A Namibian-born LGBTI activist, who was facing deportation with her son after being removed from her Glasgow home last week by imigration officials, has reportedly now been released.
Beverley Vaanda Kanjii and her 14-year-old son were taken from their home last Monday morning, after which protesters blockaded the Home Office enforcement team’s offices in Ibrox.
Accusations were made that police acting udring both the arrest of Ms Kanjii and in breaking up the later protest used disporportionate and “extreme violence”.
Ms Kanjii and her son were initially taken to Cedars, a special removal centre near London, with a view to being flown back to Namibia on Thursday. The pair left Namibia in 2013 after suffering severe verbal and physical abuse on the basis of Ms Kanjii’s sexuality.
However, campaigners have now confirmed that Ms Kanjii and her son were both released by the Home Office on Friday and that theyb were expected to arrive home in Glasgow over the Easter weekend.
A spokesperson for LGBT Unity, a group that works to highlight the presence of LGBT refugees and activists in Glasgow, said on its website: “Beverley has reported to us that she and her son are on their way back to Glasgow.
“This is testament to the strength and power of Bev, her son, her hardworking lawyers in London, and all of us her friends and supporters across the many networks in Glasgow, London, Brighton and other cities that fought this together.
“Individuals from Sisters Uncut and SOAS Detainee Visitors have offered incredible support and solidarity throughout this week and LGBT Unity is so grateful and inspired by all their help.”
Campaigners would like to thank the public for their support, after over 3000 people signed a petition calling on the Home Office to release Beverley, who has been described as a “pillar of the community” who has been “instrumental in promoting understanding of the experiences of African lesbians and supporting organisations to provide more inclusive support.”