Amdani Juma, 35, will face arrest and imprisonment if he returns to Burundi, his supporters claimed today.

Mr. Juma fled Burundi in 2003 after being falsely liked to militia by the country’s government, his friends said.

He was granted asylum status, but this has expired, and Mr. Juma is now hoping to gain indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

The Press Association reports that Mr. Juma’s bail was extended at Loughborough’s Immigration Reporting Centre until 11th November, when a decision on his residence in the UK is expected to be made.

One of Mr. Juma’s supporters, Leo Keely, said that the government of Burundi has issued a warrant for Mr. Juma’s arrest, accusing him of ‘violating the security of the state.’

Mr. Keely, 66, from Nottingham, said: ‘We know that he [Juma] was, back in 2001, arrested and tortured as he was suspected of being a member of one of the guerrilla organisations.

‘He was a member of one of the democratic organisations but he was suspected of being involved in militias.

‘He is suffering from, and being treated for, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) because of what he witnessed in Burundi and the genocide in Rwanda and he wouldn’t receive treatment for his PTSD [if he were deported].’

Mr. Juma has spent his time in Britain employed as an HIV prevention worker.

He is working voluntarily as he is not allowed to take paid work whilst his application for asylum is considered.

Friends of Admani, a campaign group seeking to stop Mr. Juma’s deportation, say that he has been active in volunteering and community work.

A spokesperson from the campaign group said at a protest in May: ‘Amdani is a popular, active and enormously well-respected refugee community worker in Nottingham, with a particular interest in HIV prevention work.’

Mr. Juma worked at the Nottingham and Notts Refugee Forum (NNRF) as a volunteer and was later employed by the NNRF to help refugees settle into new tenancies.

Mr. Juma was also Chair of the Nottingham African Support initiative, organising training on employability, and was involved in setting up a supplementary Saturday school for African children to support their English and Maths.

Mr. Juma has been supported by his local MP, Alan Simpson; Jon Collins, Leader of Nottingham City Council and other MPs.

At his appeal against the Home Office refusal of his Indefinite Leave to Remain, over 80 organisations wrote letters of support for Mr. Juma, including community groups, trade unions, churches, health promotion groups.