Kemi Ayinde is a 24 year old woman born in Nigeria who was sold by her mother at the age of 11. Kemi was trafficked into the UK seven years ago, and forced to work in London as a prostitute, being imprisoned in a house in South-east London. Kemi said

“They promised me a job here if I left Nigeria. It was only when I got here I discovered the truth. I did it for four years. I left in 2004 because I could not continue… When I told them I was not interested in doing this anymore, and that they had promised me a job, they said they would take me back to Nigeria”

Kemi has been refused asylum, despite the fact that the Home office states in its own letter of refusal

“Your account that you have been trafficked to the UK has been accepted” (point 28).

Kemi has a partner, Taiwo Salami, also born in Nigeria, where he worked as a campaigner for opposition political party the Alliance for Democracy but was forced to flee the country after uncovering a plot to murder a politician. Taiwo said

“The government would put me in prison or possibly kill me, because they would not want anyone to testify against them.”

Together they have an 18 month old daughter Yasmin Salami. The family are concerned that if she is taken to Nigeria, she will be circumcised, as is the practise for a woman to be married. Yasim also has a skin problem so that she has white spots all over her, both Kemi and Taiwo are concerned that they may not be able to get any treatment for this in Nigeria. Kemi is also 5 months pregnant and has fluctuating blood pressure.

Nigeria’s respect for Human Rights is practically non-existent. USA Country Report on Human Rights Practices: Nigeria 2007 [women continue to suffer worst]

“Domestic violence and discrimination against women; female genital mutilation (FGM); child abuse and child sexual exploitation; societal violence; ethnic, regional, and religious discrimination; and trafficking in persons for the purpose of prostitution and forced labor.”

Since the family moved to Cardiff and settled settled in Pontcanna, Yasmin has joined a local playgroup, they all attend St Catherine’s church in Cardiff and are involved with ‘Nigeria Community Wales’. Taiwo has volunteered for Sue Ryder Cancer Care in Central Cardiff and is due to begin volunteering with the Big Issue Cymru next week. He says:

“Me and my family hope to be able to stay in Cardiff where we have made many friends and where we feel welcomed.”

After two removal attempts and detention at Yarls Wood Immigration Removal Centre, the family were released back to Cardiff on 15th July 08 and have recently been told that their application for a Judicial Review of their asylum claim has been refused. They are liable to be detained and deported at any time.

Kemi has been told that the baby is not growing normally and her pregnancy may have to be terminated. Her GP and midwife have both stated that they believe that the problems she is having with her pregnancy have been caused by the stress and shock of being detained and threatened with deportation.

What you can do to help:

1) Write to Jacqui Smith, Secretary of State for the Home Office asking that Kemi and her family be allowed to stay in the UK where they are safe:

You can use this model letter and please amend/change re-write as you see fit but please remember to include the HO Ref S1387236.