Zimbabweans facing deportation
Apr 02,2007 00:00 by UPI

LONDON - A teenager who revealed a sex-for-asylum scandal in the British Immigration Service is among hundreds of Zimbabweans facing deportation.

The 19-year-old, known only as "Tanya," learned last month her claim for asylum was rejected, The (London) Observer reported Sunday. She said she would "rather die" than return to her violence-plagued home country, the newspaper said.

"Going back to Zimbabwe is not an option," Tanya said. "Even death is better. My husband was shot in Zimbabwe. The situation is getting worse and I'm really scared."

Tanya's situation mirrors those of hundreds of Zimbabweans that Britain is preparing to return to their homeland, in anticipation of winning a key test case next month. The government is notifying hundreds of asylum-seekers that they should consider going home despite the tenuous situation under Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

Tanya was the central figure in the sex-for-asylum probe that resulted in Home Office Minister Tony McNulty being removed from office.

The expose showed Immigration Service officials offered to help asylum-seekers with their applications to remain in Britain in return for sex. One official was fired and faces a criminal investigation.

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