A Nigerian woman held at Britain’s most infamous immigration detention center has pleaded with the authorities not to send her back to her home country, where her ex-husband is allegedly waiting to kill her.
The unnamed mother-of-four, who came to Britain seeking asylum after being persecuted in Nigeria for being a lesbian, shared details of her ordeal with Detained Voices ahead of her scheduled deportation next week.
“I claimed asylum which was refused because of my sexuality. I am a lesbian which is not ok in Nigeria,” the woman said.
“Last week my friend called from Nigeria, she is looking after my four children in Nigeria. My ex-husband called her, he is trying to take my children away from her. She has been forced to leave their home with my children.
“My ex-husband said he knows I am being deported next week. He is waiting for me. He is planning to kill me.”
The woman, who has been in detention since September, claimed she was forced into marrying the man and had to hide her sexuality for years.
She was detained after living in London for six years. Her local MP is said to have been in contact with the Home Office, but to no avail.
Successful asylum seekers are granted a five-year refugee status by the UK Border Agency. The application is reviewed after that time and can be refused if the Home Office decides that circumstances in the country of origin are no longer threatening to the person seeking asylum.
“I have been living a miserable life since I was born, because I have to hide my sexuality. I cannot be free. I thought in UK I would be able to be lesbian and live free. But now they are trying to deport me to a country where I will not be safe because of my sexuality,” the woman added.