Exiled scientist wins two more days to fight her case

by Jessica Shaughnessy, Liverpool Daily Post
LIAM BYRNE, the Minister of State for nationality, citizenship and immigration, can be faxed on 0207 0354745.
Deportation delayed as friends rally round
CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save an internationally renowned scientist from deportation last night bought her two more days in the UK.
Dr Minutet Menjeta, 44, was due to be flown back to Ethiopia at 9pm yesterday but her expulsion from Britain was stalled while the Home Office heard more representations on her behalf.
Yesterday Ewan Roberts, the manager of Asylum Link Merseyside, calling for people to fax immigration minister Liam Byrne to appeal for Dr Menjeta to be spared.
Mr Roberts said: “Over the last five years, the Government has ruined Minutet’s life and left her career in tatters.
“Now it is trying to send her back to Ethiopia with nothing left to live for.”

One of the highest-paid academics in Africa, the veterinary research scientist applied for asylum because she feared she would be thrown into prison if she returned home.
But a catalogue of Home Office errors meant her case dragged on for five years and her career was ruined, leaving Dr Menjeta in a deep depression.
Mr Roberts continued: “Minutet deserves to stay in the UK. If she had been deported years ago, she would have been able to make a new life for herself.
“But mistake after mistake meant the case dragged on and now she is too far behind in the field in which she used to be an expert. This is a massive injustice, which is why people need to contact Liam Byrne and shame the Home Office into letting Minutet stay.”
Dr Menjeta was taken into custody last Monday, when she made a routine visit to Liverpool’s Immigration Office to sign on.
She was taken to a detention centre in Scotland, away from her friends in Merseyside.
But support for her has gained momentum and over the last week, campaigners have bombarded the Home Office with calls and Liam Byrne’s office with faxes.
Dr Menjeta’s friends also contacted Ethiopia Airlines to tell them a passenger on their places would be flying against their will.
Riverside MP Louise Ellman has also been fighting to stop Dr Menjeta’s deportation. Mr Roberts said it was a combination of all these things that made the Gov- ernment defer the deportation.
He said: “The Home Office said it is waiting for more representations off Ms Ellman.
“She has been fantastic. But without a doubt it is also because of the pressure being put on them by campaigners, Minutet’s friends and the Daily Post.
“Over the next two days, there will be many people working to buy Minutet more time. A group of solicitors have offered to take on Minutet’s case pro-bono and Ms Ellman has promised to keep going.”

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