Please help.

by helpvalerie


Help requested for gay Cameroonian man, detained in Colnbrook IRC near Heathrow, who has removal directions to Cameroon on May 5th

Please can you help campaign against the removal of Ediage Valerie Ekwedde – Home Office reference E1097317

Valerie is a gay man who has been in no doubt about his sexual orientation since the time of his school days, when he was expelled for this very reason. He tried since then to hide his sexual identity but made the mistake of drinking too much at his birthday party in a bar in Yaounde, which resulted in a public embrace between him and his partner. They were attacked by an angry crowd and taken to the police station.

Because they were both still bleeding from their injuries after two days, they were told they could be taken to the hospital if they had some money. They gave the officer all they had and were fortunately able to make their escape.

Valerie was helped to come to the UK and has been living in Coventry, attending a men’s group and frequenting a gay club, but the Home Office do not believe he is a gay man, in spite of having seen a copy of an arrest warrant that was issued for him. In it he is indicted for the crime of homosexuality under section 347 of the Penal Code. This arrest warrant has since been verified by a police officer in Cameroon.

His UK partner has now written to the Home Office to confirm they have been in a relationship and other letters from supporters are being submitted.

Today the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have published their report on Human Rights and Democracy in which they mention having been instrumental in EU efforts to raise human rights concerns with the government of Cameroon, including those of LGBT people. We hope that the Home Office will not be instrumental in returning Valerie back to what they know is a potentially life threatening situation this weekend.

His UK partner has now written to the Home Office to confirm they have been in a relationship and other letters from supporters are being submitted.

Please could you consider using the linked letters or versions of them to write to Theresa May as well as to Air France. Unfortunately just recently a handcuffed Cameroonian man was taken back by escorts on Air France planes and he was not able to draw the attention of the captain and crew to his plight or enlist the help of fellow passengers. He was detained at the airport in Cameroon but managed to escape by leaving behind all his luggage. He is now in hiding. Please remind them of their responsibility not to carry people back to danger.

1)   Please fax/phone/email, Mr Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, Chief Executive Officer, Air France and urge him not to carry out the forced removal of Ediage Valerie Ekwedde  –  you can download a Word document here to copy or amend, or write your own version – if you do, please include the following details:

UKBA plans to forcibly remove Ediage Valerie Ekwedde  on Air France flight AF1081 from Heathrow to Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG) – France @ 07:10 hrs on Saturday 5th May 2012, and then from Paris, Charles de Gaulle (CDG) on Air France flight AF900 @ 13:30 to Yaoundé, Cameroon.


Phone: 0845 084 5222 – option 2 on main menu and/or Fax: 020 8782 8175 asking if your concerns can be conveyed to the management of Air France and to the Captain and crew members. Alternatively you might like to find Air France on facebook by going on the website.

2. Please fax/phone/email, Secretary of State for the Home Office, Rt. Hon Theresa May, MP. Ask her to exercise her discretionary powers to stop the flight, and release Ediage Valerie Ekwedde from detention and to grant him protection in the UK. You can download a model letter here to copy or amend or alternatively write your own one. Please remember to quote Valerie’s Home Office Reference number in any correspondence: E1097317

Rt. Hon Theresa May, MP
Secretary of State for the Home Office,
2 Marsham St
London SW1 4DF

Fax: 020 7035 4745


Copies of any of the letters and emails you send or feedback on the response you get, can be sent to