Gay rugby player faces deportation to Kenya as asylum claim rejected

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06/03/2019

A gay rugby player who is facing deportation to Kenya, where he fears he will be subjected to persecution and violence because of his sexuality, has had a fresh claim for asylum rejected. Kenneth Macharia, whose plight prompted more than 100,000 people to sign a petition calling on the Home Office to halt his removal, has been told he must now leave the country “without delay”. The 39-year-old – who plays for Bristol Bisons, a gay and inclusive rugby club – says he is “feeling depressed” at the decision, which came as a big surprise, adding: “I am feeling hopeless at the moment.” A Home Office decision letter sent to Macharia’s solicitor acknowledged that gay sex in Kenya was punishable by up to 21 years in prison and that LGBT people have reportedly been subjected to harassment, blackmail and rape.

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