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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 June, 2005, 17:51 GMT 18:51 UK
UK waves in Kenya airport dweller
Adam Mynott
BBC correspondent in Nairobi

Mr Shah with a Kenyan official
Mr Shah is given food by Kenyan officials
A man who has been living in Nairobi's international airport for a year has been told his application for full British citizenship has been approved.

Sanjay Shah, holder of a UK overseas citizen passport, has spent the past 13 months living in the duty free section of the Jomo Kenyatta airport.

He said he was protesting at the refusal of the British government to give him full citizenship.

His time in diplomatic limbo began when he was refused entry to the UK.

In May last year Mr Shah flew from Kenya to Britain, but immigration officials at Heathrow airport refused him entry to the UK because they believed he intended to stay, which as a holder of a British overseas citizen passport he was not entitled to do so.

He was put on a plane back to Nairobi.

Family visits

Mr Shah had already renounced his Kenyan citizenship and he arrived at Nairobi airport stateless.

He feared if he tried to leave the airport he would be arrested by Kenyan police and imprisoned.

He has spent the past year living in the tiny confines of the duty free area of the airport, sleeping at night in one of the departure lounges.

He washed in the airport lavatories and lived on coffee and food given to him by people working in the airport cafes.

His wife, Rashmita, and son, Veer, who have Kenyan passports, have visited him every few days, bringing food and clean clothes.

But now Mr Shah has been told by officials from the British High Commission in Nairobi that his application for a full British passport has been approved and he will be able to collect it soon.

Mr Shah said he was delighted to have been granted the right to be a British citizen.

A spokesperson at the High Commission said the decision had nothing to do with what he described as the pointless protest that Mr Shah has conducted for the past year.




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