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African playwright avoids deportation

FREE: Lydia Besong and her husband Bernard said they will be 'tortured' in Cameroon

AN AFRICAN playwright and her husband have been released from a UK deportation centre a week after they were due to return their native Cameroon.

Lydia and Bernard Besong, who faced deportation last Saturday (Jan 21), allegedly told officials that they would be 'tortured and beaten' if they were forced to return, reports the BBC.

On Wednesday, the Manchester-based couple were released from Yarl's Wood Detention Centre in Bedfordshire following a last-minute reprieve.

Ms Besong, who is most famous for her critically acclaimed play How I Became An Aslylum Seeker, said she would face 'persecution' in her country because of her work.

She said: "You are not allowed to criticise the government. My writing is very political and you are always under threat of persecution and detention."

The couples solicitor, Gary McIndoe, told the BBC: "We hope the substance of the risks faced by Bernard and Lydia in Cameroon can now be looked at with greater care and clarity."

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