May 6, 2015 – Reported by the Guardian – An asylum seeker who says he will be killed if he is returned to Jamaica because he is bisexual could be deported from Britain imminently, his family has said.
Thirty-four-year-old Orashia Edwards, who is currently being held at Morton Hall immigration removal centre in Lincolnshire, was refused refugee status in December 2013 when an asylum tribunal refused to accept that he was bisexual. He has since been embroiled in a long-running appeals process to have the decision overturned.
His supporters insist that he has had relationships with men as well as women, including his current same-sex partner, with whom he has been in a relationship with for around two years.
Speaking from detention, Edwards accused the Home Office of handling his case unjustly. He said that an asylum tribunal had rejected his claim that he had been in a relationship with a man in Antigua, where he lived for a time before coming to the UK.
“They said I was lying about my sexuality because I couldn’t remember details of the relationship,” said Edwards, who has agreed to be identified to highlight his case.
“I couldn’t tell them his date of birth, all I could remember was his star sign. He wrote a letter confirming that we had been in a relationship, but they refused to believe that we had been more than friends.”
The Home Office also pointed to the fact that Edwards was unsure of whether his partner had had any brothers or sisters, although LGBT immigration campaigners say that in countries such as Antigua – where male same-sex activity is punished by up to 15 years in prison – it is not unusual for gay, lesbian and bisexual people to withhold personal information even from intimate partners…story continues below…