Air France has reportedly refused to fly a gay man who has failed to secure asylum in the UK back to Cameroon.
According to UK Gay News, 43-year-old Joseph Kaute was due to be deported from Heathrow airport via an Air France flight on Saturday.
“Air France refused to allow me to board,” Kaute told the website by telephone.
He said that supporters who believe that he should stay in the UK had contacted Air France in both Paris and London ahead of the flight.
“I would like to thank all those who helped me,” added Kaute, who has been in the UK since November last year.
The UK Border Agency has refused to accept that he is gay and could be jailed in Cameroon because of his sexuality. The ruling has been upheld by an immigration judge.
The agency has unsuccessfully attempted to deport him twice before. In these other incidents it appears that the aircrafts’ captains refused to let him board because they were concerned that he would cause a disturbance.
Kaute has been returned to Harmondsworth immigration detention centre and it is unclear if more attempts will be made to deport him.
According to Amnesty International, homophobia is endemic in Cameroonian society and the arrests, prosecutions and trials of gay men occur on a regular basis.
Those found guilty in engaging in gay sex face up to five years in prison.