Warwick PhD student Keji Xu is awaiting the outcome of his asylum appeal as he faces deportation by the UK Border Agency back to his home country of China.
Mr Xu arrived in the UK in 2005 to study at Newcastle Business School where he was awarded an MBA in Business Administration. Following these studies, he came to Warwick, where he was awarded an MSc in Programme and Project Management in 2007. Since December 2009, he has been studying here for a PhD in Business and Engineering Management.
When his visa expired, Mr Xu was told to leave the UK and return to China. However, he believes that if he returned to China his life would be in danger following events in 2006 when he petitioned against the Chinese government about the illegal coal mining that was taking place in the village in which he owns a paper company. According to Mr Xu, following his complaint, his family and employers were arrested by the police who threatened to kill anyone who dissented against the mining.
Peter Dunn, Head of Communications at the University, told the Boar, “As asylum is a highly specialised area well outside the normal immigration support we could offer, we helped him identify external legal support who could help him.”
Mr Xu’s application for asylum was rejected by the Home Office on the 29th March. According to Mr Xu, this was on the basis that there was no authoritative evidence that he was in serious danger. He appealed against this decision in court on the 29th April and is currently awaiting the outcome of this appeal.
Sarah Clayton, a first year French and International Studies student and President of Warwick Amnesty, has been helping to raise awareness of Mr Xu’s plight by creating an online petition to the Home Office in support for his appeal for asylum and the completion of his PhD, which to date has 2,864 signatures.
She expressed her appreciation for those who have so far joined the Facebook group and signed the petition in support for Mr Xu but said, “One thing I would like to reiterate is that it is really important for people to ask questions – if you are confused or have queries regarding his case, please do not hesitate to contact me”.
The Students’ Union were unable to comment on Mr Xu’s case due to “confidentiality reasons.”