40% Of Planned Deportations of Irregular Migrants Cancelled
The removal of foreign criminals and irregular migrants has to be cancelled in 40% of cases, a report has said. Almost 34,000 airline tickets had to be cancelled in one 18-month period - with lack of staff to escort detainees one reason, the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration report said. A separate report suggests officials have lost track of thousands of foreign students whose visas have expired. The Home Office said it was working to reduce cancelled and failed removals. In some cases, the government argued cancellations were "out of [its] control", for example because of late legal challenges or disruptive behaviour of those scheduled for deportation. However, the report said a lack of security staff to accompany detainees on their journey out of the UK was also a "major constraint".
Read more: BBC News, 24/03/2016
Police Scotland Violently Break Blockade and Separate Beverley and her Son
Monday 21st March 2016, at around 20:30, Police Scotland violently broke up a peaceful blockade in solidarity with Beverley Vaanda Kanjii and her 14 year old son. Police Scotland had previously maintained in response to a FOI request that they did not routinely assist the Home Office in dawn raids. MSP’s also maintain that “refugees are welcome here”. Yet yesterday’s events were harrowing.
Public bodies, including the Home Office and Police Scotland are legally obliged to safeguard children, but they showed yesterday they are doing the contrary. Beverley’s 14 year old son awoke to watch his mother being taken by force, struggling and desperate. They were taken directly to the airport, with a view to being detained and forcibly removed, but Beverley’s son refused to get on the plane. They were then taken to the Home Office’s Brand Street premises, where the blockade began around 14:00.
Cops waded in with over 30 officers and dogs to clear the blockade. They pushed a woman almost 9 months pregnant, as well as a person using a wheelchair. Friends were superglued together, but cops simply ripped their hands apart. Skin was broken and people terrified. Friends chanted “Beverley, we’re here for you”, despite the police violence.
Police told protesters that Beverley had broken her ankle – this injury can only have been sustained in their care, and suggests extreme force was used. Friends let an ambulance pass, to enter the Home Office compound, but the last words heard from Beverley were that she would rather die than be forced back to Namibia – she gave strict instructions that the blockade continue. Both police and paramedics said that people should move, so the ambulance could leave and Beverley could have the medical attention she needed. Friends agreed, but only if someone could hear from Beverley directly that this was the case. Beverley’s own partner was denied access to her. Once the blockade had been brutalised by Police Scotland, an ambulance drove out, followed by a black coach with tinted windows. Beverley has since told us that she was in the ambulance but that she was separated from her son. He was on the bus, bound for forced removal.
Beverley and her son are now held at Cedars – a detention centre for families run by G4S and Barnardos. There has not been an end to child detention, it just has a different name. Cedars goes by ’Pre-departure Accommodation’.
Monday’s events have caused immeasurable trauma both to Beverley and her young son. The ordeal lasted over 24 hours and is ongoing. The Home Office and Police Scotland’s actions are unforgiveable. We must stand up, for Beverley, and against this merciless system.
Source: Unity Centre Glasgow, 22/03/2016
Show Your Solidarity With Beverly an her Son – Email/Phone & Complain
[Home Office General firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 020 7035 4848 Press 5
Copy to - email@example.com - firstname.lastname@example.org]
[Theresa May Home Secretary email@example.com
Direct Communications 020 7035 0198]
Stop the Deportation of Beverley Vaanda Kanjii & Her 14-Year-Old Son
The Home Office Enforcement Team at Brand Street, working alongside Police Scotland, have carried out an unexpected dawn raid on a mother and her young son, forcing their way into her home in Bridgeton early this morning; Monday 21st March 2016. Beverley Vaanda Kanjii (45) was forcibly removed from her home. An eye-witness from community group LGBT Unity observed Beverley and her son (14) being removed in a Home Office van, where they were then driven to Glasgow airport. It is believed they will be flown today to London and deported on Thursday. See details below on how to act to stop Beverley and her son being deported.
Beverley is a valued member of LGBT Unity, a group that has come to prominence highlighting the presence of LGBT refugees and asylum seekers in Glasgow. The group won a Diversity Award at the Equalities Network Scotland ceremony in September 2015. Beverley has lived in Scotland for three years, and her son attends school in Bridgeton. Two days ago Beverley and her son were at a community event at Kinning Park Complex, dancing and eating with friends from LGBT Unity. Her neighbours expressed shock and dismay, as one asked "why are they taking that lovely lady and her son from upstairs away?"
Beverley came to the UK from Namibia in 2013 and claimed asylum on the same day as entering the UK. Beverley and her son fled Namibia due to the verbal and physical abuse suffered in Namibia due to her sexuality. Beverley had previously experienced forced marriage and had to live in secrecy, later being abused by her community with no protection from the Namibian state. Beverley and her son are in immediate danger of violence on account of her sexuality if forcibly removed to Namibia.
Beverley and her son will be held in Cedars Detention Centre in England, run by the charity Barnardo's and G4S: it has a 2.5m perimeter fence and 24-hour security. Detainees are subject to the same Control and Restraint Techniques used across the detention estate in the UK. This clearly amounts to a continued use of child detention for immigration purposes.
Beverley and her son's planned forced removal journey on commercial flights THIS Thursday 24th March (contact details and tactics for phoning the airline below):
London Heathrow to Amsterdam 11.45am on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (flight number 1010)
Amsterdam to Frankfurt Main 3.35pm on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (flight number 1771)
Frankfurt Main to Windhoek, Namibia 8.10pm on Air Namibia (flight number 286)
What you can do!
Contact KLM: Demand they take Beverley Vaanda Kanjii & Her 14-Year-Old Son off the Flight
KLM Direct Line 0207 66 00 293 Press 1 (+44207 66 00 293 from outside the UK)
If anyone is able to fly to Heathrow, Amsterdam, or Frankfurt Main before the planned flights get in contact (firstname.lastname@example.org), also if anyone is able to buy a ticket for one of the flights and have a physical presence at the airport.
If you are scared of being dawn raided, or have any information about dawn raids taking place: contact The Unity Centre on email@example.com, or the Anti-Raids Network 074485864811 firstname.lastname@example.org
UKHO CIG Iran: Human Rights Defenders
Basis of Claim
1.1.1 Fear of persecution or serious harm at the hands of the Iranian authorities
due to actual or perceived criticism of the government due to a person’s role
as a human rights defender.
Published on Refworld, 24/03/2016
UKHO CIG Iran: Smugglers
Basis of Claim
1.1.1 Fear of persecution or serious harm by the authorities because of the
person’s criminal activities as a smuggler (in particular those who smuggle
drugs and/or alcohol).
Published on Refworld, 24/03/22016
Don't Call Them 'Illegal Immigrants', Says Europe Human Rights Commissioner
A European human rights commissioner has told British ministers to stop referring to “illegal immigrants”, claiming they should use the term “irregular migrants” for foreigners who enter this country without permission. Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner, described Britain’s immigration laws as “draconian” and insisted key policies introduced by the Government should be scrapped.
Mr Muižnieks singled out David Cameron, the Prime Minister, for criticism, suggesting he had “scaled up the alarmist rhetoric targeting migrants” in official speeches. In an official memorandum to James Brokenshire, the immigration minister, Mr Muižnieks said: “The commissioner is worried by the dominant political discourse in the UK which is tainted by alarmism “UK political leaders are urged to reflect on the language they use regarding foreign nationals and should avoid the term ‘illegal (im)migrant’.
Read more: David Barrett, Guardian, 23/03/2016
Companies Providing Asylum Seekers Housing Putting Profits Ahead Of Wellbeing
Britain’s asylum seeker housing is geared towards making profits rather than the wellbeing of those it accommodates, according to the first major study of the system since it was privatised. The privatisation of the housing system, combined with austerity cuts, has resulted in a rapid shrinking of Government support for asylum seekers and created a dependency on limited charitable resources, the study found. The research was conducted by a leading expert on European migration and asylum amid growing concerns about the treatment of the rising numbers of refugees who claim asylum in the UK.
Read More: Dean Kirby, Independent, 24/03/2016
Protesters in London/Glasgow/Cardiff Reject Government’s ‘Trade’ in Refugees
Around 20,000 people marched through central London today, Saturday, in support of refugees and in opposition to the British government and the EU punishing people for fleeing from persecution. The protest came a day after the EU agreed a deal with Turkey to return all refugees who arrive in the Greek islands. At least 3,500 marched in Glasgow, led by a contingent of 200 Eritrean refugees. Another 300 protested in Cardiff. The march finished with a rally in Trafalgar Square.
Read more: Stand up to Racism, 21/03/2016
Actor Vanessa Redgrave reminded the crowd that as late as December 1938 there were attempts to stop Jewish people fleeing Nazi Germany from entering Britain and said how dangerous it was to abandon refugee agreements that were set up after the Second World War to make sure that never happened again. Diane Abbott, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, slammed Fortress Europe for turning away refugees.
Asylum Research Consultancy (ARC) COI Update Volume 121
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 8th March and 21st March 2016.
ARC has prepared a Sri Lanka COI Query Response-UPDATE. This COI Query response presents COI from August 2014 to February 2016 on (1) Information on Tamils who have returned (voluntarily or forced) to Sri Lanka since August 2014 and who were subjected to detention and/or torture and/or ill-treatment; (4) Any information on recent arrest/detention/ ill-treatment/ torture of Tamils within Sri Lanka, and on what grounds since August 2014. It provides an update to an August 2014 ARC Sri Lanka Query response.
Quick Dover IRC Closure 'Failed' Detainees
The speed of an immigration unit's closure meant detainees were not treated with "dignity and respect" during transfers, it has been claimed. The Home Office shut the removal centre in Dover at the end of October, just two weeks after it announced the decision. The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) wrote to immigration minister James Brokenshire to express its "concern". He said up to 300 detainees were moved "in line with standard procedures". The correspondence from IMB board chair Peter Finnimore was included in its final report on Dover Immigration Removal Centre, which was published on Monday. Mr Finnimore said the board was concerned over the "speed with which the centre was closed and the way in which the transfer of detainees was managed". He added: "The board is required to satisfy itself regarding the humane and respectful treatment of detainees. "We consider the way the rapid dispersal was undertaken was a failure to treat detainees with dignity and respect." He acknowledged the centre was in a "poor condition" and was not located near airports so detainees could be removed quickly.
Read more: BBC News, 22/03/2016
At least 250 million people worldwide still face appalling and dehumanising discrimination based on caste and similar systems of inherited status, warned the United Nations expert on minority issues while presenting finding to the UN Human Rights Council. “This is a global problem affecting communities in Asia, Africa, Middle East, the Pacific region and in various diaspora communities,” said UN Special Rapporteur Rita Izsák-Ndiaye in a news release, stressing that “caste-based discrimination and violence goes against the basic principles of universal human dignity and equality, as it differentiates between 'inferior' and 'superior' categories of individuals which is unacceptable.” Ms. Izsák-Ndiaye warned that discrimination leads to extreme exclusion and dehumanisation of caste-affected communities, who are often among the most disadvantaged populations, experience the worst socioeconomic conditions and are deprived of or severely restricted in the enjoyment of their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.
Read more: UN News Centre, 21/03/2016
Charter Flight To Nigeria And Ghana Tuesday 22nd March
We are aware that there is a charter flight to Nigeria and Ghana scheduled for TUESDAY 22nd March at 22.30pm (PVT 090) organised by the Home Office and accepted by the Nigerian government, departing from an undisclosed airport in the UK.
Herding individuals from these hand picked countries onto huge planes for mass deportations every month needs to stop. Many individuals have ongoing immigration cases, many cannot afford to pay the huge legal fees to regularise their stay and most have families, children, partners and strong ties to the UK. For this current flight there have been reports of individuals who are being forcibly removed with severe health conditions who are awaiting treatment in the UK. Charter flights enable individuals with extremely convincing reasons for being in the UK to be removed en mass with very few questions being asked.
Each flight cost the UK at least £250,000 as recently reported in the media, and they intend to get as many people on the flight as possible, by any means possible. That means separating families if need be, picking on vulnerable people and taking advantage of the sick. When charter flights are used there is a list of 'reserve' detainees who will be put on the flight if others manage to take legal action to be removed from the charter or are too unwell to fly. This practice means that individuals may be on the flight unlawfully due to having ongoing claims and/or legal avenues to pursue.
Like Corporate Watch, we call this charter flight collective expulsion, as there has not been time to assist each individual sufficiently with their case to effectively prevent their removal on this particular flight. The Home Office prioritise filling up the spaces on the flight over an individual's case, writing to detainees facing forced removal: "As you are to removed on a specially chartered flight to Nigeria, the Home Office may decide not to defer removal in the face of a last minute threat or application to seek permission for a judicial review." This statement demonstrates that the Home Office do not prioritise an individual's right to seek asylum, or their right to a life in the UK – rather they prioritise filling up seats on a charter flight – which we say is collective expulsion.
Call For Action
Based on previous charter flights we have good reason to believe that the airline of the charter flight is Titan Airways.
Details for contact (for how to phone an airline: http://unitycentreglasgow.org/fighting-deportation/)
Tel: 01279 680616 (24 hour)
Source for this Alert: Unity Centre Glasgow