Breaking News: Kenyan Lady Facing Deportation

Hellen Awuor, a 24 year old Kenyan lady, is facing deportation to Kenyan despite the fact that

Hellen and daughter Chentelle

Hellen and daughter Chentelle

she is the mother of Rennah Chantelle, a 3 month old baby fathered by a Swedish citizen.

Hellen, who came to Sweden on a tourist visa in 2005, overstayed then fell in love with a Swede who fathered her child. Now, the Swedish authorities want to deport her although she has stated that she cannot leave her child behind.

According to a Story published in Aftonbladet Newspaper today, the Swedish authorities say that she has to return to Kenya to wait for her residence permit because this is what the Swedish law says. The case has also been broadcast on Swedish radio.

The case of Hellen is not unique. She is another victim of growing institutionalized State racism and discrimination of Africans in Sweden.

Her case should fall under “special circumstance” which means that she is already a mother in a relationship with a Swedish man and, under the circumstances, she ought to be allowed to stay. The legal logic in Swedish law is that since her relationship has resulted in the birth of child, she will have to be allowed to stay regardless of whether she waits for her documents in Kenya or in Sweden.

Another point is that her child is a Swedish citizen and the big question is why a Swedish national by the name of Rennah Chentelle should be deported to another country (Kenya) which does not recognize her citizenship as a Kenyan.

Kenyans in Sweden should mobilize and defend Hellen against an illegal deportation that not only violates the Swedish law but also violates International conventions including the Geneva convention which guarantees the right of the child to access to parents as long as they are alive.

KSB appeals to Kenyans, friend and well wishers here to set up a “Defence committee” for Hellen to put pressure on the Swedish authorities to stop violating the law. The father of the child needs to come up to head the campaign while the Kenyan Embassy in Stockholm should lodge an official complaint to the Swedish authorities against this blatant violation.

Ambassador Purity Muhindi should alert the Swedish government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about what the Kenyan law says in relation to the citizenship of the child and refuse to cooperate with the Swedish immigration authorities in the impending deportation of Hellen.

Okoth Osewe

13 comments

  • Osewe.. Brayo hapa.. I am the father of Rennah Chantelle Awino Arwa.. she has a Luo name indeed.. Infact like her great grandfather the late Mr. John Francis Arwa Abang’a composer of Kenya patriotic songs like “Wakulima Ongezeni Kilimo”. I don’t like being refered to as a Swedish man, even though I am a holder of a Swedish passport.. The passport says I was born in Homa-Bay near my roots in K’Ochia

  • I feel so sad that Hellen Awuor is facing deportation from Sweden and may possibly leave her 3 months old daughter behind while in Kenya to fix her residence permit. However, having read the original story in Aftonbladet, am also critical of the fact that she claims to have no home in Kenya. She came to Sweden in 2005, which means she has not been away for many years NOT to have a home there.

    Kenya is not that bad and time off with her daughter would be OK to take a break from the pressure of pursuing her permit here. It is not like she will not return, or have to be deported permanently. “Hellen, don’t sound like a beggar who is so desperate to live in Sweden. Kenya will always remain your Motherland. And what with your daughter’s name: a pick from MTV? What became of our sweet African names”?

  • Bryan Arwa, you should be busy lamenting over the injustice facing your mama’s daughter who is to be sent back home, other than confirming your Kenyan roots. I was perturbed that you did not join your daughter and her mother at the Aftonbladet interview. Your presence would have added weight to this case.

    I basically see no big deal here. Let your daugher and the mother have a fully paid ticket to visit Kenya. Claims by your girlfriend that Kenya has no childcare (barnavård) is pure hogwash. Kenya is not Darfur, Somalia or Congo. There should have been more authentic humanitarian reasons for not returning to Kenya, other than those stated above.

    Making papers always has risks and this is one of them. Hellen should marvel at the thought of returning home with a baby, plus the expectations of a sweet weather that would allow for sunbathing and full enjoyment of ugali, sukuma wiki, omena and ngege, not to mention just lazing around while Bryan sends money for upkeep. I wish I could switch places with her to avoid the pending Swedish winter.

    Seriously Bryan, be a responsible father and let your young family live with your relatives somewhere in Kenya, while the permit is being fixed. If things become so bad, the Swedish Embassy in Nairobi will take care of little Awino without any qualms; she is Swedish. This is part of the “trappings” which come with fatherhood. Good luck!

  • Kenya Bora if you really are a true proper Kenyan as you claim and have genuinely good advice, why are you then commenting with an anonymous name to start with. Secondly, I have had my share of problems in this relationship not to mention I have tried my level best to see to it that the babymother gets her papers. We are not so far away now.

    The only thing I would have wished for people to do is to wait and get proper information just before jumping into things. I knew about the whole thing after the interview had taken place and I also agree it would have been more proper had I been involved. Not to mention I am proud of Kenya my native land in many ways and disagree with some things stated like “lack of healthcare”. A close relative of mine is a very highly qualified paedetrician not to mention the pro miti shamba doctors in the family too.

    The only thing I would wish henceforth is for people not to throw comments before they find out the whole inside story here. And I still believe Hellen is getting her papers very very soon. Not even something that worries me. I’ve got bigger fish to fry!

  • By the way Kenya bora.. Don’t be talking trash ’bout Darfur either.. That is actually home to the ancient Nubian empire from where we Luos are one of the few surviving tribes. Not to mention it is around that area you have a very high concentration of valuable minerals including Gold, Silver, Diamonds, Oil.. I love my South Sudan.. Land of my forefathers…

  • Brian, do not turn this into a blame game of “you don’t know the story so why comment” etc. My comments are based on the information published in Aftonbladet, which is available on the World Wide Web in Swedish and also translated into English here at KSB. The story is out there and anyone is free to comment on it, so don’t get edgy with me for giving my opinion. The personal snippets of info you are spilling about the troubles you have gone through in your relationship with Hellen are not included in Aftonbladet, and my advice is for you to stop posting them here, unless you want us to know more through KSB. In that case, get interviewed by KSB to give your version.

    For your info, one is allowed to use whatever name to post comments on a blog as long as they (comments) don’t offend anyone. Ever heard that even a dog can be on the keyboard surfing the Internet? With reference to Darfur, Congo and Somalia, this was meant to emphasize that Kenya has a healthcare system, so it is was trashy of Hellen to claim otherwise. I am happy that you disputed this. The common factor in the other three countries is political strife, which has eroded their healthcare systems.

    What further advice can I give after writing that going to Kenya to wait for papers is not the end of the world and does not warrant one to go to Aftonbladet? Brian, it is a pity that you, the father of Awino, was not even aware of this interview before it was reported. This leaves a lot to be desired. If, according to you, the process of making Hellen’s residence permit is that close, then why did she have to go public with it? Blame her for informing us and not me the reader, for reading and commenting. As I said, good luck and nothing personal!

  • alright.. leave it like that then.. no offence taken. i get your point, especially after the whole thing having gone to the Aftonbladet of all newspapers, i can’t really blame people to have their opinions about it. at the end of the day we have seen that your opinion and mine didn’t differ as such. and yes, Kenya is one of the more politically stable Sub-Saharan Countries in Africa and so some facts on the article were simply wrong. and again, if you do not wish to disclose your identity, i suppose there is nothing much i can do about that either. Only that it would have even added more weight to know who the concerned brother/sister is…

  • Thanks Osewe,
    I am at last relieved to see that you have unshackled your blog from heavy handed censureship.That is to be given credit.
    I do have a few misgivings about the whole Hellen and her daughter’s plight-
    1)Where was the famed Swedish social system at the time Hellen went to give birth.
    2)Was she never read her child’s rights by a counselor whom she could talk to.
    3)Why has the child of Hellen not been accorded representation by an attorney to fight for her rights and that of the mother. As an aside, who will breast feed the baby home, if the story is true as stated in Aftonbladet that the baby is to remain behind
    4)If the father is a Swedish citizen then what’s the beef about her not just following the rules and wait for her case to be processed in the normal way, however l do take opposition to the Swedish authorities for not caring the child’s welfare. It’s a known human right that a child needs the mother during the formative stages ,so it goes that if the child stays the mother stays.
    As Kenyans and those who have been commenting on this issue lets get real and agitate for the mother to be allowed to stay with her child in Sweden.
    It appears as though the authorities are being judicially cautious ,in that they might create a precedent by allowing Hellen to stay.It’s been known to happen in other European countries ,and the practice was exploited by some scrupulous folks ,however thats not for Hellen to worry about its upto the Swedish authorities to be able to monitor those within its borders.Its not incumbent on Hellen to to inform them that l have overstayed.
    Thats all for now
    Tony

  • It is important to first understand what has been published about this story before commenting. Aftonbladet stated that the Swedish Migration Board served Helen with a deportation notice in May 2008, after realizing that she had been staying illegally in Sweden since the expiry of her visa in 2005. She gave birth in July 2008 with the hope that since her child’s father is a Swedish citizen, she could wait for her residence permit in Sweden and not in Kenya. Rules state that residence permits need to be applied for outside Sweden.

    What has Helen done about her case since the May deportation notice? Has she engaged a lawyer to assist her? Brian, the father of her daughter, has stated on KSB that he is doing his best to help Helen stay. Has Helen appealed to the Migration Board against her case? I think so, because the rules state that this must be done within three weeks of an application’s rejection. It is possible that the appeal has been rejected and that is why she is on the verge of being deported sans her 3-months old daughter, who became a Swedish citizen automatically because of the father’s status.

    I still write that if it means going to wait for her papers in Kenya, Helen can take her baby with her and the Swedish authorities will pay for her stay there. The rules are clear at the Migration Board’s Web site that one can apply for an allowance even while outside the country. The child is already entitled to child support which can help in her daily upkeep in Kenya. The Board also states that it takes 6 months to get a residence permit. Women also breastfeed in Kenya and coming from Sweden, one is more aware of basic childcare so would try to maintain high standards for the child. Even Swedes live in Kenya!

    Up to now, Helen’s case is based on what we have read in Aftonbladet and additional info from Brian on KSB. There are so many things we do not know e.g. has Helen been co-habiting with Brian? If so, for how long? The co-habiting period matters in this case. Are they married? There are so many archaic rules at the Migration Board meant to bar applicants from living in Sweden. Giving birth is not an automatic ticket for residency in Sweden.

    Kenyans can only agitate, but eventually it is the Swedish Migration Board that will decide her fate. One form of protest is to open an online petition for Kenyans to sign and present to the Board. However, Brian the father of Helen’s daughter should play a key role in strengthening the case for Helen to stay. The Migration Board often deals with cases individually and there is hope that this will work out in Helen’s favor, as long as the couple handles it properly. Read more at the Migration Board’s site about “Residence permits on grounds of family ties” at: http://www.migrationsverket.se/english.jsp

  • DNA is a solution. The story have to be published like it is whether the woman is fake or real. However, i do find some comments by some Sweds defending Sweden maybe for nationalistic reasons i find very distubring. It doesnot matter what country it is. This is a story about a refugee woman with a Swedish baby that deserves to be treated in a human way and dignity.
    I know that some Sweds do not accept that racism is on high in Sweden. It is not a good way to defend a country or hide discrimination because it is “Sweden”.

  • Dear Lisa,

    Thanks for your concern but Hellen has never been a refugee seeking asylum in Sweden. She hails from Kenya and arrived in Sweden in 2005 on a tourist visa. Almost all the comments on Hellen have emerged from sources that know how evil she is, so I reckon that you, the outsider in this case, should remain an observer or follow this story keenly before commenting.

    Racism exists worldwide, even in the USA which you so encouragingly believe is better than Sweden, according to your blog entries. Why have some Skin Heads been currently arrested for plotting to kill Senator Obama? RACISM; he is black and they are not comfortable with the fact that he is likely to be the next US president.

    From reliable sources, the father of Hellen’s child has no Swedish citizenship. He is a Nigerian still processing his residency and the purported father, called Brain Arwa (who is originally a Kenyan but now a Swedish citizen), was allegedly paid 50,000 Swedish Kroner by Hellen, to assist her get papers.

    Lisa, I urge you to sift through the additional material by Brian’s mother, then you will rethink your accusations of racism in Sweden. Hellen’s manipulative ways are not acceptable by law and have nothing to do with racism. People condemning her here are mainly fellow Kenyans who feel that she is a disgrace to their community in Sweden. Don’t draw her baby into this for sympathy. Thanks.

  • Florence Könberg

    It was impossible to comprehend the above issue concerning
    Hellen and her baby who is still at a very young age. Her 3 month old baby will require a visa to enter Kenya. That permanent visa to stay in sweden should not be an issue in such circumstances. The swedish authority/immigration ought to grant a permanent resident visa to Hellen n her baby and to any other person whose case is similar.
    Such a case can last upto 12months waiting in kenya. the immigration should think about the best interest of that child they re sending away.

  • Concerned Kenyan

    Dear Editor,

    I totally agree with your insight about the regulations placed by the Swedish migrations authority which discriminates against its own Swedish Citizen and allow other European Nationality to enjoy living and even bringing those related to Sweden.

    There is NO LAW that states that a woman/man who has a relations with a Swedish man should wait for his/her papers elsewhere. This is just a regulation placed by the Department to block certain group of people. The regulation discriminates against the Swedes. If Hellen could have had a relationship with a Finnish, German, or even Spanish man who is resident in Sweden, she would have been allowed to apply for her residence while in Sweden. Why does the Swedish authority discriminate against its citizens?

    I agree it can be possible to stand against this regulation if Kenyans can join themselves as a group and approach the relevant authorities to oppose this regulation.

    I will join if called upon.

    Thanks

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