Tag Archives: Alain Tchatchue

Alain Kouayep Tchatchue detained by Borders Agency on 11th February 2014 – and threatened with deportation

Read the latest update here:

Logo_White_smallsizeUpdate 29th October

Today Alain learnt that he has been granted asylum in the United Kingdom!

He has asked us to thank everyone who has been involved in the case, particularly Andy, our pastor, who wrote one of the legal submissions which stopped the first deportation attempt. He hopes to move back to the North West.

It goes to show the amazing things we can do together and how when the dreadful actions of the Home Office are exposed we can win a victory. Please keep him in your prayers as now he learns to navigate the Department for Work and Pensions…

 Then read the whole story:

Logo_White_smallsize11th February 2014

Just as we celebrated the grant of asylum to one of our church members, and the Home Office’s decision to release another member from Yarl’s Wood, we’ve now heard that one of our newer attenders, Alain Kouayep Tchatchue, has been detained today (11th February) at Dallas Court Immigration Reporting Centre in Manchester.

Alain is a bisexual man who attends various lgbt groups in Manchester including the Metropolitan Church, the First Wednesday group for LGBT asylum seekers, and the Icebreakers group for gay/bi men run by the Lesbian and Gay Foundation. Alain is from Cameroon and has significant visual impairment. He’s a lovely younger guy whose first language is French, although his English is good enough for most circumstances.  He will be feeling very bewildered at the moment.

His solicitor informs us that a case has already been refused in a previous hearing. A bail application and a fresh claim are being prepared, but it will be a few days before that can happen.

It is difficult to judge how quickly Alain will be moved to an Immigration Removal Centre – normally detainees from Dallas Court are kept for a few days at Pennine House Immigration Detention Centre at Manchester airport before being moved down to a larger, longer-term detention centre.

Once we get contact details we will ask supporters to text Alain to keep up his spirits. In the meantime please keep him in your prayers.  We are not aware of any other organised campaigns in support of Alain’s case, but all enquiries and supporting information can be passed to us via email to pastor@metropolitanchurch.org.uk

Logo_White_smallsizeUpdate 15th February – Urgent

As you know, Alain was detained this week and is now being held in at Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre at Swinderby in Lincolnshire.  He has been served with removal directions and the Borders Agency plan to deport him back to Cameroon on Friday 21st February.

His solicitor seems not to be able to act for him as Alain is now held in detention, yet we are hearing that there is a two week wait to speak to a local solicitor.  We will be following this up on Monday but at the moment we have to act quickly if Alain is to have any chance in staying in the country.

We are asking you to do a number of things:

  • Firstly, pray for Alain at this time of great stress.
  • Secondly, please take the time to email Royal Air Maroc (details below).
  • Thirdly, please email the Home Secretary (details below).

Emailing Details:

What to write:

  • Introduce yourself and say what, if anything, you do for a living.
  • Say that you are writing as you are concerned about the imminent deportation to Cameroon, on Friday 21st Feb on Royal Air Maroc flight AT801, of Alain Kouayep Tchatchue.
  • In your email to Theresa May please quote his detention number: A5455DD.
  • Point out that Alain is a bisexual man who attends various lgbt groups in Manchester including the Metropolitan Church, the First Wednesday group for LGBT asylum seekers and the Icebreakers group for gay/bi men run by the Lesbian and Gay Foundation.
  • Say that gay and bisexual people – in fact anyone engaging in same-sex activity, or perceived as having done so – in Cameroon have their human rights violated, are subject to violence, torture and inhumane treatment and they are often murdered.
  • Say that Alain’s life is in danger if he were to be returned.
  • In your email to Royal Air Maroc, say that you are less likely to travel with this airline if the deportation goes ahead.
  • In your email to Theresa May say that any delay to get legal advice at the Immigration Removal Centre is a clear breach of his human rights and she should, immediately, look into his case.

Other Stuff

  • Please be polite and courteous in the tone of all your messages.
  • Please blind-copy Andy via pastor@metropolitanchurch.org.uk on any emails you send so that we can keep track of the progress of the campaign.
  • Please spread the word on Facebook and Twitter about Alain’s situation.  Royal Air Maroc have their own Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/RoyalAirMaroc where you can post a message on their timeline to draw attention to their part in Alain’s planned deportation.  They also have a Twitter account: @royalairmarocuk
  • You are welcome to link your social media postings to this page that you are currently reading.  We will add updates as we get them and if we become aware of other campaign activities relating to Alain’s case, we will link to them from here.  A shortened version of the link to this page, for use on social media, is http://wp.me/p4ReI-eC

Logo_White_smallsizeUpdate 18th February

As of midday today, we believe the plans for Alain’s deportation are still in place for Friday 21st, of which the first stage is the Royal Air Maroc flight AT801 from London Heathrow, departing 5.10pm and arriving in Casablanca at 8.30pm.  The Royal Air Maroc schedules indicate that they operate a daily flight (AT285) departing from Casablanca at 10.40pm and arriving in Douala (Cameroon) at 5.15am the next day.  We are assuming that this is the intended deportation plan.

We have been in touch with a volunteer Visitor Group which makes visits to detainees at Morton Hall in order to provide friendly reassurance and a listening ear.  However, their capacity for visits is already overstretched, and time is especially short in Alain’s case as he may be moved again at any time – probably one or two days before the planned deportation date in order to make the final stages of that process easier for the authorities.  We are sincerely grateful to the Morton Hall Detainee Visitor Group for looking into the possibility of offering a personal visit to Alain within this very tight and uncertain timescale.

A small team have been working in the background to collate new information and additional statements about Alain in the hope that a fresh claim may be possible in time to prevent the deportation.  Additionally, messages continue to be sent to the Home Secretary and to the CEO of Royal Air Maroc, and we are grateful for every intervention which so many people have made on Alain’s behalf.  (Details of how to participate in these campaigns are given in the update above.)

But in every respect we are now battling against the clock.

Logo_White_smallsizeUpdate (1) 19th February

Thanks to all those who have been helping by emailing Theresa May and Royal Air Maroc about Alain who is due to be deported on Friday.

A Fresh Claim has been submitted and we are told he’s due to see a Home Office officer today, but we’re not sure if this is in relation to the Fresh Claim or not.

Alain’s MP, Michael Meacher, has been pressing the UK Borders Agency to allow more time so that proper legal advice can be given but they are, so far, not budging.

We’ll keep you posted.

Logo_White_smallsizeUpdate (2) 19th February

We know from Alain’s MP that his case-holder at the Borders Agency has received Alain’s new claim.  Thanks to Michael Meacher MP for his interventions.

This evening, Alain has finally seen a lawyer and has signed a contract for the lawyer to act for him.  He has sent the lawyer the fresh claim that he submitted yesterday and we expect that the lawyer will make whatever further submissions need to be made.

There is no further news on the deportation plans at this time.

Logo_White_smallsizeUpdate (1) 20th February

Alain was moved from Morton Hall at 5.30am today.  He was due to see his new lawyer later today in an attempt to pursue his fresh claim further.  That opportunity has now been denied him.

We do not presently know where Alain is being held, however we have informed his MP of Alain’s removal from Morton Hall, and he is doing all he can to determine Alain’s exact circumstances at the present time.

Update (2) 20th February

Alain, who is due to be deported tomorrow, has been moved to the Immigration Removal Centre at Colnbrook which is within easy reach of Heathrow.

The Home Office have not yet made a decision about the Fresh Claim he made yesterday; our fear is that they will dismiss this at the last possible moment tomorrow. The solicitor he, finally, managed to engage yesterday now cannot act for him as he is no longer in Lincolnshire.

A woman from the Red Cross is now helping him to find legal representation to ensure that the Home Office look at his case properly. It is hard to deny that this is all game-playing to try and frustrate any legal moves to safeguard his rights.

Update (3) 20th February

Alain has an appointment at 12 noon tomorrow (21st) to see a solicitor at Colnbrook IRC whom the Red Cross have found for him. The solicitor has his papers and says the Home Office need at least three days to respond to a Fresh Claim – that will be up tomorrow.

It remains to be seen what, if anything, can still be done.  But the ways in which UKBA decisions have interfered in the continuity of Alain’s legal representation mean that time is rapidly running out.

Logo_White_smallsizeUpdate 21st February

It’s been a whirlwind but Alain is safe!  He was told at lunchtime that the Borders Agency won’t be seeking to deport him today as planned.

What happens next?

Alain will probably remain in detention at Colnbrook IRC for the immediate future.  He was visited today at Colnbrook by a representative of the new solicitor who will be acting for him.  The solicitor is due to visit again on Monday in order to do additional work on Alain’s Fresh Claim for asylum.

The Border Agency have confirmed they received the Fresh Claim which Alain faxed to them.  The have to decide whether the claim is simply further submissions to an existing claim (which can easily be dismissed), or whether it is a Fresh Claim with new evidence (which takes longer to assess).  We are just grateful that, however they are approaching the claim, they have lifted today’s removal instructions.

Alain should be seeing his solicitor again on Monday (24th).  If it appears that it will take the Borders Agency some time to assess this claim, Alain should be entitled to bail.  If released he can gather further evidence of his gay identity in support of his new submission.


Thank you to all who have prayed for Alain, sent letters to the Home Secretary, and emailed the Airline.  Together we’ve made a huge difference.  Alain isn’t out of the woods yet but his situation looks more hopeful than at any point in the last ten days.  Please do keep him in your prayers.

Logo_White_smallsizeUpdate 5th March

Alain remains in Colnbrook IRC and he heard on Monday (3rd) that the Home Office have refused his Fresh Claim.  However, he now has a lawyer who is looking into whether the decision of the Home Office is open to Judicial Review.

If it is, then Alain will have a chance of getting bail and he could then continue to gain fresh evidence of his sexuality.  If a Judicial Review isn’t possible, then the future looks more uncertain for Alain.

Please keep him in your prayers – he’s in good spirits but is missing everyone.

Logo_White_smallsizeUpdate 23rd March

Alain has been given new removal directions.  He is due to be returned to Cameroon on 5th April unless his lawyer can submit some fresh material.  In the meantime we are asking people to email Air France and ask them to refuse to carry Alain.  The details of his flights are: AF1481 to Paris at 08.20 on 5th April and then AF900 to Yaounde at 13.55.

The Government wish to return him to Cameroon via Air France.  This offers a glimmer of hope as Air France, as a European company, are very susceptible to public pressure.  There are a number of things that you can do:

  • Email  the CEO of Air France via  frgagey@airfrance.fr and copy to  mail.mediarelations.gbi@airfrance.fr  explaining your concern about Alain Kouayep Tchatchue being return to a country which criminalises and persecutes lesbians and gay and bisexual men.  Tell them that they should not be acting for the Home Office in this way and that you will avoid travelling with them in the future if this deportation goes ahead and you will tell your friends to do the same.  Please bcc our Pastor in on the email (pastor@metropolitanchurch.org.uk) so we can keep track of emails that have gone.  Please insert the flight details – AF1481 to Paris at 08.20 on 5th April and then AF900 to Yaounde at 13.55 – and Alain’s full name – Alain Kouayep Tchatchue – in the email.
  • You can phone them via tel 0871 663 3777 (option 1 for English, then option 5, then option 4) and explain your concerns to an operator.  We’ve found in the past that operators are very sympathetic.
  • If you use Twitter you can send them messages and tweet about Alain.  You could use Twitter to point to this page that you are currently reading (the shortlink is http://wp.me/p4ReI-eC) so that followers can read Alain’s full story.  The Air France Twitter account is @AirFranceUK
  • If you use Facebook you could leave a message on their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/airfrance

We will keep you posted on this page about progress.

Logo_White_smallsizeUpdate 31st March

Alain is still scheduled to be deported to Cameroon on 5th April.

His new lawyer is planning to submit some further evidence today (31st) and to apply for a Judicial Review of the Home Office decisions so far.

Alain is hopeful that this will mean he won’t be deported on the 5th.

Please do, however, keep up the pressure on Air France.

Logo_White_smallsizeUpdate 5th April

Alain was due to be deported to Cameroon this morning at 8am.

His lawyer submitted a new Fresh Claim earlier this week but the Home Office didn’t bother to respond so the removal directions were not lifted.

Early this morning Alain was taken to a holding room at Heathrow.  He protested that he had a Fresh Claim in, that he is liable to be persecuted in Cameroon because of his sexuality and indicated that he was not willing to go.  As a result operatives (we’re not clear if they were Immigration Officers or contractors) told him that they were just doing their job and tried to both handcuff and tie Alain up in order to get him to comply and board a plane.

Alain has just told us that he resisted and, as a result, was beaten by these operatives.

We are profoundly shocked and incredibly angry.  Everyone in the UK is subject to the rule of Law and we are all protected from violence by that Law.  It is shameful that agents of the state have used violence on Alain – ironically, he fled here to be free from state violence.

Alain was returned to the Immigration Removal Centre and there he saw a doctor who has given him medication for his pain and has made a note of his wounds.  We have told Alain to report this assault to the police as a matter of urgency.

We need to gain more information about this matter, but in the next few days we will be asking you to take further action to complain about this betrayal of Alain’s rights here in the UK.

For the time being please keep him, and Tom his solicitor, in your prayers.

Logo_White_smallsizeUpdate 9th April 2014

We know that many of you have expressed your anger and disbelief at the violent attempt by UKBA contractors to force Alain onto the deportation flight from Heathrow on Saturday morning (5th April), not least when considering Alain’s particular vulnerability as a man with severe visual impairment.

Alain has now been interviewed by the police about this assault.  The manager of the Immigration Removal Centre where he is presently held (Harmondsworth) told him to tell the police and photographed his injuries as well as arranging immediate medical treatment for him.  Now the police have interviewed Alain they will need to interview the contractors to gather all appropriate evidence.  After this the Crown Prosecution Service will need to decide if there was an offence and, if there was, if it is in the public interest to proceed with a prosecution.  

Too many people are the subject of violence when deportations are effected.  Two other members of our congregation have suffered similar experiences and we need to speak up and expose this treatment and show the authorities that, as ordinary members of the public, we are concerned about violence which takes place in our name.

So, we are asking if you would email the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ms Alison Saunders, to express your dismay at what happened to Alain and ask her to instruct her officers to carefully review this situation and to conclude that it is in the public interest to prosecute these contractors.

Her email address is privateoffice@cps.gsi.gov.uk 

Here are some points to include in your email:

  • Alain’s full name is Alain Kouayep Tchatchue.  He is a blind bisexual man from Cameroon whom the Home Office tried to deport on the morning of Saturday 5th April, despite his having a legal claim to stay in the country.
  • Alain has suffered bruising, swelling and pain following blows to his torso and as a result of a clumsy attempt to handcuff him.  He was tied with rope and had his neck squeezed. He is still in pain from the assault four days later.  The manager of the Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre, where he was returned after the deportation attempt, was so shocked that she ordered medical care, photos to be taken, and called the police.
  • The crime reference number is 338916 Apr 14
  • Urge Ms Saunders to ensure that this case gets anxious scrutiny when it is considered by a CPS caseworker.
  • Emphasise Alain’s vulnerability as a blind man who uses a white stick and express your feelings about how a man who has fled oppressive state-sanctioned violence in his home country has now been subject to violence at the hands of our own state.
  • Explain who you are and why you are concerned about this.
  • Please bcc me, pastor@metropolitanchurch.org.uk into your email so that we can keep track of the various submissions that are made.

It is true that all that is needed for evil to flourish is that we sit back and do nothing.  Please take a few minutes to urge the DPP to call these people to account.

Logo_White_smallsizeUpdate 11th April 2014

Reports of the assault on Alain have begun to appear in the media.

Logo_White_smallsizeUpdate 18th May 2014

We have just had a phone call from Alain Tchatchue who remains in detention at Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre in London at the present time.

His solicitor has been preparing a bail application and Alain has now confirmed that this will be heard on Wednesday of this week (21st). If the application is successful he will be released from detention and will be bailed to an address in Solihull, near Birmingham. If it is not successful he will remain in detention.

Alain accepts that, if bailed, he will have to live in Solihull initially, but he has submitted a request to be relocated back to Manchester in due course.

Alain asks to be remembered in your prayers this week and let’s hope that a successful bail application is the start of the process which returns Alain to his friends, his supporters and his church in Manchester.

Logo_White_smallsizeUpdate 21st May 2014

We have just heard the latest news from Alain.  He attended his bail hearing today and bail was refused by the judge.  Furthermore, the Home Office have issued new removal directions.

Alain has been told that he will be returned to Yaounde, Cameroon on 2nd June via the following flights:

  • Kenya Airways flight KQ101, Heathrow to Nairobi, departing from Heathrow at 20:00 on Monday 2nd June
  • Kenya Airways flight KQ526, Nairobi to Yaounde, departing from Nairobi at 08:55 on Tuesday 3rd June 

Alain is in discussions with his solicitor about any remaining actions that he may be able to take.

Logo_White_smallsizeUpdate 1st June 2014

Alain has been in immigration detention since early February.  There have been two attempts to deport him.  One was frustrated by a Fresh Claim that was hastily put together when he was detained; the other was frustrated by Alain’s refusal to go quietly, which led to an assault against him.

These failures to deport him have bought him some time, and a newspaper article about him, published in Cameroon, has now been verified by an independent expert.  This has formed the basis of a Fresh Claim submitted on Friday 23rd May .  As no response to this was given by the Home Office, Alain’s lawyer lodged a Judicial Review on Friday 30th May.

Alain, however, is still due to be removed tomorrow (Monday 2nd June) at 8pm.  His lawyer is very confident that these removal directions will be lifted and he will be working on this as a matter of urgency on Monday.

Please keep Alain in your thoughts and prayers.  It is likely that he will be able to make a strong bail application if the removal directions are lifted, as the Judicial Review will take some time to work its way though the courts.

Logo_White_smallsizeUpdate 2nd June 2014

Alain heard this morning, at 11am, that his removal instructions had been cancelled!

This is because of the Judicial Review that has been submitted on his behalf.  It will take up to 6 months for this to be dealt with.  In the meantime Alain has a better chance at getting bail and his solicitor will now be working on that.

At his last bail application it looked like, should be he released, he’d be moved to Solihull.  If this address is still available Alain, could then make an application to be moved back to the North West.

Logo_White_smallsizeUpdate 13th June

We received encouraging news from Alain today. He’s heard that the proceedings for Judicial Review of his case mean that he’s likely to be released next week. He’s hopeful he will be given accommodation again in the North West.

The Judicial Review will put before a judge:

  • the material our pastor, Andy, submitted in a home-made Fresh Claim – which stopped the first deportation,
  • the material in his solicitor’s second fresh claim,
  • a newspaper article about him from Cameroon
  • and an expert report validating that article.

Please keep Alain in your prayers and pray, in particular, that he can be returned to his friends and church here in Manchester.

Logo_White_smallsizeUpdate 1st July

It is a joy to report that Alain was granted bail yesterday (30th June) and was, this morning, released from Immigration Detention and settled in Birmingham.  He hopes to be moved back to the North West quite soon.

A final attempt to remove him, at the beginning of June, was thwarted by some compelling new evidence of the danger he faces in Cameroon which was submitted by his lawyer as the basis of a Judicial Review.  The Home Office are now considering this new evidence and chose not to oppose bail.

Please keep Alain in your prayers, and thank you for your support, letters and emails to the Home Office and to the Airline.  Together, we have made a difference.

Logo_White_smallsizeUpdate 29th October

Today Alain learnt that he has been granted asylum in the United Kingdom!

He has asked us to thank everyone who has been involved in the case, particularly Andy, our pastor, who wrote one of the legal submissions which stopped the first deportation attempt. He hopes to move back to the North West.

It goes to show the amazing things we can do together and how when the dreadful actions of the Home Office are exposed we can win a victory. Please keep him in your prayers as now he learns to navigate the Department for Work and Pensions…