A gay Kenyan rugby player who is facing deportation from the United Kingdom has been released on bail.
Kenneth Macharia, a member of Bristol Bisons rugby team was being detained in an immigration removal center near Heathrow Airport in London ahead of his deportation to Kenya.
However, British immigration authorities suspended the planned deportation after his colleagues in the team launched a petition to protest the move. More than 96,000 people have so far signed the petition.
The 38-year-old had applied for asylum on grounds that he would be arrested and jailed in Kenya because of his sexual orientation. Gay acts are illegal in Kenya and are punishable by up to 14 years in jail.
Macharia, who has lived in the UK since 2009, was arraigned before an immigration tribunal via video link on Wednesday, where he was granted bail despite objections by Home Office.
In his ruling, Judge Edward Woodcraft said: "The fact I have released you on bail is not an indication that you will forever more be allowed to stay in the United Kingdom."
"I'm very grateful to all my friends and everyone else who has been supporting me," Macharia said after the ruling.