Scientist fails in fight over deportation

by Jessica Shaughnessy, Liverpool Daily Post
A LEADING scientist will be deported after her fight for asylum on Merseyside left her promising career in tatters.
Dr Minutet Menjeta, who was one of Africa’s highest paid academics, was the victim of a series of bungles by the Home Office, which meant her application for residence in this country took years to process.
Now a last-ditch attempt to save her being sent back to Ethiopia has failed and campaigners say her only hope is to find her a home in another country.
Ewan Roberts, the manager of Asylum Link Merseyside, said last night: “The Home Office made a number of mistakes in Minutet’s case and the time it has taken means she is now well behind in the field in which she was a renowned expert.
“She has become depressed and disheartened and is unlikely to ever regain her status as a leading researcher. She is terrified of returning to Ethiopia, but the Home Office have decreed she has nothing to be terrified about and she cannot stay here.”
Dr Menjeta, 44, a veterinary research scientist, applied for asylum because she feared she would be thrown into prison if she returned home.
It is understood one of her papers may have embarrassed her government and she refused to co-operate in what she saw as the corrupt handling of research funds.
While she was studying in Britain, she heard like-minded fellow academics back home had been imprisoned through false accusations.
Two weeks ago, she went to Liverpool’s immigration office to sign on, but she was taken into custody and then to a detention centre in Scotland.
She has since been moved to London.
Despite strong support for her right to remain in Merseyside from Liverpool Riverside MP Louise Ellman, the Parliamentary Ombudsman refused for the second time to review her case.
Now Dr Menjeta has signed up to the voluntary returns programme with the IOM (International Organisation for Migration).
The programme means she will be given three months to make arrangements for her certain departure and will not be expelled from the UK forcibly.
Mr Roberts said: “She is still terrified of returning to Ethiopia and has even said, twice now, she'd rather go to Iraq.
“What we're trying to do is to get her on some kind of voluntary programme through the UN, VSO or Food and Agriculture programme.
“In the final event we hope Minutet will be able to rebuild her life in another country but we would have liked it to be here.”
Mr Roberts added: “Essentially, what the Home Office have said is that, despite the large numbers of our own highly skilled population leaving the country, a dedicated woman, well respected within the academic community in Liverpool, with Masters qualifications, published papers and a practical background in disease eradication and someone who volunteers her time to help others – she is not wanted in this country.
“That seems unbelievable.”

jessicashaughnessy@dailypost.co.uk

posted by Ethiounited Moderator at9:03 PM

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