Norwich woman's bid to fight deportation

David BaleA young Zimbabwean woman who was granted a reprieve against deportation last year thanks to help from the Evening News is facing a new battle to stay in the UK.David Bale

A young Zimbabwean woman who was granted a reprieve against deportation last year thanks to help from the Evening News is facing a new battle to stay in the UK.

Roselyn Mujaranji, 24, has been living with her relatives in Bowthorpe since she was saved from deportation last August, after her predicament was highlighted by the Evening News.

But during a routine visit to sign on at Bethel Street police station in Norwich on Wednesday, she was detained and is now awaiting deportation at Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre in Bedfordshire. The UK Border Agency says she has no grounds to remain in the UK.

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.

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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.

Her aunt said today: 'Obviously we are worried. We have not heard what is happening and we are trying to speak to her at Yarl's Wood.'

Amanda Hopkinson, chairman of the Norwich Justice and Peace Group, who has campaigned for Roselyn to remain in the UK, said: 'It's a desperate situation. I cannot believe what has happened and why the UK Border Agency is acting this way. It's ridiculous and very dangerous behaviour as Roselyn has been rated as a suicidal risk by a psychologist.

'Ironically, she cycled to Bethel Street police station and it was the first time she had used her new bike, which is still chained up outside.

'Roselyn belongs to Norwich. She has started a course on biology at City College Norwich and she has really come out of herself. When she was detained she was deeply distressed. She was taken away in cuffs which she was very upset by.'

She said that Roselyn's solicitor should be informed 72 hours before she is due to be deported.

A UK Border Agency spokesman said: 'Asylum seekers are expected to make a claim in the first safe country they reach. The representations which postponed Miss Mujaranji's removal to Germany last year have now been considered and both the UK Border Agency and the independent courts have found that she has no grounds to remain in the UK.'

Is one of your family members in danger of being deported? Call David Bale on 01603 772427 or email

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