Lo gives support to Zimbabwean family’s asylum bid

South Belfast Alliance MLA Anna Lo has joined the campaign seeking asylum status for a Zimbabwean family who live in Belfast. Mr Upenyu Hove stated that he was beaten and tortured by police for organizing pro-democracy rallies against the Robert Mugabe government. He and his partner fled Africa in 2002, and they have five year old daughter who was born in Northern Ireland.

Anna Lo MLA stated: “I want to put pressure on the authorities to reconsider their decision to refuse the Hove family’s bid to stay in Belfast.

“The UK has a duty under international law to protect anyone that comes here whose fundamental human rights have been put under threat. The Home Office should give further consideration to the Hove family’s case on civil rights grounds.

“Mr Hove’s story is a horrific one. He explained to me how he had been subject to assault and torture by police in Zimbabwe after he helped organize pro-democracy rallies against the Robert Mugabe regime.

“We have all heard the horror stories emanating from Zimbabwe regarding the torture of those who campaign for positive change there. People should never have to endure living in constant fear.

“I am going to write to the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to ask her to address this issue as a matter of urgency.”


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