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Cameroon couple win deportation fight

VICTORY: Lydia Besong

AN AFRICAN playwright and her husband have won their battle against deportation from the UK that has lasted for six years.

Lydia Besong and Bernard Batey were granted asylum yesterday (May 18) having fled Cameroon in 2006 to settle in Bury.

A human rights campaigner, Besong claims that she was imprisoned, persecuted and raped in jail due to her political activities.

The UK Boarder Agency (UKBA) had attempted to have Besong and Batey deported but an asylum tribunal ruled that they can stay in England as they would be at risk if they returned to Cameroon.

Delighted with the ruling, the 40-year-old Besong told Manchester Evening News: “I am very pleased with the decision and hopefully it will be a final decision. The outcome is just brilliant although the UKBA still has some time to appeal.

“We want to thank all our supporters. Myself and my family were just looking for safety and now we feel safe.

“It has been horrible over the last six years. We have been in detention and we have not been allowed to work. But now our lives are free and we are so, so grateful. It has been horrible but now we feel sure that we can look forward to our lives.”
The Home Office has five days to appeal the verdict.

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