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Former Archbishop Rowan Williams urges Priti Patel to stop deportation of autistic young man

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The Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and the Bishop of Croydon, Jonathan Clark, have signed an open letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel urging her to stop the deportation of Osime Brown, warning it would mean "a grotesque indictment of our justice system".

The Jamaican-born 22-year-old was convicted in 2018 for the robbery of a mobile phone involving a group of teenagers, a charge he denies. 

Brown was then given a one-year prison sentence from which he was released in October this year. Under current UK law, all foreigners who have been convicted for more than a year in prison face automatic deportation. 

The letter highlights that Brown is "traumatised, confused, terrified and suicidal" and that his mother and siblings are "distraught" as he has no family nor support left in Jamaica.

It continues: "With his high support needs and vulnerability to exploitation, his family fear that he will not survive on his own in Jamaica and that the planned deportation thereby amounts to a death sentence.

"Osime does not have to be a statistic: another life destroyed by the hostile environment. Instead, he could have the opportunity to rebuild his life in peace and security, surrounded by people who love him.

"We ask that you rescind the deportation order today and grant an immediate public inquiry into this case, as requested by Osime's mother, Joan Martin."

More than 100 people have signed the open letter and over 300,000 people have signed a petition against his deportation. 

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