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From: The Socialist issue 536, 4 June 2008: Don't just get angry - get active

Search site for keywords: Asylum - Burundi - Nottingham - Kenya

Don't deport AmDani Juna

Protesting at the threat to deport AmDani in Nottingham, photo Gary Freeman

Protesting at the threat to deport AmDani in Nottingham, photo Gary Freeman

THE CAMPAIGN to stop the deportation of AmDani Juna has won at least a temporary success. AmDani was facing deportation to strife-torn Burundi on 4 June, despite the Foreign Office listing Burundi as an 'unsafe' country. Now his deportation has been delayed.

Gary Freeman

Campaigners in Nottingham had got over 850 hard copy signatures and hundreds of on-line petition signatures since 31 May against this brutal act. Over 100 people joined a protest on 31 May and 200 protested on 2 June.

Of mixed Tutsi and Hutu parentage, AmDani was evacuated to Kenya by UN troops during the Rwandan genocide. On his return to Burundi, he was detained, beaten and placed under surveillance. He fled again in 2003 after government militia killed his friends and political allies. Most of his close relatives are dead or missing.

Protesting at the threat to deport AmDani in Nottingham, photo Gary Freeman

Protesting at the threat to deport AmDani in Nottingham, photo Gary Freeman

AmDani's asylum claim to Britain was refused but he was granted three years' Humanitarian Protection - until 2006. His application for indefinite leave to remain was refused after 15 months' delay. AmDani told ITV News recently: "Because I have been tortured before, I cannot risk returning".

During five years in Britain, AmDani had an amazing record of service to the community - especially, but not only to refugees and asylum seekers - in Nottingham and nationally. AmDani set up the first support group for women with HIV/Aids in the city.

His tireless work at the Refugee Forum and the Terence Higgins Trust, earned the admiration of colleagues, volunteers, and refugees from many ethnic and religious backgrounds.

Tremendous pressure has got this morale-boosting reprieve from deportation but the threat to AmDani still remains. If he is deported to Burundi, where he fears his life would be in danger, the public and private life that he has built so successfully, would be destroyed and our community would be the poorer.

Send letters, calling for AmDani to be granted leave to stay, to Liam Byrne, Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF.

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Article dated 4 June 2008

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