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Gay rugby player fears for his life as deportation looms

DETAINED: Kenneth Macharia is currently being held at Colnbrook immigration centre

A GAY rugby player who plays for Bristol Bisons RFC fears for his life as he faces possible deportation.

Kenneth Macharia claims he has had his request for asylum rejected, which could result in him being deported back to Kenya.

In Kenya, homosexuality can result in a prison sentence and according to BBC Africa “the LGBTQ team said Mr Macharia feared persecution and violence in Kenya because he is gay.”

Mr Macharia moved to the UK in 2009 where he came to study. He has family and friends in the city, including his mother who lives in Bedminster.

In a statement on Twitter, his teammates pledged their support to him alongside MP Thangam Debbonaire.

Speaking to the BBC, Bristol Bisons manager, Lee Penfold, said Mr Macharia had been "with the team for a long time" and if sent back to Kenya would "face almost certain persecution".

"No person should ever have to face this," Mr Penfold added.

Bristol Bisons are a rugby team which includes openly gay and bisexual members and is the only gay club in the South West.

Mr Macharia is currently being held at Colnbrook immigration centre near Heathrow airport.

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