Asylum seeker Isa Muazu given new deportation date

Isa Muazu
Image caption Isa Muazu stopped eating in protest against plans to deport him

A failed asylum seeker whose flight to Nigeria was refused landing rights two weeks ago has been given a new date to be deported from the UK.

Lawyers for Isa Muazu have launched a new appeal against deportation but said the Home Office had arranged a private jet to fly him back on 17 December.

The earlier bid to remove Mr Muazu, 45, failed due to incomplete documentation.

Mr Muazu, who had been on hunger strike for more than 100 days, says he fears being killed by Islamic extremists.

His application for asylum and humanitarian protection has been rejected.

'Eating again'

Mr Muazu, who was described by his legal team as being "near death" when the first attempt to deport him was made on 29 November, has reportedly begun to eat again.

But he is said to still be "ill" and is being held in the medical wing at Harmondsworth Immigration Detention Centre in west London.

His lawyers, who launched two last-minute attempts to halt his removal two weeks ago, have begun a fresh legal challenge at the Upper Immigration Tribunal in central London.

They are contesting five decisions made by the Home Secretary, Theresa May, including her refusal of his asylum claim and an order to remove him, the court heard.

The hearing is expected to continue until Friday.

Mr Muazu began his hunger strike in September, arguing his asylum claim "was not treated fairly".

He claims that if he returns to Nigeria, his life will be in danger from extremist Islamist group Boko Haram.

But an application to stay in the UK was rejected in July, and the Court of Appeal ruled against his argument he was being "unlawfully held" at Harmondsworth.

The Nigerian government said it would grant landing rights to a plane chartered by the Home Office to deport Mr Muazu if it tried again.

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