UK Hunger Strike Asylum Seeker Close to Death

Isa Muazu could die in custody, his lawyer says.

Posted: 11/21/2013 03:32 PM EST

Eighty-five days ago Isa Muazu, a Nigerian man seeking asylum in the U.K., began a hunger strike in protest to being detained at an immigration removal center near London’s Heathrow Airport. His lawyers have described the 45-year-old’s condition as critical.     

The contentious issue of immigration in the U.K. continues to be a touchy situation as the government struggles to mollify hard-line conservatives who believe the past government was "soft" on asylum seekers.

Unmoved by Muazu’s plight, which is gaining international recognition, the Home Secretary, Teresa May, is determined to kick him out of the U.K. despite numerous calls from immigration activists who have taken to Twitter to lambast the government’s stance.

Muazu, who’s condition is described as “close to death,” claims that if deported to Nigeria he faces being murdered by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram, since refusing an offer to join them before fleeing to the U.K. seven years ago. 

Speaking to this afternoon, Muazu’s lawyer, Sue Williams, fears time is running out for her client. 

“The Appeal Court today refused to release our client but have granted an urgent trial date of Monday, November 25, 2013. Last night the Home Office informed us they intended to remove him to Nigeria next week. This is despite compelling evidence that he is not fit to fly and can barely stand. He continues to refuse all food and is in a critical condition.”

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(Photo: Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)

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