Elias Apetsi detained just hours after NUS election
A STUDENT leader was facing imminent deportation yesterday, just 24 hours after being elected to represent refugees for the National Union of Students (NUS).
Elias Apetsi (pictured), who goes by the name of Lord, failed to turn up at this weekend’s NUS Scotland annual conference, where he was elected the union’s new officer for asylum-seekers and refugees.
Shortly after his victory was announced, fellow students found out that Mr Apetsi had been detained in Glasgow a few days earlier and was being held at a centre in Oxford.
Strathclyde University student union president Gary Paterson, a close friend of Mr Apetsi, told the Star that the situation was “harrowing.”
He added: “Lord was supposed to be travelling with us [to the conference].
“It was only after he had been elected that we found out.
“We are really concerned for his well-being.”
The last time Mr Paterson spoke to Mr Apetsi, he feared he would be taken to Gatwick last night.
Recently the Ghanian national, who has two British children under the age of 16, had encountered problems in renewing his visa despite still being a postgraduate student at Strathclyde.
In a statement, the NUS argued that his detention “clearly contravenes article eight of the European Convention on Human Rights, which is the right to respect for your family and private life.”
Glasgow East MP Natalie McGarry tweeted her solidarity with her constituent, adding that there had been “no reply” to her questions about his situation.
She also urged people to attend one of the two demonstrations taking place today.
Scottish supporters of Mr Apetsi will assemble at the Scotland Office in Edinburgh at 3pm, when over 100 people are expected to gather.
Another demonstration will take place outside the Home Office in London at 1pm, joined by SNP international development spokesman Patrick Grady.