A gay Kenyan man living in the United Kingdom is facing deportation back to the country after his application for asylum was rejected by British authorities.
Kenneth Macharia, a rugby player with Bristol Bisons team has been detained by British authorities pending deportation to Kenya.
Bristol Bisons is an inclusive gay friendly English rugby union club based in Bristol, United Kingdom.
Ken, who has been residing in Shepton Mallet, Somerset had applied for asylum citing fears of "persecution and violence in Kenya because he is gay".
The British Home Office has however turned down his request, arguing that Kenya is a safe country for homosexuals.
Kenneth has lived in the UK since 2009 and got employed through his work visa before joining Bristol Bisons RFC in 2015.
The LGBT team members have backed Macharia's claim for asylum and want authorities to stop the deportation noting that the Kenyan is an integral part of the team.
"His commitment to the ethos of rugby and inclusive gay rugby is second to none. We are at risk of losing one of the herd," the team says.
“A wholehearted thank you to everyone who has reached out and helped to spread the news about Ken. We are still working furiously on the situation, so we shall keep you posted.”
BBC reports that Macharia is being detained at the Colnbrook immigration center, near Heathrow Airport.
“Ken has been one of the nicest characters I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. His happy go lucky manner is infectious around other people and smile is one that lights up the clubhouse."
“Ken represents everything we stand for as an inclusive club. To think of what he is going through and the almost certain persecution he is facing if sent back to Kenya is horrific and no person should ever have to face this."
“Ken is a valued member or our team and the Bristol community. We need to do all we can to help Ken and make the Home office realise this is not OK.”
Bristol Bisons manager, Lee Penfold says: “As well as joining us on the pitch, Ken is a trusted first aider and comes to our aid when we need it, so it is only right and fitting that we come to his too.
“We believe his safety and wellbeing is in grave risk if his deportation were to go ahead and 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."
“Ken is an integral part of our rugby family. His commitment to the ethos of rugby and inclusive gay rugby is second to none. We are at risk of losing one of the herd,” adds Penfold.