Cameroon asylum Seeker, Valerie Ediage told to prove he is gay
A charity volunteer claims he faces deportation because he has not done enough to prove he is gay.
Valerie Ediage arrived in the UK six years ago and said his life would be at risk if he returned to Cameroon.
Homosexuals in the country can be jailed for up to five years.
The Home Office has declined to comment specifically on his case but said asylum applicants need to show they face persecution, inhumane or degrading treatment to qualify for protection.
Mr Ediage – who lives in West Bromwich and volunteers at a support group for gay people in Coventry – said he “lived in fear” and had to hide who he was in Cameroon.
“In the UK I live freely,” he said.
“I go to Gay Pride… gay pubs – you can’t in Cameroon. You fear prosecution and torture.”
The 30-year-old said he moved to the UK to escape persecution over his sexuality and now lives with his partner, who is also from Cameroon but was granted UK residency.
He is awaiting the outcome of his latest asylum application but said he already supplied evidence including intimate photographs with his partner and support letters from gay friends.
“They [the Home Office]say I haven’t given them sufficient evidence but I have given them everything,” he said.
Mr Ediage is being backed by Aimee Challenor, the equality spokesman for the Green Party.
She said: “Valerie has been a committed member of our community in Coventry.
“He has been instrumental in setting a LGBT migrant support group in Coventry, he has attended Pride parades in Birmingham….I cannot see how the Government has made this decision.”
The Home Office said all applicants are required to establish they face persecution, inhumane or degrading treatment in their home country to qualify for UK protection.
It added it remains “committed to improving the asylum process for those claiming asylum on the basis of their sexual orientation and decision-makers are provided with dedicated guidance and training on the management of such claims”.