Family's relief as fight to keep bisexual man Orashia Edwards in Leeds is finally over

A BISEXUAL man from Jamaica has finally been granted refugee status after campaigners spent three years fighting for him to stay in Leeds.

Thursday, 21st January 2016, 7:39 am
Updated Thursday, 21st January 2016, 7:44 am
Vienna Browne with her son Orashia Edwards, pictured centre, his sister Ashema Edwards, far right, and her wife Issy Mangham-Edwards.

Orashia, 33, feared homophobic attacks if he was made to return to his native Jamaica, where men can face up to 10 years in prison for committing a homosexual act.

A petition calling for him to stay in the UK gained thousands of signatures and a documentary about his struggle has been viewed almost 10,000 times.

Orashia said: “I want to thank everyone who has supported my campaign over the years.

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“None of this would have been possible without you.

“I’m finally allowed to work so have applied for my national insurance number and can go get a job and open my own bank account.

“Things are really looking up for me. I’m buzzing.”

Mum Vienna Browne, 53, who lives in Leeds, told the YEP: “We are so happy and just can’t believe it.

“It’s a new start – a new beginning.”

Emily Jennings, a campaigner from Leeds No Borders, said Orashia was detained four times and threatened with deportation three times in the past three years.

She added: “He is no longer living in constant dread and is able to make real plans for his future.

“This process has taken a horrendous toll on Orashia and his family and friends but we are so delighted to finally get this result.

“Whilst we are celebrating, it’s in the knowledge that the asylum process – especially for people seeking asylum on sexuality grounds – is completely flawed.”