News & Views Monday 28th November to Sunday 4th December 2016  

Online Petition Release Dianne From Yarl's Wood Now

Dianne Ngoza was detained on 16th November and taken to Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre. Since she has been there, she has been denied access to an appropriate diet and essential treatment for her skin, and her communications have been monitored. While her legal battle for leave to remain in the UK is still ongoing, she cannot be removed from the country. There is therefore no justifiable reason, legal or otherwise, to keep her in Yarl's Wood. Release Dianne now!

Free Robert Makutsa! Emergency Demonstration Broken Up By Police

An emergency demonstration was held outside the home office in Brand Street at 4.30pm Sunday 27th November 2016, in response to the unjust detention of a close friend of The Unity Centre and a popular well-loved member of our community Robert “Babu” Makutsa. Robert was kept in Brand Street after he went to sign, which he has been doing as per his bail conditions since he was released from detention earlier this year. He was then told he was going to be transferred to Dungavel Detention Centre.  Around twenty people had gathered on Brand Street to show their support. The group managed to intervene and prevent the friend being removed in a van from the Home Office. The van retreated back into the Home Office compound. After this the demonstration was rapidly met by an intense and violent police presence!

Read more: Unity Centre Glasgow,

High Court Suspends Restrictive Definition of Torture for Immigration Detainees

The High Court has ordered the Home Office to temporarily suspend the use of a restricted definition of torture in their new policy on immigration detention, following an application for interim relief by Duncan Lewis Solicitors.
 In September 2016, the Home Office introduced a new policy, ‘Adults at risk in immigration detention’. The policy arose following a highly critical review by Stephen Shaw of the welfare to vulnerable persons in immigration detention. The Home Office claimed the ‘Adults at risk’ policy would ensure that a wider range of persons would be properly identified as vulnerable and therefore unsuitable to be detained. However, the policy sought to use a more restrictive definition of torture so that only detainees tortured by or on behalf of state authorities would be considered for release.

Read more: Lewis Kett, Duncan Lewis,

Asylum Research Consultancy (ARC) COI Update Volume 137

This document provides an update of UK Country Guidance case law, UK Home Office publications and developments in refugee producing countries (focusing on those which generate the most asylum seekers in the UK) between 15 November and 28 November 2016. 

Download the full report,

List of Acceptable Documents for Confirming Entitlement to Work in the UK

Please provide one of the original documents, or two of the original documents where a combination is set out as being required, from List A or List B, below

List A
Note:  If you can provide a document or documents as described in List A, you will not be asked to provide any further proof of your right to work in the UK during the course of your employment. 

List B
Note: If you provide documents as described in List B, since these will indicate that you have limited leave to remain in the UK, further checks will be required at least on an annual basis to ensure that you continue to have the right to work in the UK. 

These fact sheets courtesy of University of Oxford.

Download the full lists A & B,

UK Immigration Centres Record 218 Hunger Strikers in Three Months

Number of recorded 'Hunger Strikes' (Food Refusals) Q3 2016

  July August  September
Brook House 66 23 23 20
Campsfield 6 2 1 3
Cedars 0 0 0 0
Colnbrook 10 4 3 3
Dungavel 6 1 4 1
Harmondsworth 35 8 11 16
Morton Hall 12 2 4 6
The Verne 9 6 2 1
Tinsley House 35 17 10 8
Yarl's Wood 39 19 7 13
Total 218

More than 200 detainees in UK immigration centres staged hunger strikes in a three-month period, the Guardian has learned, prompting warnings of “desperation, frustration and helplessness” among asylum seekers arriving in Britain. According to figures released following a Freedom of Information request, 218 people refused to eat in July, August and September this year. It is thought to be the first time data revealing hunger strikes in detention centres has been made public. Human rights campaigners said some of those striking wanted to die from starvation, while others were refusing food to protest their incarceration or urge reconsideration of their immigration application.

The data was obtained by No Deportations, an organisation that provides signposting information to people who are subject to immigration controls, after a lengthy battle with Home Office, which had declined to release the information. A further FoI request by No Deportations revealed that over the same period there were 109 suicide attempts with 649 detainees on suicide watch. Approximately 30,000 people are detained each year, meaning that over a three-month period the numbers detained are likely to be about 7,500.

The highest number of detainees on hunger strike was 66, at Brook House near Gatwick airport. The detention centre also had the highest number of people on suicide watch – 106.

Theresa Schleicher, the acting director of the charity Medical Justice, which works to improve the health of people in immigration detention, said: “Medical Justice is concerned about the high numbers of detainees refusing food and/or fluids revealed in response to this FoI request. It illustrates the degree of desperation, frustration and sense of helplessness.    “We are frequently contacted by detainees who are refusing food and/or fluids. Their reasons vary and sometimes overlap: some have mental or physical health problems that mean they do not or cannot eat.”   She added: “Some express a wish to die by not eating. Some feel their case has not been properly considered and hunger striking is the only way to make their voice heard. Some are protesting against their detention. Several of the hunger strikers we have seen have later been found to have been unlawfully detained and were found to have valid protection claims.”

The Home Office finally agreed to release the data after an appeal against non-disclosure was made to the information commissioner. The commissioner found that the Home Office had breached the Freedom of Information Act by failing to complete its public interest test considerations within a reasonable time period.

In its response when providing the information on hunger strikes, the Home Office said: “Competent individuals (ie those that have been assessed as having mental capacity) are considered to be engaged in a food and/or fluid refusal when they fail to partake in scheduled meals for a period of 48 hours (for food) or 24 hours (for fluids), and have not been confirmed as eating food and/or taking fluid from another source (ie items purchased from an IRC shop) and have stated that their reasons for not eating or drinking is as a result of a protest or other grievance.”

In its response to the separate FoI about suicide attempts, it said: “All incidents of self-harm are treated very seriously and every step is taken to prevent incidents of this nature. Staff at all centres are trained to identify those at risk of self-harm so that action can be taken to minimise the risk. Notices in various languages are displayed in immigration removal centres setting out that where there is a concern about a fellow detainee this should be brought to the attention of a member of staff.”

Number of Attempted Suicides

July August September
Brook House 16 11 2 3
Campsfield House 5 2 2 1
Cedars 0 0 0 0
Colnbrook 25 4 17 4
Dungavel 0 0 0 0
Harmondsworth 26 9 2 15
Morton Hall 15 4 5 6
The Verne 13 6 2 5
Tinsley House 0 0 0 0
Yarl's Wood 9 4 1 4
Penine House 0 0 0 0
Total 109

Diane Taylor, Guardian,

Theresa May Had Plan to 'Deprioritise' Illegal Migrant Pupils

Leaked cabinet letters suggest that the Home Office - when it was being run by Theresa May - wanted the children of illegal immigrants to go to the bottom of the list for school places. Her department suggested schools could withdraw places offered to children if their families were found to be living in the country illegally. The Home Office also wanted schools to carry out immigration checks. These included asking to see passports before accepting new pupils. The government said it would not comment on leaked documents, but added that it was right that a range of options would be considered before ministers made a final decision By law, children under 16 have a right to an education whatever their parents' circumstances.

'Dipped in blood' - In summer 2015, Theresa May wanted Whitehall departments to contribute to the government's ambition to reduce immigration to the tens of thousands. One source says every department was to have its hands "dipped in blood". But the letters reveal there was a "disquiet among our own ministers about the potential for inflammatory comparisons" by using schools as part of the immigration system, punishing the children of illegal immigrants by putting them to the bottom of the list for school places. After discussions at a cabinet committee, Nicky Morgan, then education secretary, wrote twice to the then Prime Minister David Cameron with "profound concerns" about the Home Office's plan for schools.
Read more: Laura Kuenssberg, BBC News,

UK HO Country Policy and Information Note - Iran: Baha'i

Basis of claim

1.1.1 Fear of persecution or serious harm by the Iranian authorities because the person follows the Baha’i faith.

Published on Refworld: 30/11/2016

UK HO Country Policy and Information Note - Egypt: Christians

Basis of claim

1.1.1 Fear of persecution or serious harm at the hands of the state and / or non-state actors because the person is a Christian.

1.2 Points to note
1.2.1 Generally, the term ‘Coptic’ is used to describe all Egyptian Christians. This includes members of the Coptic Orthodox Church but extends to, amongst other denominations, evangelicals and Catholics.

Published on Refworld: 30/11/2016,

UK HO Country Policy and Information Note - China: Falun Gong

1.1 Basis of claim 
1.1.1 Fear of persecution or serious harm by the state because the person is a Falun Gong practitioner. 

Points to note 

1.2.1 Falun Gong is also known as Falun Dafa. Technically, Falun Gong refers to the practice, while Falun Dafa refers to the teaching of the movement, but the terms are generally used interchangeably. 

Published on Refworld: 30/11/2016

UK HO Country Policy and I Information Note - Pakistan: Hazaras

Basis of claim

1.1.1 Fear of persecution or serious harm by the state or non-state actors on account of the person’s ethnicity or religion because the person is Hazara.

1.1.2 Hazaras are a homogeneous ethnic group, the majority of whom are Shia Muslim (see The Hazara community in Pakistan and also the country policy and information on Pakistan: Shia Muslims).

Published on Refworld: 30/11/2016

Dianne Ngoza's Unlawful Removal From UK Stopped

Speaking from Yarl's Wood, Wednesday evening, Dianne said: “It's been the longest day for me since I came to England. I am overwhelmed with what has happened today. At least I can breathe for a moment until the fight is over. I want to be at home and I need a decent meal.”

Dianne Ngoza was not unlawfully removed from the UK. Wednesday afternoon, her solicitor Mervyn Cross lodged judicial review proceedings to prevent any further attempts to remove her. Wednesday morning, Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell was told that the Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill would cancel the removal instructions so Dianne's case could be considered. But the Home Office failed to communicate this to Dianne or her solicitor

It left Mr Cross with no option other than to lodge judicial review proceedings to challenge Dianne's removal from the UK while she had an application with the Home Office pending. Otherwise there would have been nothing to prevent the Home Office from making further attempts to remove her from the UK. Mr Cross said: “It was not our intention to lodge litigation but it has been almost a week now that we have been trying to communicate with the Home Office, simply to confirm that they would stop Dianne's flight because she had a valid application pending. However, they failed to respond, not just to our communication but in their statutory obligation to respond when we notified them of our intention to lodge court proceedings. At the eleventh hour, we have now issued judicial review proceedings which prevent the Home Office from removing her. In our opinion, this is a waste of public funds: all they needed to do was simply communicate with us. We will now be asking for Dianne's immediate release from detention and, if that is not forthcoming, there is a bail application listed for the 6th December when we will be asking a judge for her immediate release."

RAPAR would like to thank Dianne's supporters throughout Greater Manchester, the UK and Europe for the emails they have sent to the Immigration Minister, the Home Secretary and Kenya Airways about the unlawful attempt to remove Dianne from the UK.

Stop the Unlawful Removal of Dianne Ngoza On Wednesday, November 30th

Phone, Email and Fax Kenya Airways and tell them that Dianne ‘Must Not Be Forced Onto One of Their Flights’

Friends and campaigners from all over the country have sent letters of support for Dianne to the Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill asking him to stop her unlawful removal from the UK. Letters have also gone to Members of Parliament including Dianne's own MP Lucy Powell  (Manchester Central).

Despite this, Dianne remains detained in Yarl's Wood and is due to be forcibly removed on a flight to Kenya from Heathrow Airport at 5.25pm on Wednesday, November 30th. We are asking supporters to send as many emails and faxes as possible to Kenya Airways in the 24 hours before the date and time set by the Home Office for Dianne's removal. You can also phone the airline.

Emails, faxes and phone calls should point out that Dianne is being forcibly and unlawfully removed. She has a pending human rights application for leave to remain in the UK. The Home Office is obliged to consider all the evidence in her case before making any attempt to remove her from this country. Dianne does not have a passport for either Kenya or Zambia. Please make this clear in your email to Kenya Airways.

Dianne has been booked on Kenya Airways Flight KQ1012 which leaves at 5.25pm from Heathrow to Nairobi on Wednesday 30th November.  She is then booked on a connecting flight KQ5862 from Kenya to Ndola in Zambia.

Email/Phone/Fax Kenya Airways from today Tuesday, 29th November and all day on Wednesday 30th November to say that Dianne ‘Must Not Leave the UK’.

The more Emails, phone calls and faxes they receive leading up to the flight the better. This kind of Action has worked in the past. Please try to find some time to help keep Dianne with her daughter and all their friends in the UK.

Email Mbuvi Ngunze, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive of Kenya Airways, and tell him why Dianne must not fly.

Other details for Kenya Airways:
Kenya Airways London - Main Office
World Business Centre 1 Third Floor
1208 Newall Road
Heathrow Airport
Tel : +44 20 82831800
Fax: +44 020 8283 1880

Airport Office
Room 2543, Mezzanine Floor,
Terminal 4 Heathrow Airport
Mddx TW6 3YD
Tel (Emergencies only): +44 020 8759 7366
Fax: +44 020 8745 5027

You can also continue to write to the Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill and the Home Secretary Amber Rudd but please give priority to contacting Kenya Airlines.
Many thanks, for your continued support, Kath Grant, Dianne Ngoza Campaign Co-Ordinator,