Campaign calls for May Brown to be allowed to stay in UK

Bournemouth Echo: May with husband Michael Brown on their wedding day May with husband Michael Brown on their wedding day

A campaign has been launched to urge officials to allow critically-ill asylum seeker May Brown to stay in the UK.

The 19-year-old is so traumatised at the prospect of returning to Nigeria that she tried to kill herself.

She remains in a serious condition at Dorset County Hospital where husband, former British soldier Michael Brown from Weymouth, is staging a vigil.

May’s application to stay in the UK was refused by the Border Agency and she was told she would be sent back to Nigeria on a chartered flight today.

May was so scared at the prospect of returning to the country where she witnessed her father’s murder and was subjected to sexual abuse, that she decided she would ‘rather die than go back there.’ Speaking at Dorset County Hospital, May’s husband Michael said the situation made him ‘furious.’ He added: “Although May has gained consciousness, she’s absolutely traumatised.

“I am so angry at what’s been done to her.

“This has put the fear of God in her. She’s so scared.’ “But as the saying goes, God put his strongest warriors on Earth to fight his strongest battles.

“And May is a fighter.

“And I am not going to stop until we succeed.”

May came to the UK aged just 16 and was supported by a British citizen who wanted to help her.

She then sought asylum whilst studying at Weymouth College and pursing her dream of becoming a barrister.

But her application to remain in the country- based on risk of self harm or suicide if she went back to Nigeria, risk of harm in Nigeria and her marriage to Michael- has been refused. Refugee Action, a charity that supports people in the asylum process, has listed Nigeria in the top ten most dangerous countries in the world.

It lists government corruption, political violence, and arrest without charge, execution without trial, torture and media repression as some of the reasons why.

People seeking asylum in the UK must report at regular intervals to police stations and can be detained at any point during their asylum application.

May claims that she was arrested the day before her wedding in December and detained for several hours before officers said they had ‘made a mistake.’ She feared being detained on Monday when she went to Weymouth police station to report and decided she would rather die than go back to Nigeria.

Although she has regained consciousness, her family have described her as ‘traumatised’.

Michael’s mother Helen-Claire said: “Words cannot describe how angry I am.

“What has happened to May and Michael is absolutely disgusting.

“I have never seen somebody so traumatised in all my life.

“We will fight for her. We won’t give up.”

To support the petiton calling for May to be allowed to stay, visit https://tinyurl.com/d7awln5

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