Concern for Zim acivist facing second UK deportation attempt
By Alex Bell
03 July 2012
Concern has once again been raised for the safety of a UK based Zimbabwean
activist, facing a second deportation threat by the British authorities this
Nottingham based Trevor Chanetsa is set to be forcibly removed Wednesday
night on a Kenya Airways flight from London’s Heathrow Airport. He insists
that as an activist who openly opposes ZANU PF he faces serious danger if he
is returned to Zimbabwe.
Chanetsa arrived in the UK in 2002 and has been trying to secure asylum ever
since. In May this year he was arrested during his routine reporting as an
asylum seeker to the UK Border Agency and detained for two weeks. He only
escaped deportation following the last minute intervention by his
Chanetsa told SW Radio Africa last month that he believed he was being
deliberately targeted because his Zimbabwean passport was about to expire.
He accused the UK authorities of fast tracking his case deliberately, to
ensure his deportation before his passport expired.
One of Trevor’s supporters is Regis Manyanya, from the Nottingham Zimbabwean
Community Network. Manyanya told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that this
“victimisation” is now continuing.
“This is victimisation because it is not safe to return to Zimbabwe
especially towards forth coming elections. The British government talks
about human rights and equal rights and condemnation of violence so why do
they want to deport this young man who will obviously be targeted on his
return to Zimbabwe as he is an activist and strong member of the MDC party,”
He added that the authorities are fast tracking Chanetsa’s case because of a
key legal development late last month, which saw the latest country guidance
case laws on Zimbabwe overturned. The laws, set down in a judgement last
year, significantly narrowed the definitions under which Zimbabweans could
apply for asylum in the UK.
That case was quashed last month in what was described as a ‘victory’ for
Zim asylum seekers. But it is understood the decision is being appealed, and
Manyanya said Tuesday that Chanetsa is being targeted because of this.
“The case has an impact on Trevor’s asylum case so it appears that they (the
UK authorities) are trying to deport him as soon as possible while the
country guidance issue is being appealed,” Manyanya said.
The public is now being urged to try and delay Chanetsa’s Kenya Airways
flight, by urging the airline not to take part in the unwilling, forced
removal of a human rights activist.