Four month ago I reported on this site how Guy Njike (pictured), a hard-working London graduate who had escaped imprisonment and torture in his native Cameroon, was arrested in his lunch break and told he would be deported to Cameroon within days. Four months on the Home Office has not only cancelled the deportation order but has agreed to review fresh evidence in the claim for asylum by 41-year-old Guy Njike.
In February Guy’s friends and colleagues had reacted with outrage to the news of his imminent deportation. Fearing he would be tortured again in Cameroon they set up a campaign to save him. Guy managed to submit an application for a judicial review of his case just in time. Less than 24 hours before his scheduled deportation the order to deport him was cancelled.
On 16 February, the morning Guy was initially due to be deported, four of his Birmingham friends stormed into the Redditch constituency office of Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and asked her to stop his deportation. Guy’s friend Anna Orrnet who led the group, said: “This was a real emergency which is why we had to go straight to Jacqui Smith. It is outrageous that this country seeks to deport hard working people like Guy, who have made a huge contribution to this society and were even called up for jury service.”
It was not only Guy’s close friends who appealed to the Home Secretary. Lord Joffe, who defended Nelson Mandela in the famous Rivonia trial, said: “I arrived in the UK in 1965 as a political exile from South Africa and was allowed to remain here. I naturally have particular empathy with others who, with equal grounds for remaining, are denied that opportunity. The Home Office letters conclude with the slogan “Building a safe, just and tolerant society”. A decision to allow Mr Njike to remain would be entirely consistent with this.”
Guys’ friends and supporters were overjoyed when the application for a judicial review into his case was successful at the end of March. Recently, the Home Office has decided to concede the judicial review, treat Guy’s case as a fresh claim and avoid going to court. “I am relieved that the Home Office has decided to take the new material brought forward by Guy into account in deciding his claim for asylum” says Jennifer Hamilton, Professor of Law at the University of Strathclyde, who first met Guy eight years ago. “I have absolutely no doubt about his integrity. I hope that officials at the Home Office will now review his claim with the appropriate fairness and thoroughness.”
Despite this recent success Guy’s friends are determined to continue their campaign until his claim for asylum has been successful. Guy’s constituency MP Jeremy Corbyn said: “Guy has huge amount of support in this country and left a strong impression on everyone who has ever met him. He clearly left Cameroon for fear of his safety and will be in danger if he is returned.”
MP Lynne Featherstone also shares the concern for Guy’s safety should his new claim for asylum be rejected: “If Guy is deported to Cameroon – then not only will the Home Secretary have blood on her hands – but she fails to understand the sheer level of failures of her own department and the legal system in making unsafe and unsound judgements. It will be a travesty of justice.”
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This post was written by Sara Hall