THE Olympian detained in Dungavel has been released – but ordered to check himself in to a flight back to the country where he says death awaits him.

The Sunday National revealed how Zacharie Cyriaque Ayard-Nzapajima, who ran at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and was also a Paralympic squad coach, fled the Central African Republic (CAR) following a disorderly protest linked to a labour dispute.

He says he was beaten by authorities and his asylum claim includes death threats, images of murdered family members and medical certificates confirming the rapes of others.

Friends in Glasgow, including members of the congregation at St Andrews Cathedral, called for his release after he was kept in Scotland’s only immigration removal centre despite being assessed as vulnerable due to his fragile mental health.

More than 2300 people signed a petition calling for his freedom.

Now The National can reveal that the 46-year-old is out – but has been told to check himself in at the airport for a deportation flight to CAR.

Lawyers have advised him not to take the Wednesday flight after lodging a petition to the Court of Session in Edinburgh challenging the Home Office’s handling of his case.

This includes the refusal of asylum and cancels the removal. But while Mcglashan MacKay Solicitors have given written notice to the UK Government, no response has been received.

Yesterday, Ayard-Nzapajima said: “Since I’ve been released from Dungavel, I can’t sleep for thinking about my situation. I’m not a robber, I’m not a thief, I haven’t murdered anyone.

“I can’t go back to my country, because they will kill me. There is nowhere to go.”

Lawyer Usman Aslam said: “The Home Office were aware when Zacharie was detained that we were going to challenge his case. What was the point in using public funds to organise a flight for him? “

The Home Office did not respond to The National’s request for a comment.

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