Sharon's brave fight to save her husband from deportation
Date: 11/05/2012. Story submitted by: Gael Stigant
Submitted by: Gael Stigant
A wife is joining supporters at a vigil this afternoon (Friday) to protest against the decision to send her husband back to his home country of Cameroon.
Sharon Mboueyeu met her husband, Bernard, at a friend’s dinner party in 2008.
The couple married two years later in Pitsmoor Methodist Church but now Bernard, who is an asylum seeker, is being ordered to return to Cameroon to apply for a spouse’s visa.
Sharon, who has two children from a previous relationship and three grandchildren, said she is terrified as the Home Office has refused to guarantee his safety.
If he is sent back, he faces up to ten years in prison for supporting a political group which was opposed to the brutal ruling regime, and for leaving Cameroon without the correct paperwork. He could also face torture.
She said: “In Africa they don’t have the same rights to freedom of speech as you do over here so because of his views he is still a wanted man over there.
“People still visit his sister’s house to see if he’s there. To think he’d be going back to be imprisoned is horrible. I feel as if I have no rights to a family life. I feel I have to choose to stay here with my children and grandchildren or go to Cameroon.”
Bernard, who lives with Sharon at their home on Stanwell Walk, Wincobank, is well-known in the community for his charity work. He has worked in charity shops, is a regular blood donor, has packed aid boxes for flood victims in Pakistan, and even ran a marathon in aid of the Royal Society for the Blind the day after his wedding.
Shaffaq Mohammed, who is leader of the Liberal Democrats in Sheffield and a family friend of the couple, said: “He isn’t allowed to work so he’s been volunteering and but now they’re stopping that too. He’s bored watching daytime television. He’s keen to meet people and make a difference to his community.
“It makes you so frustrated. Whether you think Cameroon is safe or not, this is a married couple and they want to get on with things.”
Bernard, who has dreams of setting up his own handball coaching business to create jobs for other people, said: “I don’t know how to feel. I’m devastated because I know maybe on Monday I’m going to be somewhere I don’t want to be. I’ve been fighting for years and I’m still in the same position. But I feel happy people are making the effort to go to the vigil.”
The vigil is taking place outside the Town Hall at 4pm.
Address: Pinstone Street Sheffield South Yorkshire S1 2HH
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