Petition to stop the deportation of Leeds asylum seeker gathers nearly 3,000 supporters
A petition asking the Home Secretary to stop the deportation on Friday of Yorkshire asylum seeker (& member of All Hallows, Hyde Park) Ntambwe Nkombe to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has 2800 signatures in just five days.
As a student Ntambwe actively opposed the regime in DRC. His picture appeared in the DRC press, endangering his life, and his Catholic priest helped to smuggle him out of the country in 2001.
Ntambwe came to the UK to seek asylum 16 years ago, and has made his home in Leeds. He has continued to work as an opponent of the regime in DRC through the Yorkshire branch of resistance movement APARECO (Alliance des Patriotes pour la Recondition du Congo).
He is now being detained at Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre in Oxfordshire and has been booked on Kenya Airways flight KQ101 leaving from London Heathrow Airport at 17:25hrs this Friday -10 November. Friends of Ntambwe fear that if returned to DRC he may be imprisoned, disappeared or even killed by the DRC’s Secret Police.
“One of Ntambwe’s relatives was murdered by the DRC’s Secret Police, but Home Office officials refuse to accept his word on this,” says the Revd Dr David Randolph-Horn, who is Assistant Curate at All Hallows, Senior Caseworker for Leeds-based charity Asylum Justice & Release (AJAR) and a friend of Ntambwe: “Other Resistance workers have been met at the airport by the Secret Police and have “disappeared”. We have evidence of this in an email from November 2016 and it is also known by the Bill Clinton Peace Foundation who are in correspondence with the British Embassy in the DRC.
"Ntambwe's friends from All Hallows and AJAR started the petition on 3 November after he was detained and taken to Campsfield House.
"He is involved with All Hallows Church in Hyde Park, takes part in the weekly Bible Study Group and is involved in various volunteering roles for refugee charities.
"Ntambwe has spent more than 16 years awaiting a decision on whether or not he can stay here in safety and as a result of this, his mental health has recently suffered. He now requires medication and supportive counselling without which he can become depressed and confused. He is unlikely to receive this treatment in the DRC and ill treatment by the DRC Secret Police, should he survive, will re-open deep wounds."
All Hallow's church member Andrea Hill says: "Ntambwe is a courteous, courageous man who has publicly opposed the corrupt regime of his home country. Now, instead of protecting him and offering him safety, the UK government is issuing him a death sentence by sending him back to the DRC. The Home Secretary should stop the deportation and release Ntambwe from detention."
To sign the petition please visit https://www.change.org/p/amber-rudd-mp-stop-the-imminent-deportation-of-ntambwe-nkombe-and-release-him-from-detention
Those wanting to help can also contact Kenya Airways on 020 8283 1818 and on social media and ask them to refuse to fly Ntambwe Nkombe on flight KQ101 on 10th November at 17.25 from Heathrow.