The Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas and Europe is speaking out in hopes of affecting Sweden's decision to deport gay soccer player Andrew Nagbe to Liberia. This week it was revealed that Nagbe, a Liberian national, had not been granted status to stay in Sweden and would be deported.
"I would like to appeal to the Swedish Authority to allow young Liberian soccer player Andrew Nagbe to continue his soccer career in Sweden," Rev. Philip S. Blamo, eastern regional vice-president of ULAA, told Outsports. "We respect and honor their immigration decision concerning his case, but we request that Swedish Immigration grant Mr. Nagbe the green light to stay in Swedish on an humanitarian ground."
Nagbe faces legal repercussions of up to one year in prison and up to a $1,000 fine. Nagbe claims that he will face far worse than that in prison, including being raped and beaten. The Swedish Migration Agency has reportedly said it will be deporting Nagbe regardless of the possible repercussions.
"It is going to be very difficult if he is deported back to Liberia," Blamo said, "since it has been known nationally that he is gay. Sending him back to Liberia in this situation is like sending him to his early grave."
Possibly not coincidentally, Nagbe posted the above image, along with other pro-Liberian photos, on Instagram to celebrate Liberia's Independence Day, July 26. He was detained at Stockholm Pride days later.
The Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA) And Europe is the umbrella group of Liberians and their various organizations in the Americas. ULAA is a voluntary, nonprofit and non-governmental organization. The mission of ULAA is to advance the just causes of Liberians and Liberia at home and abroad.