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Fears for Roselyn after overdose

PUBLISHED: 18:00 18 May 2010 | UPDATED: 16:36 01 July 2010

Roselyn Mujaranji

Roselyn Mujaranji

A young Zimbabwean woman who was detained and awaiting deportation at a detention centre is being treated in hospital after taking an overdose.

Roselyn Mujaranji, 24, who has been living with relatives in Bowthorpe since being saved from deportation last August, was detained on a routine visit to sign on at Bethel Street police station in Norwich on Wednesday.

A young Zimbabwean woman who was detained and awaiting deportation at a detention centre is being treated in hospital after taking an overdose.

Roselyn Mujaranji, 24, who has been living with relatives in Bowthorpe since being saved from deportation last August, was detained on a routine visit to sign on at Bethel Street police station in Norwich on Wednesday. The UK Border Agency says she has no grounds to remain in the UK.

She has been awaiting deportation at Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre in Bedfordshire where she took the overdose on Sunday.

Amanda Hopkinson, chairwoman of the Norwich Justice and Peace Group, who has campaigned for Roselyn to remain in the UK, said Roselyn called her to tell her she had taken an overdose in a “cry for help”.

She said: “She phoned me on Sunday after having just taken the overdose. I tried to get as much information as I could but she fell unconscious as I was speaking to her.

“What we do know is everything she took she didn't bring with her. She stockpiled four days worth of painkillers and took them together. I find it absolutely astonishing that no-one at Yarl's Wood couldn't find anything wrong with her.”

Mrs Hopkinson called Yarl's Wood to inform them of the situation and a health team went to assess the young detainee before she was taken to Bedford hospital where she still remains. No-one from the hospital was available for comment.

She added: “She's still not well enough to go back. There's a building campaign now to request Theresa May to order her release home at the first opportunity.”

The young woman fled Zimbabwe in March last year after she was tortured and her mother was killed by supporters of Robert Mugabe's ruling party. She took the first flight she could get out of the country and arrived in Norwich from Germany.

But in August last year, her appeal for a judicial review to remain in the country as an asylum seeker failed and she was taken to Yarl's Wood.

The UK Border Agency said that as Germany was the first safe country she arrived at, she should return there to seek asylum.

But campaigners appealed against her deportation on the grounds that she was in ill-health and a medical assessment had not been carried out, and she returned to live with uncle Ignatius Chihata and aunt Christine Mujaranji Chihata in Three Score, Bowthorpe.

A UK Border Agency spokesman said: “A 24-year old woman is currently receiving treatment. The well-being of detainees is of paramount concern to the UK Border Agency and where there is information to suggest that somebody is intent on causing harm to themselves we will take the necessary steps to ensure their safety. Detainees have access to doctors on-site throughout the day and on-call at night.”

Is one of your family members in danger of being deported? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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