Don't deport Bernard Petegou!
In 2001 Bernard Petegou fled from Cameroon where tribal persecution
still exists between two groups, the Bamileke and the Beti.
Bernard had worked in a general store in Yaounda and during 1999 he
was approached several times by young supporters of the government
CPDM asking for donations to their party.
These people had formed a group named Presbi, calling themselves 'Tax
Agents'. Bernard refused to contribute and consequently became a
Bernard was a sympathiser of the pro-democracy party UFDC, and wrote
papers expressing ideas against the government. In September 2000
residents and traders were asked to attend a meeting to elect new
executives for the youths in CPDM. When Bernard didn't attend, he was
accused of being in opposition to the government and a few weeks later
the Presbi arrived with a bulldozer threatening to demolish Bernard's
This took place at the time of the French-African summit and the
officials claimed that the government sought to clear the town of
eyesores during the visit of VIPs.
When Bernard refused to leave his shop he was dragged out by police
and beaten. They arrested him and while in detention he was
Bernard managed to escape in January 2001 and went into hiding for 2
months. During this time he was told that police had raided his house
and confiscated one of his manuscripts.
Realising that this placed him in extreme danger as an opponent of the
government, he left Cameroon and claimed asylum in the UK. His
application has been refused and he is currently in detention and
faces removal on 15th July.
Since living in the UK Bernard has settled in Middlesbrough and has
established a happy family life. In March 2004 he married Sarah and
the couple expect their first child in December. Sarah also has a
little girl who regards Bernard as her daddy and has been desperately
upset since his arrest and detention.
Bernard needs to be with his family;- to separate them now would
cause trauma to their little girl and immense distress to Sarah at a
time when she most needs the support of her husband.
Their situation should be looked upon with compassion and
Bernard should be allowed to look forward to a future in the north
What you can do to help:
Fax/write to the Home Secretary requesting that Bernard
is allowed to stay. You can use the model letter attached.
Copy/amend/write your own version, feel free to add your own comments.
You can fax David Blunkett on 0207 273 3965 or from
outside the UK on +44 207 273 3965
Or write direct:
50 Queen Anne's Gate
For further details/information contact the campaign at:
Don't Deport Bernard Petegou
66 Dovecot Street
Tel/Fax: 01642 679298