UK Border Agency halts deportation of lesbian asylum seeker bound for Cameroon

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A lesbian asylum seeker who fears for her life managed to avoid being flown back to her native country at the start of last weekend after she was escorted off a plane for causing a disturbance.

Alice Nji, who is being supported by the campaign group, Movement for Justice by Any Means Necessary (MFJ), spoke of how she “started crying, shouting and screaming for almost 20 minutes” in order to prevent the plane from taking off.

She had previously been held at the Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre in Bedfordshire, awaiting her deportation back to Cameroon.

Speaking of her ordeal of travelling to the airport, Ms Nji said: “Inside the van one of the escorts, a lady, she was telling me that going back to Cameroon had no risks attached to it, that I will not have any problem on my arrival, when we got in to the plane, I told one of the escorts that I [would] like to speak with the pilot.

Ms Nji added: “They told me that I am not allowed to speak with the pilot, I started crying, shouting and screaming for almost 20 minutes, the plane was about to take off – that was when the pilot came and asked the escorts to take me out.

“While we were inside the van, coming back to Yarl’s Wood, the escorts were telling me that next time it will not be a private plane, it will be a charter plane because the UK government is bent that I should go back to Cameroon.”

According to Amnesty International, Cameroon has a poor record of protecting its LGBT citizens. It’s Penal Code criminalises same-sex relations and even the National Human Rights Commission refuses to defend the rights of LGBT people.

In August a “Gay Hate Day” took place in the country.

MFJ has repeatedly accused the UK Border Agency of trying to deport LGBT asylum seekers back to countries where they face homophobic persecution – the claims have always been denied by the department.

Earlier this year, a gay man had his deportation order to Cameroon halted after he refused to board a flight from London to Paris.