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Nigerian hunger striker wins time in bid to stay in Britain

05 December 2013, 20:44

London - A Nigerian asylum seeker believed to be near death after a three-month hunger strike has been granted more time to fight his deportation from Britain, his lawyers said Thursday.

Isa Muazu, who has been on hunger strike since September, was sent to Nigeria last week but the plane turned back, reportedly because Nigerian authorities refused to let it land.

Lawyers for Muazu, who fears persecution by Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamist militants, said he had been granted permission to remain in Britain pending the outcome of a judicial review hearing next Monday.

"The court has ordered an urgent hearing and that the Home Secretary (interior minister) be restrained from removing Isa until the outcome of the hearing," said law firm Duncan Lewis.

Muazu, 45, says Boko Haram have threatened to kill him if he does not join them, and that the group has already murdered two members of his family.

His lawyers said Muazu was "gravely ill" after more than 100 days on hunger strike, and was being treated in the medical wing of an immigration detention centre in west London.

Muazu came to Britain in 2007 on a visitor's visa.

He did not leave when it expired in January 2008, finding work in London instead.

His application to stay in Britain was refused and he was detained by immigration authorities on July 25.

Muazu has said he came to Britain "for a better life" and would "rather die" than go back to Nigeria.




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