By Cassie McKeever
Lordorice Djountso, a Cameroonian asylum seeker who has been living in Belfast for two years, was this week granted another reprieve in her battle for refugee status.
Lordorice is claiming asylum based on persecution following a dispute with a chief which resulted in the murder of her brothers, her brutal rape and her family’s violent eviction. The Home Office have refused her claim, like so many others, due to a lack of evidence – despite a diagnosis of severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
A draconian new law effective from January 2005 means that her 15 month old daughter, who has never stepped foot in Cameroon, also faces deportation to the country where she is at risk of brutal practises like female genital mutilation and breast ironing.
Despite repeated attempts to illegally remove the pair without adequate vaccination, a grass-roots campaign for her return from detention has been uncommonly successful. She is, for now, back in her South Belfast home, having received widespread support from the local community, media and even establishment political parties. She faces removal in July so the campaign to have the deportation order rescinded must be stepped up.