Words: Steve Brown
Human rights lawyer S Chelvan will be representing gay rugby player Kenneth Macharia who lost his battle to stay in the UK days after Kenya ruled to continue criminalising homosexuality.
This week, the openly gay Bristol Bisons rugby player was told by the Home Office that his right to stay in the UK has been revoked and his family and friends say he may be detained and sent back to Kenya immediately where he will face persecution over his sexuality.
Kenneth has been in the UK since 2009 after leaving Kenya and worked through his visa.
But last year, the Kenyan was detained for two weeks and said he is living in fear of being sent back to the African nation which just days ago ruled to uphold its archaic anti-gay laws.
Now former Attitude Pride Award winner Dr S Chelvan has been instructed by Sarah Latimer of Fountain Solicitors to represent Kenneth in his battle to stay in the UK.
Chelvan’s achievements include the adoption of the DSSH (Difference, Stigma, Shame, Harm) model by the UK Home Office and within the United Nations, created by Chelvan as a tool to enable asylum seekers to tell their story to authorities in a way that doesn’t discriminate from the outset.
Some of Chelvan’s most successful cases include Russian Danila Stepin, who came to the UK to study aged 17 and six years later was facing having to return to his notoriously homophobic home country.
The Home Office has been slammed online after they changed their logo to show the Pride colours just hours after Kenneth was told his right to stay in the UK was revoked.
In protest, the Bristol Bisons – who started a petition to keep Kenneth in the country – called for the Home Office to remove the rainbow colours and vowed to not fly the Pride colours until they did so.