Gay rugby team member threatened with deportation

A member of a Bristol rugby team has had his request for asylum rejected.

Kenneth Macharia, the photographer for Bristol Bisons RFC, could be deported back to Kenya, where he believes he will face persecution.

Same-sex activity is illegal in Kenya and is punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment.

Macharia has been living in Bristol since 2009.

A spokesperson for Bristol Bisons said: “Ken’s story is another example of the Home Office ignoring the risks that LGBT people face in multiple countries around the world.”

Bristol Bisons is the only gay rugby team in the South West. Its chairman Philip Rogerson said: “Ken is an integral part of our rugby family. His commitment to the ethos of inclusive gay rugby is second to none. We are risk of losing one of the herd.

“We believe his safety and wellbeing is at grave risk if his deportation was to go ahead. We stand by him and support him in his desire to make a life for himself alongside his friends and teammates here in the United Kingdom.”

Macharia is currently being held at the Colnbrook detention centre near Heathrow.