Protesters gather to speak out against centre

thisisoxfordshire: Paulette Mengnjo at the protest on Saturday Buy this photo Paulette Mengnjo at the protest on Saturday

PAULETTE Mengnjo arrived in the UK seven years ago as an asylum seeker, and is still hoping to be granted British citizenship today.

In 2007, she was sent to a detention centre in Bedford but now lives in Birmingham.

On Saturday she was one of about 180 people who protested outside Campsfield detention centre in Kidlington to call for its closure.

The centre, in Langford Lane, Kidlington, was opened in November 1993 and is now marking its 20th anniversary.

Mrs Mengnjo, 42, said: “(Detention centres) are not good conditions. Asylum seekers don’t deserve to be there. If someone can’t go back to their country, the Government should look into it. They don’t have a home.”

Mrs Mengnjo came from Cameroon, where she was a member of the Social Democratic Front, opposing the Government.

She said: “My life was threatened.

“If I had chosen to come to the UK as an economic migrant, I wouldn’t forego my life in Cameroon for seven years to still be an asylum seeker in Britain now. Some of us have left children and our families behind. It goes beyond the effect on the individual.”

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