A human rights group has appealed for the UK to stop the deportation of a gay Burundian refugee back to his homeland where his life could be in danger.
The EveryOne Group reported that Alvin Gahimbaze has been removed from his home by the British authorities and taken to the London detention centre to await deportation back to Burundi after the Border Immigration Agency turned down his application for asylum.
“Alvin”, explained the group’s co-presidents, Roberto Malini, Matteo Pegoraro and Dario Picciau in a statement, “is a young man from the Tutsi ethnic group who fled Burundi with his sister when he was still a boy”.
The rest of his family was massacred during the ethnic clashes and he has lived in the UK since 2000. Though his sister has been granted permanent residence in the UK, Alvin now faces deportation.
The group said that he has no contacts or means of survival in Burundi and that survival – in his situation – would be practically impossible.
The activists added that Gahimbaze is gay. “We must remember that Burundi’s President Nkurunzia has issued a law that declares ‘homosexual acts’ illegal and Gahimbaze could face up to two years in jail in addition to violence, prevarication and all kinds of humiliation”.
The EveryOne Group has appealed to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and members of the EU Parliament to put pressure on the British Foreign Office to grant Alvin Gahimbaze asylum and protection.
“Alvin is suffering from depression, his physical and mental state is extremely precarious due to the constant stress and terror of being deported back to Burundi where he risks imprisonment, inhumane and degrading treatment, torture and further injustice – if not worse.
“We are asking international civil society to take action to ensure that a human life is spared from xenophobia, homophobia, political cynicism and indifference,” said Malini, Pegoraro and Picciau.