The Scotland office in Edinburgh faced protests by Strathclyde University students to save one of their fellow students from being deported to his home country of Ghana.
Lord Elias Mensah Apetsi, a Master’s student in Counselling, was detained on March 11th, following his monthly visit to the Border and Immigration agency office in Glasgow. The agency claims that Apetsi’s ‘Leave to Remain’ form was submitted too late, however the NUS claim that this was due to “human error, not of Lord’s making”.
Apetsi has lived in the United Kingdom for 9 years, and has both a son and stepson residing in the country – both of whom are believed to still be in Glasgow.
Following Apetsi’s detention, he was taken to Dungavel, then to Lincolnshire, Oxford and finally Gatwick, all within the space of a week.
Apetsi was also elected, in his absence due to his detention, Asylum and Refugee officer on NUS Scotland’s executive committee.
Raj Jeyaray, Vice President of Diversity at Strathclyde, has kept in contact with Apetsi. He told the Evening Times; “Lord is in fear for his life”.
As well as the NUS and Strathclyde University, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Greens Co-convener Patrick Harvie have also leant their support to the campaign.
Glasgow MPs Patrick Grady and Chris Stephens also joined a protest outside the Home Office in London, showing their support for Lord’s case.
Apetsi was scheduled to be flown back to Ghana on the same day as the protests (March 22nd), at 11pm, but the protests managed to halt the deportation.
Ashley Cameron, who also serves on the NUS Scotland Executive Committee, told Brig that Apetsi “is a model student, a positive role model, a much-loved citizen, a man who contributes so much to his community and the father to two young boys.”
The Stirling University student also said that the deportation of Apetsi violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, before describing his treatment as “horrendous”.
This news comes following revelations that Home Secretary Theresa May had wrongfully deported 48,000 students.