Fears for safety of highly regarded Glasgow student after Home Office moves to deport him
Activists face an eleventh hour battle to stop a Glasgow student being deported to Ghana.
Asylum seeker Lord Elias Mensah Apetsi is to be deported today after fleeing the African country 10 years ago.
Friends of the Strathclyde University masters student said he now fears for life.
Lord, who has a three year old son in Glasgow, was detained pending deportation after failing to submit a leave to remain application on time.
Raj Jeyaray, vice president of diversity at Strathclyde Student Association, said Lord feared for his life because of personal circumstances.
"I know why he left Ghana but what happened to him is personal and I don't have permission to share this story.
"But I do know he had to leave and is scared about what will happen to him if he returns."
Lord spent two years in detention units when he first arrived in the UK in 2006.
Glasgow SNP MP Alison Thewliss called on the Home Office to reverse the decision to deport him.
It is wrong that his life can be turned upside down, that he can be separated from his children
She said: "Strathclyde University welcomes students from all around the world; they are valued, they make a contribution.
"This UK government is completely out of line in attempting to remove Lord Apetsi, a student who has proven that he is part of our city through his involvement in the NUS.
"It is wrong that his life can be turned upside down, that he can be separated from his children, and taken for removal. I urge the Home Office to reverse their decision and return Lord immediately to his family and friends in Glasgow."
Vonnie Sandlan, president of National Union of Students (NUS) Scotland, said the case has affected Lord immensely.
"Everyone who speaks about Lord does so of a warm, caring and intelligent man, who has given so much to his university and community,” she said.
"In return he has expected nothing except a safe place to study in and call home.
"He has done huge amounts during his time in Glasgow, always for others, and we should welcome him in, not force him out, recognising he has much more to give."
"NUS Scotland, his friends, and politicians have all come together in his defence.
"As a parent, on behalf of a parent, I hope the UK government recognises that, halts Lord’s deportation, and provides him with the status and compassion he deserves, rather than the contempt and disregard he’s facing.”
A spokeswoman for the Home Office said: "All asylum applications are carefully considered on their individual merits, in line with the UK immigration rules."