- Lord Elias Mensah Apetsi, an award-winning Ghanaian student is facing deportation from Glasgow's Strathclyde University
- He was taken into custody after it emerged that a fresh application for Leave to Remain had not been submitted on time
- He has been told by Home Office officials that he will be flown back to Ghana on Tuesday, March 22
- Students and politicians have joined a campaign calling for the UK Government to halt Lord's deportation. A demonstration is expected to be staged Monday, March 21 outside the Scotland Office and Home Office
Lord Elias Mensah Apetsi, an award-winning Ghanaian student faces deportation from Glasgow's Strathclyde University. His plight, published by the Evening Times, comes on the heels of President John Mahama's recent visit to Scotland.
Lord, an asylum seeker who fled the country some ten years ago, is facing deportation to Ghana. He has been told by Home Office officials that he will be flown back to Ghana on Tuesday, March 22.
The Strathclyde University masters student living in Glasgow was detained on Friday March 11 after reporting to the Border and Immigration Agency in Brand Street, Glasgow. He is required to do so every month as part of his asylum agreement. But this time, he was taken into custody after it emerged that a fresh application for Leave to Remain had not been submitted on time. Lord has a three-year-old son .
Meanwhile, students and politicians have joined a campaign calling for the UK Government to halt Lord's deportation. A demonstration is expected to be staged Monday, March 21 outside the Scotland Office and Home Office.
According to the National Union of Students (NUS) which Lord was not to blame for the "human error". Since being detained Lord has been transferred to Dungavel, to a centre in Lincolnshire then Oxford and later to a unit in Gatwick. His friends understand he will be forced onto a chartered plane at Stanstead Airport tomorrow night and flown to Ghana.
Raj Jeyaray, vice president of diversity at Strathclyde Student Association told the Evening Times: "Lord is in fear of his life.I know why he left Ghana but what happened to him is personal and I don't have permission to share this story. But I do know he had to leave and is scared about what will happen to him if he returns."
Raj also revealed that Lord was injured four days before being detained after section of ceiling fell on his head in a shop in Glasgow city centre.He was treated at Glasgow Royal Infirmary for concussion and discharged the following day, on Tuesday March 8.
According to reports, when Lord first arrived in the UK, he spent around two years in detention centres from 2006 to 2008. He was released and settled in England before moving to Glasgow in 2014.
Lord, believed to be in his late 40s, had been studying for a Master’s Degree in Counselling at the University of Strathclyde. He was voted Student of the Year at the university for his work helping other students and at the weekend, while in detention, he was elected Asylum and Refugee Officer for NUS Scotland’s executive committee.
Glasgow's Scottish National Party (SNP) MP Alison Thewliss has backed he NUS campaign and has also stepped in to try to halt the deportation. She said: "Strathclyde University welcomes students from all around the world; they are valued, they make a contribution.
"This UK government is completely out of line in attempting to remove Lord Apetsi, a student who has proven that he is part of our city through his involvement in the NUS.
"It is wrong that his life can be turned upside down, that he can be separated from his children, and taken for removal. I urge the Home Office to reverse their decision and return Lord immediately to his family and friends in Glasgow."
Vonnie Sandlan, president of NUS Scotland has raised concerns over Lord’s wellbeing if he is forcibly deported. She added: "This case has affected Lord immensely, as well as his young sons and the many others who are proud to call him a friend.
"Everyone who speaks about Lord does so of a warm, caring and intelligent man, who has given so much to his university and community. In return he has expected nothing except a safe place to study in and call home.
"He has done huge amounts during his time in Glasgow, always for others, and we should welcome him in, not force him out, recognising he has much more to give. NUS Scotland, his friends, and politicians have all come together in his defence.
"As a parent, on behalf of a parent, I hope the UK Government recognises that, halts Lord’s deportation, and provides him with the status and compassion he deserves, rather than the contempt and disregard he’s facing.”
A spokeswoman for the Home Office told the Evening Times they cannot comment on individual cases because all asylum applications are carefully considered on their individual merits, in line with the UK immigration rules.