A gay asylum-seeker who was asked by a court to prove his sexuality or face being deported to Senegal was today granted a temporary reprieve.
Serigne Tacko Mbengue says he fled his west African home because he was tortured for being gay.
After arriving in Britain in December 2008 Mr Mbengue was banged up in detention centres for 18 months by the UK Border Agency.
And he has been fighting Home Office attempts to deport him back to Senegal ever since.
Speaking after today's hearing Mr Mbengue told the Star: "I was asked questions about my sexuality and I explained, and my relatives had to say how they got to know about my sexuality.
"Asking people about their sexuality is fine but there is torture and rape that people experience, like myself, and it's very hard for me to answer it."
The court gave him a temporary stay of leave in order to examine new evidence.
The case now rests on whether medical evidence supports Mr Mbendue's toture claims and whether a newly elected Senegalese government will change anti-gay laws.
Mr Mbengue is studying English at Newham College and has been elected as an LGBT representative on the National Union of Students (NUS) black students committee.
NUS black students officer Aaron Kiely was among over 50 supporters at today's hearing and he vowed more would be at Mr Mbengue's next court date on March 5.
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