- Over 100 people demonstrated outside the Scotland Office on Monday to demand that officials act to prevent the deportation of Ghanaian student, Lord Elias Mensah Apetsi
- Protesters at the Scotland Office included Member of Scottish Parliament, John Finnie
- Lord is set to be flown to his home country of Ghana at 11pm, Tuesday, March 22
Over 100 people, mainly students, demonstrated outside the Scotland Office on Monday, March 21 to demand that officials act to prevent the deportation of Ghanaian student, Lord Elias Mensah Apetsi. Lord is scheduled for removal from the UK on March 22 after a “human error” saw his paperwork turned in out of time.
Protesters at the Scotland Office included Member of Scottish Parliament, John Finnie, who demanded the immediate release of Lord Elias Mensah Apetsi. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie are among high profile politicians to back the campaign, which has the Twitter hashtag #SaveLord.
Glasgow MPs Patrick Grady and Chris Stephens joined Strathclyde University students in London in support of the father, who was recently elected refugee and asylum seeker officer for NUS Scotland (National Union of Students).
Lord, an asylum seeker, has been in the UK for nine years and has a son and stepson. 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.
It is understood that Lord, did not cause the error but was removed from his family more than a week ago and is set to be flown to his home country of Ghana at 11pm, Tuesday, March 22.
Supporters of Lord say the rules should not apply in this case because the father did not cause the breach. They also point to his work within the student community, including the creation of a job enterprise society which provided work for more than 60 people, the foundation of three societies and the facilitation of seven others.
Greens candidate John Finnie spoke at the Edinburgh rally and Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil has written to Home Secretary Theresa May calling for an urgent investigation, while MPs Alison Thewliss and Gavin Newlands have made similar representations.
According to The National Newlands said: “Lord’s family and friends desperately want him to be returned to his home in Glasgow.I would strongly plead with you to intervene and allow Lord to return home to his children.”