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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 July, 2005, 13:17 GMT 14:17 UK
Zimbabwe hunger striker is bailed
Crispen Kulinji
Mr Kulinji won a last-minute reprieve from deportation in June
A Zimbabwean opposition official who went on hunger strike in a British detention centre has been granted bail.

Crispen Kulinji was released from custody following a hearing of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal.

Mr Kulinji, 32, - who claims he faces death if he is returned to Zimbabwe - had been held at Campsfield detention centre near Kidlington, Oxfordshire.

He said he would continue his hunger strike until all of his fellow Zimbabweans had also been released.

Mr Kulinji, from Harare, is an organising secretary and election co-ordinator for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Although I have won the battle the war is still on - I am urging all the people left behind not to lose heart
Crispen Kulinji

Last month he won a last-minute reprieve from being deported following the intervention of Labour MP Kate Hoey.

Mr Kulinji, 32, is one of more than 100 Zimbabweans scheduled to be returned to the country from the UK.

More than 40 of those have been hunger strike in protest against the UK's lifting of a ban last November which prevented Zimbabweans being deported against their will.

Speaking outside the tribunal in Birmingham, he said: "I just hope that the spirit that was there (Campsfield) before will continue.

"Although I have won the battle the war is still on. I am urging all the people left behind not to lose heart."

Mugabe regime

Mr Kulinji, who is seeking asylum in the UK, also urged G8 leaders them to join the campaign for change in his homeland.

The government is seeking to send Mr Kulinji to Malawi because he entered the UK using a Malawian passport.

But he claims Robert Mugabe's regime would be able to track him down there.

He fled his home country and claimed asylum after arriving in the UK last September.

Forcibly removed

The tribunal judge granted bail at Wednesday's hearing on the basis that Mr Kulinji's date of removal from Britain had been "put off to the distant future".

A further hearing will take place on 10 August.

Mr Kulinji says he was tortured in jail in Zimbabwe and would "definitely" be killed if he returned.

In the first three months of 2005, 95 Zimbabweans were forcibly removed from the UK.

The Home Office said none of those who had been scheduled for removal were assessed to be in danger if sent back to Zimbabwe and they had no legal right to remain in the UK.




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