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More than 80,000 sign petition against deportation of man with Down's syndrome

Wadih Chouery, who lives in Twickenham and is popular with customers at his family's cafe in Isleworth, was joined by supporters yesterday as the petition was presented at the Home Office

Camil Chouery (wearing a beanie hat) is joined by friends and family at the Home Office HQ in West Minster as they present a petition against his deportation to Lebanon

Supporters of Wadih Chouery yesterday presented an 80,000 signature petition against his deportation to Lebanon, where his family claim he would face abuse because he has Down's syndrome.

The 44-year-old, who lives in Twickenham but is a popular figure at his family's cafe in Isleworth, Joseph's Patisserie, joined friends and family to present the petition at the Home Office headquarters in Westminster.

More than 80,000 people have signed an online petition on the campaigns website 38 Degrees demanding he be allowed to remain in the UK, where he has lived since leaving Beirut 17 years ago.

Another 1,800 have signed a paper petition at the cafe in Shrewsbury Walk, where he greets customers and helps his brothers.

The 44-year-old has severe learning disabilities and struggles to carry out basic tasks but his family say they have always supported him without claiming any benefits.

However, the Home Office wants to deport him to Beirut, where his brothers say there is no one to care for him since his parents died.

Mr Chouery's family is currently awaiting permission to appeal against a court decision to allow his deportation.

Twickenham MP Vince Cable has previously described attempts to deport him as 'inhumane'.

He said: "The petitions are a massively impressive response, reflecting great credit on the local community which has taken this man to its heart.

"I'm optimistic there will be a good outcome either through the legal process or subsequently."

The Home Office has previously said Mr Chouery failed to meet the necessary requirements to remain in the UK and its decision to refuse his application had been backed up by the courts.

Wadih's elder brother Camil said his younger sibling was very confused by what was happening.

"He's quite sentimental and every time something happens he thinks that's the end of it, especially with Christmas coming up," he told getwestlondon.

"But we know we have to be patient and we get stronger and stronger with the support of the community. The Home Office has to listen to the voice of the people."

The correct spelling of Wadih's surname is Chouery, though it has been reported elsewhere, including in the online petition, as Chourey.

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