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Bristol: police station vigil draws prayerful crowd

A prayer vigil organised by Father Richard McKay, Parish Priest of Bristol inner-city parish St Nicholas of Tolentino, took place outside Trinity Road Police Station in Bristol yesterday.

The gathering was to show solidarity with and to support Dieumerci Kasongo Kongolo and his family. Dieumerci remains in detention although he is seeking asylum as he is in fear of his life should he be returned to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Father Richard said: "The vigil was a quiet occasion during which many people of our parish joined with others to pray for justice for Dieumerci Kasongo Kongolo and his family.

"Dieumerci's partner Stella and two of their children were also with us.

"Dieumerci was detained without warning by immigration officials when he went to sign on at Trinity Road Police Station yesterday (11 March). This is despite the fact that his partner and their three children are UK citizens. He has told me that he would face death should he ever return to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

"This deliberate destruction of the family goes against the Church's teaching, our human rights and natural justice."

Father Richard and Stella also spoke about the situation on BBC Radio Bristol's Drive programme last night at 5pm.

Several concerned people have left comments and prayers on the Clifton Diocese website: www.cliftondiocese.com/urgent-prayer-vigil-at-police-station