URC member in Immigration Detention

Robert Kityo is a gay member of the Metropolitan Congregation of Wilbraham St Ninian's URC in Manchester who fled Uganda to seek sanctuary in the UK – he was put in immigration detention this week, on Tuesday 10 November.

The Home Office has ruled that that it is possible for him to live discretely and safely as a gay man in Uganda – despite a Supreme Court ruling to the contrary. Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and it is the belief of many in the United Reformed Church that Mr Kityo will not be free to lead a full life in Uganda, and that, by deporting him, he will be put at risk.

His legal team is trying to secure his release and a court order compelling the Home Office to reconsider. Andy Braunston, former pastor of the Metropolitan Church and currently North Western Synod Clerk is asking URC members to pray for Robert Kityo and to sign a change.org petition to the Home Secretary calling for him to be granted asylum in the UK.

Update: Saturday 14 November

Today Robert Kityo has been released from the immigration centre in which he has been detained since Tuesday. He has been told that the Home Office has withdrawn their decision in his asylum case and will make a new one in due course. It is likely that any new refusal of his claim for asylum will include permission to appeal to an Asylum court.

Andy Braunston, North Western Synod Clerk, said: “The wonderful news that the Home Office have withdrawn their refusal to grant Robert asylum shows the power of the prayers of God's people alongside sterling legal work and passionate campaigning – nearly 2,000 people have signed Robert's petition which was only launched on Tuesday. Robert is encouraged by the amount of support he has received – particularly from fellow members of the United Reformed Church."