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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 February 2007, 14:39 GMT
Bishop urges deportation rethink
Bishop John Packer
Bishop Packer said Ms Nasoba and her family were popular in Leeds
The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds is asking ministers to rethink a decision to deport a woman and her six children.

Aseng Nasoba fled the Democratic Republic of Congo four years ago after she said she was raped and abused.

She and her children, aged between three and 17, have been sent to a detention centre near Gatwick Airport and face deportation on Monday.

Now, the Rt Revd John Packer has written to the Home Office asking it to keep the family in Leeds.

Bishop Packer said Aseng also fled her country initially as she feared her sons would be taken away and forced to become child soldiers.

Country 'dangerous'

He said that since she came to the UK in 2003 they had made friends in their new home in Beeston and the children had done well in local schools.

Speaking to BBC Look North Bishop Packer said: "Aseng has come from a country that the Home Office itself recognises as dangerous but nevertheless is prepared to send people back to.

"I find it hard to believe that there will not be violence for Aseng and her family."

Speaking from the Tinsley House Removal Centre, Aseng said she feared for her family's safety if the plans to fly them back went ahead.

She said: "I want to keep my family safe here. I have lived for four years here now.

"I have nothing and I cannot do anything there."

A spokesperson for the Home Office said they were unable to comment on individual cases.

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