Players of British rugby team, the Bristol Bisons, are fighting to keep one of their teammates, Kenneth Macharia, from being deported back to Kenya, where he fears he might be prosecuted for homosexuality.
Kenneth Macharia has lived in the UK since 2009 and has requested asylum seeker status, but has been rejected. According to his rugby club, he is being detained in an immigration centre, pending deportation.
Homosexuality is punishable by up to 14 years’ imprisonment in Kenya. According to government reports, 595 cases of homosexuality were prosecuted between 2010 and 2014.
Kenneth’s teammates have since started a petition urging the UK’s Home Office to reverse the decision to deport him back to Kenya.
Part of the petition reads: “Ken is a quiet, kind, and caring person and he is one of the most loved people at our rugby club. Our team would not be the same without his warm character.”
Bristol Bisons RFC describe themselves as the South West’s only inclusive and gay-friendly rugby team.
“We are a group of gay, straight and bisexual guys who get together to play rugby both on a friendly and competitive basis. There is a huge amount of diversity in the club in terms of age, background and experience. All joining together through the great inclusive sport that is rugby!”
At time of writing, their petition has reached 66,849 signatures. You can add your signature to the petition here.