Joy as Kentish Town's Stoly Jankovik saved from deportation
PUBLISHED: 18:50 30 June 2017 | UPDATED: 18:59 30 June 2017
Supporters of Stojan 'Stoly' Jankovic, who worked in Kentish Town for 15 years, have been delighted to announce that the Home Office granted him leave to remain in the UK, with permission to work.
Stoly Jankovic, who is a familiar face serving customers behind the counter at Earth, a wholefoods store in Kentish Town Road, was arrested suddenly in March after reporting to an immigration centre, as he had done once a month for years.
He had lived in England for 26 years, but was told he could be deported in the next few days following his arrest.
Good Earth customers Neil Finer and Sue Odell, who spearheaded the Change.org petition, “Stop the Shameful Deportation of Kentish Town’s Stoly Jankovic”, emailed their 26,498 signatories to tell them the good news.
They wrote: “As a signatory to the petition “Stop the Shameful Deportation of Kentish Town’s Stoly Jankovic” earlier this year, you will certainly be delighted to know that the Home Office confirmed yesterday that Stoly has been granted leave to remain in the UK, with permission to work. In 2019, he will become eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain.
“Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of his legal team, his MP Keir Starmer, and each and every one of you, justice has been done. To all of Stoly’s supporters locally, across the UK and even across the globe, this is the moment to say a huge thank you and well done!”
Mr Finer and Ms Odell say they are now inspired to fight other “unjust” detentions and deportations in the future.
They wrote: “We will now wind up Stoly’s campaign, but we won’t hang up our boots.
“Stoly’s case is unique only in the unexpected level of public concern it ignited.
“There are many, many such cases of unjust detentions and deportations from the UK every year – cases which we simply never get to hear about.
“Locally, nationally and internationally, there are campaigning organisations and charities supporting migrants and asylum seekers whose case to remain in the UK is strong, and we would like to encourage everyone to consider how to support these organisations and become involved in their work.
“For now, though, here’s to Stoly – and to his secure residence in the UK!”
Stoly, who was born in Yugoslavia but fled to the UK when warfare that ultimately broke up his country was starting, said he would not have any “frames of reference” if he was sent back to the Balkans.
Friends and supporters originally presented Home Secretary Amber Rudd with the petition to save Stoly on April 3.
He was initially released from detention and allowed to make a formal application for “indefinite leave to remain”, following an intervention by Keir Starmer, MP for Holborn and St Pancras.