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'His ability to remain in the UK has not been improved' - Rugby player facing deportation released on bail

Kenneth Macharia is facing deportation to Kenya despite living in the UK since 2009

2018-11-29

Words: Steve Brown

An openly gay rugby player facing deportation has been released on bail after the UK Home Office U-turn their decision.

The Bristol Bisons – a gay and inclusive rugby team in Somerset – have been fighting to save teammate Kenneth ‘Ken’ Macharia from being deported despite having been in the UK since 2009 and worked through his visa.

A fundraising page was set up and has received nearly £7,000 and last week, ITV reported that the campaign to stop Ken – who feared he would be persecuted if he was deported back to Kenya due to his sexuality – from being deported has been successful.

However, the inclusive rugby club revealed that the Home Office decided to U-turn their original decision and Ken has been granted bail while they decide his case.

Writing on Instagram, the club said: “It's been a long day around Heathrow, we had no idea what to expect heading in and it honestly could have ended very differently.

 
 
 
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It's been a long day around Heathrow, we had no idea what to expect heading in and it honestly could have ended very differently. Ken has been released on bail, and is on his way back to Bristol following a stint on the news. The support, awareness and sharing by each and everyone one of you has been the key to getting him back. Although he has been released, his ability to remain in the UK has not been improved. The next steps will be judged in the coming days, so please keep sharing, tweeting and crowdfunding as we plan ahead. #bristolbisons #bristolbisonsrfc . . . . . . . . . . . . #throwbacksunday #gay #rugby #gayrugby #inclusiverugby #instagay #instarugby #rugbygram #instabear #gayguy #rainbowlaces #bisexual #rugbylife #equality #rugbyplayer #gayman #rugbyfamily #gaymen #rugbyteam #gaylife #rugger #gaystagram #gaybear #gaycub #gaybeard #homosexual #rugbymen

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“Ken has been released on bail, and is on his way back to Bristol following a stint on the news. 

“The support, awareness and sharing by each and everyone one of you has been the key to getting him back.

“Although he has been released, his ability to remain in the UK has not been improved.

“The next steps will be judged in the coming days, so please keep sharing, tweeting and crowdfunding as we plan ahead.”

Ken’s plight has reached overseas with Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness tweeting about the campaign and asked why the UK Home Office are considering deporting him to a country where homosexuality is illegal.

He wrote: “my partner @Froners has told me about his fellow LGBT rugby player Ken he has been in U.K. for 9 years- British gov wants to deport him to Kenya w v troubling anti gay laws that carry 14 yrs jail time-w so much violence against gays - why deport him!? #keepkenhome”