Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

Manchester playwright finally gets right to asylum

Now this is some properly good news, as reported today in Manchester Mule:

Playwright Lydia Besong and her husband Bernard Batey have won their right to asylum after a six-year struggle to be recognised as refugees.
The pair fled Cameroon in 2006 after they were imprisoned and tortured for their membership of the SCNC, an organisation which peacefully campaigns for the independence of the English-speaking minority of southern Cameroon. Besong, an English teacher in her home country, was raped by a uniformed guard while imprisoned.
Since arriving in the UK the pair fought and lost several appeals against the Home Office’s refusal to grant them leave to remain in the UK. Besong was detained twice, with the pair coming within hours of deportation attempts thwarted due to the last-minute intervention of the courts.
Governed by President Paul Biya since 1983, Cameroon has attracted criticism from the US State Department and was denounced by Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Africa Tawanda Hondora, who noted that “political opposition is not tolerated in Cameroon. Any dissent is suppressed through either violence or abuse of the legal system to silence critics.”

The rest of Richard Goulding’s article is here.

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