Lydia Besong’s play raised awareness on struggles women face in immigration system
26th November 2010: An asylum seeker, whose story found its way to the stage, is now in the process of appealing against the UK Border Agency’s decision to deport them back to Cameroon. The hearing in her matter is on 8th December 2010.
Lydia Besong was detained on Thursday 10th December last, when she went to report at Dallas Court Reporting Centre, Salford. `How I Became an Asylum Seeker’ is a unique play on her powerful true story. The play has been performed in Manchester, Liverpool and Salford and is available on DVD.
Both Lydia and her partner Bernard are in the process of appealing against the deportation decision
On Thursday night, 29th October 2009, Lydia and her husband Bernard returned to their home in Rochdale after a busy day to find a letter from the Border and Immigration Agency telling them that they must go back to Cameroon, the country they fled from late at night on 17th of December 2006.
Because they were members of the Southern Cameroon National Council, an organization fighting for the freedom and the liberation of Southern Cameroon, Lydia and Bernard were tortured and imprisoned – Lydia was raped by one of the guards.
Her debut play “How I Became an Asylum Seeker”, produced and performed by WAST (Woman Asylum Seekers Together) and CAN (Community Arts North West), was staged before an audience of about 230 people at the Zion Theatre in Manchester on 3rd December 2009. The play, the story of a woman seeking asylum in UK, aims to raise awareness on the struggles women are facing with the immigration system.
As a member of WAST since 2007, Lydia has been helping other women with anti-deportation campaigns, and provided general support. She has also been active and spoken out in many workshops organised by WAST. She is also an active member of her catholic church in Rochdale for the last two years and is also a member of the church counci