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Deportation campaigners protested in Leeds yesterday against Home Office plans to send a woman and her two daughters back to Nigeria after fleeing female genital mutilation (FGM).
Mother Afusat Saliu was forced to undergo FGM and to marry a man 40 years her senior.
She came to Britain to avoid having her daughters subjected to the barbaric procedure and made her home in Leeds, where she has become an outspoken and respected campaigner.
Ms Saliu has raised funds for her children’s nursery, spoken publicly about FGM and supported other vulnerable women.
Despite the government claiming to protect anyone at risk of FGM, the Home Office’s UK Borders Agency plans to deport Ms Saliu and her two young girls, even though there is a proven risk that FGM will be forced upon them.
East Leeds Labour MP George Mudie is urging Home Office Minister James Brokenshire to review her case.
A petition in Ms Saliu’s support has gathered more than 100,000 signatures and she also has the support of campaign group Leeds No Borders.
The group regularly demonstrates at the Borders Agency’s regional headquarters in the city, where a lunchtime protest in support of Ms Saliu and her children was mounted and reinforced by members of Leeds group Women Asylum-Seekers Together.
Emily Jennings of Leeds No Borders said: “We are also highlighting the fact two women in the notorious Yarl’s Wood detention centre died in the last month without any investigation.
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