news

Gay asylum seeker faces deportation after failing to 'prove' sexuality despite living with boyfriend

2016-09-29

A charity volunteer has spoken out over fears he faces deportation because he has not done enough to 'prove' that he's gay.

Valerie Ediage, who came to the UK sex years ago, has said that his safety would be at risk in his native Cameroon, where homosexuality is punishable by up to five years in prison, according to the BBC.

The Home office has said that asylum applicants need to show they face "persecution, inhumane or degrading treatment" to be granted asylum. Mr Ediage, who volunteers at an LGBT support group in Coventry, has said that he "lived in fear" while in Cameroon. "In the UK I live freely," he said. "I go to gay Pride... gay pubs - you can't in Cameroon. You fear prosecution and torture." Despite living with his partner, who is also from Cameroon and has been granted residency in the UK, and previously having to undergo the indignity of sending intimate photographs of the pair to the Home Office, Ediage may still face deportation from the UK after failing to 'prove' he is gay. He is currently awaiting  the outcome of his latest asylum application, and has also provided the British government with letters of support from gay friends. "They [the Home Office] say I haven't given them sufficient evidence but I have given them everything," he explained. The equality spokesperson for the Green Party, Aimee Challenor has backed Ediage, saying: "Valerie has been a committed member of our community in Coventry. "He has been instrumental in setting a LGBT migrant support group in Coventry, he has attended Pride parades in Birmingham….I cannot see how the Government has made this decision." The Home Office have refused to comment on the case, but insist they remain "committed to improving the asylum process for those claiming asylum on the basis of their sexual orientation and decision-makers are provided with dedicated guidance and training on the management of such claims". More stories: Professional skateboarding star Brian Anderson comes out as gay Here’s the proof that Britney’s male back-up dancers are a gift from God(ney) – PICS