Thursday 08-10-2015 - 11:22
Kelechi Chioba, a dedicated activist and the Disabled Students’ Representative for the Black Students’ Campaign, is facing imminent deportation and is without legal support. Having made an asylum’ appeal for fear of ill treatment and life endangerment, she was told ‘there was nothing sufficiently serious in the family or private life circumstances that could possibly outweigh the need for immigration controls to be enforced’ - when if she returns, Kelechi fears for her life.
Kelechi, who has polio, is a wheelchair user and suffers from mental health problems. In Nigeria, Kelechi suffered severe abuse at the hands of her family, including verbal abuse and beatings as they believed her to be a curse. She also faced sexual abuse in the workplace, and attempted to take her life. Kelechi came here as a student, but it was also an escape from the horrors of her reality.
Despite the adversity she has faced, Kelechi has worked tirelessly with NUS to improve the lives of Black and disabled students in the UK. However Kelechi needs our support now. The letter below, from all of the full-time NUS officers, is for the attention of the Home Office and Kelechi’s MP, and urges the government to reconsider deporting Kelechi.
We will fight the decision to send her home, and to that end we are also fundraising so that Kelechi can get the legal support she needs to gain asylum.
You can help too, please donate here even if it is just a couple of pounds, or hold an event to raise funds to support Kelechi.
We have an urgent responsibility to ensure that those fleeing oppression and discrimination wherever they come from, deserve the same right to a quality of life in the UK as any UK citizen has.
Donate here: www.youcaring.com/savekelechi
FAO - The Home Office and Margaret Beckett MP
Dear Margaret Beckett, MP
We, the undersigned, are writing to you regarding the imminent threat of deportation to one of your constituents, Kelechi Enyeru Chioba. Kelechi came to the UK to undertake a postgraduate course at Wolverhampton University.
Due to her suffering from polio, which has led to her being wheelchair-bound, and her mental health problems, she has a well-founded fear of ill treatment from her parents in Nigeria and she does not feel like she will get any protection from the state.
Kelechi fears that if she returns she will be abused and put in a psychiatric home. She has observed patients in psychiatric care being chained up and forced to take medication before. She believes the level of abuse will be severe and her life will be in danger. She received verbal abuse and beatings from her family whilst in Nigeria, who consider her a curse, and was sexually abused by coworkers, and in response she made several attempts to end her life. Although Kelechi came here to study, in reality she was running away from constant abuse.
Kelechi’s health and physical disabilities have worsened since coming to the UK – when she arrived she used crutches and she now uses a wheelchair. Her mental health problems, which is one of the most worrying elements of her situation, were not diagnosed in Nigeria.
Despite so many barriers, Kelechi has been a tireless campaigner, working with both NUS’ Black Students’ and Disabled Students’ campaigns on numerous occasions and has served as an elected member of the committee for the national campaigns.
Article 3 of the Human Rights Act makes it clear that ‘No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment’, however we fear that by her deportation, which unfortunately seems to be happening soon, she is in risk of the aforementioned treatment.
We urge you to intervene in this matter to save Kelechi from deportation and ensure her safety here in the UK, where she has contributed to enormously and considers to be her home now.
Kelechi is currently between appeals and so is at risk of losing her Home Office accommodation and being forced onto the streets with no care assistance or support. In her current physical and mental state, this is a life-threatening situation. We also urge you to ensure that Kelechi is helped to have a roof over her head and the care support she so desperately requires.
We look forward to your response.
Malia Bouattia, NUS Black Students' Officer
Maddy Kirkman, NUS Disabled Students' Officer
Mostafa Rajaai, NUS International Students' Officer
Megan Dunn, NUS President
Shelly Asquith, NUS Vice President Welfare
Susuana Amoah, NUS Women’s Officer
Piers Telemacque, NUS Vice President Society & Citizenship
Sorana Vieru, NUS Vice President Higher Education
Shakira Martin, NUS Vice President Further Education
Richard Brooks, NUS Vice President Union Development
Fran Cowling, NUS LGBT Officer (Women’s Place)
Robbiie Young, NUS LGBT Officer (Open Place)