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by Bethany Rielly
A YOUNG autistic man was hospitalised over the weekend due to the stress caused by his impending deportation, his family says.
Osime Brown, 22, faces removal to Jamaica, a country he has not been to since he was four, after he was charged and jailed under controversial joint enterprise laws for being present during a theft of a phone.
His mother Joan Martin has warned that if her son, who has severe autism, learning difficulties, depression and a heart condition, is sent to Jamaica, where he has no support, “he’ll die.”
The family’s fears were heightened when Mr Brown collapsed at his home on Friday. His heart stopped and he was rushed to hospital.
The 22-year-old was discharged on Sunday evening. Ms Martin said: “Osime is doing well and resting. He still has moments of pain in his chest but we continue to pray for him.”
His family and supporters claim Mr Brown’s worsening health has been driven by the stress of facing deportation at any time.
“This we believe has been brought on by stress,” the Free Osime Brown campaign group said in a statement. “Osime needs to know he is safe — he has a serious heart condition. He cannot be placed on a plane and deported to a country where he has no support.”
Mr Brown’s case has received huge support, with more than 100 public figures and 60 cross-party MPs calling for his removal to be suspended.
News of his hospitalisation prompted renewed calls today for the Home Office to halt his deportation.
Labour MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy told the Morning Star: “I'm very saddened to hear that Osime has been hospitalised as a result of the stress and anxiety inflicted on him by the Home Office’s inhumane deportation plans.
“The government must halt his deportation without further delay and urgently review devastating and disproportionate ‘hostile environment’ policies like deportation if we're going to avoid future injustices like this.”
The Home Office has previously said it would be inappropriate to comment on Mr Brown’s case “while legal proceedings are ongoing.”
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