Charles Atangana outside the High Court in October, 2010 Credit: Guy Smallman
Cameroon journalist Charles Atangana has won his appeal against plans to deport him back to his native country, seven years after arriving in the UK, the National Union of Journalists said this week.

Atangana was originally due to be deported back to Cameroon in August last year but was granted a temporary reprieve following an ongoing campaign by the NUJ.

He had lived in Glasgow since fleeing his home country in 2004, where he claims he was tortured and detained for writing about alleged political corruption.

In March this year journalists held a vigil at the Immigration and Asylum Court in central London where Atangana was attending an appeal hearing after a fresh claim for asylum in the UK was refused earlier this year, but given a right of appeal.

According to the NUJ Atangana has now won this appeal, although he told it is only "provisional" good news as the result could still be appealed by the Home Office.

"It is a relief after what we have been through so we are quite happy but it is a long battle and we still have a long way to go," he said.

"Now we are just waiting for the Home Office to see what they are going to do."

In the NUJ's report on the result general secretary Jeremy Dear said it marked a "wonderful day" for the union.

"Anyone who has met Charles will know of his calm and gentle belief in the power of trade union solidarity, which has helped to see him through an emotionally exhausting period while awaiting an end to the lengthy asylum process.

"I am personally very proud of the determination of NUJ members, particularly those in Charles' own Glasgow branch, and trade unionists across the UK and beyond who have supported him.

"I also commend the NUJ's legal officer Roy Mincoff and our solicitor Emma Cohen of Bindman's for their devotion to this and other deportation cases taken up by the NUJ.

"But most of all, this is a time to pay tribute to Charles Atangana, a journalist whose commitment to truth and justice has finally been recognised."

Image: Guy Smallman

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