Pending Closure of Dungavel IRC – Statement From 'We Will Rise'
On hearing that the Home Office have announced that Dungavel IRC will close at the end of 2017, we extend our deepest respect for the courage of those struggling for papers who have led this movement to shut down this brutal facility. This is a major achievement for our community and a testament to the power of collective action. The Home Office have bowed to the power of this movement. We also wish to acknowledge the effort of fifteen years of activism to close Dungavel.
Sally Martinez said: "Tonight we celebrate, tomorrow we escalate the fight to end detention."
We must remember this is a move imposed on Scotland by Westminster. The Conservative government under Theresa May is one of the most racist and brutal we have experienced for decades. The decision to close Dungavel means that we must remain one step ahead. We will escalate the campaign against the building of a new detention facility in Renfrewshire.
Now is a perfect time for the Scottish government to act on its own commitment to end detention in this country. We send a strong message to our political representatives that there is no humane way to detain people in the immigration system.
The decision to close Dungavel is a move to facilitate the rapid removal of refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants. It will deny people their human right to legal support. It will cut people from support networks - their homes, families and friends. The government's 'fast track' system has already proven to be unlawful. This decision is part of a broader scheme to deny people basic legal rights, which are theirs in a democratic society.
For those in the grips of detention, announcements like this offer little relief. One site of trauma, maltreatment and violence will be replaced by another. The future for those imprisoned in Dungavel for the next 15 months will be marked by even more acute levels of fear and uncertainty. In the coming days and weeks, we will offer support to those detained in order to care for each other and resist the system from within.
We will resolutely oppose the proposed new 51-bed short-term holding facility at Glasgow Airport. We will continue to work in support with our allies in campaigning against Larne, Yarls Wood, Campsfield, Tinsley, Cedars, Harmondsworth, Colnbrook, Brook, Pennine Verne, Morton Hall and all the other sites the Home Office continue to use to imprison, control and dehumanise us.
Today's announcement proves detentions centres can and will be shut down. We must consider this a victory. But it is a victory we will take with humility because thousands of people are still detained tonight.
James Mbeke offers this message: "We will not stop until they are all free."
Source: 'We Will Rise' Glasgow, http://tinyurl.com/jhnsr8h
High Court Rejects 9-Year-Old's Plea for UK To Bring Back British Father
The High Court has rejected the case of a nine-year-old British girl demanding Theresa May's government do more to help her father, who has been kidnapped by the Ethiopian authorities and now faces an impending death sentence. British officials have failed to intervene in the case of Andargachew Tsege, known as Andy, a father of three from London who was granted political asylum in the UK in 1979 and has lived in Britain ever since. He was abducted in June 2014 while on route to visit Eritrea, and in July 2015 moved to the infamous Kality prison outside Addis Abiba, dupped "Ethiopia's gulag". Lawyers for Andy's daughter, Menabe Andargachew, 9, began judicial review proceedings earlier this year against the Foreign Office (FCO) over ministers’ handling of the case. But according to the rights group Reprieve which has been assisting Andy's family, at a hearing on Wednesday afternoon High Court judges ruled in the government's favour.
Read more: Adam Withnall, Independent, http://tinyurl.com/jd73zql
Home Office Charter Flight Operations between April and June 2016
Freedom of Information Response
Thank you for your e-mail of 4 August, in which you asked for information about Home Office charter operations between April and June 2016. The answers to your questions fall to be dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and in response I will answer them in order.
1. Number of males removed 336
2. Number of females removed 18
3. Number of escorts 652
4. Number of flights in total 8
5. Number flights to each country / number removed to each country
Destination Number of Flights Returnees
Albania 4 194
Nigeria/Ghana 1 47
Pakistan 3 113
6. Number of children, if any: None
Stand as One Refugees Rally
Saturday 17th September - Castle Square, Swansea, Wales, from 10.30am – 12.30pm
This September, world leaders will meet to discuss the refugee crisis at two crucial summits in New York. Ahead of the summits, on Saturday 17 September, people around the world are getting together to show their support for refugees, showing Governments worldwide that we want them to do more to support refugees. Oxfam Cymru and partners organisation are coordinating a Wales event. The Stand as One Rally, showing support for refugee and celebrating their contribution to Wales, will take place in Castle Square, Swansea, from 10.30am – 12.30pm, with guest speakers and performers.
Join us to show the Welsh and UK Governments that we wanted them to do more to welcome and resettle refugees here, whilst also working with other governments to find a long-term political solution to the refugee crisis.
That this House is aware of UN estimates that approximately 17,000 children in our world are forced to flee their homes everyday due to wars, in the process experiencing haphazard and dangerous refuge, often having to miss out on their schooling, social welfare and health needs; believes that those minors who are forced to flee from such situations should as a priority be quickly found safe accommodation in which they can be protected from harm and exploitation until they are reunited with their families; and calls on the Government to support the worldwide action plan for such children which would mobilise sufficient funds to guarantee the education and safety for all children in such war displacement, to help and not ignore their severe plight.
Date tabled: 05.09.2016 Primary sponsor: Meale, Alan Sponsors: Crausby, David Lavery, Ian Campbell, Ronnie Morris, Grahame M Mearns, Ian
ECtHR: V.M v UK Violation of Article 5 § 1 – In Respect of her Immigration Detention
V.M. v. the United Kingdom (no. 49734/12)
The case concerned the complaint by a mentally-ill woman about her immigration detention pending deportation.
The applicant, Ms V.M., is a Nigerian national who was born in 1977 and lives in West Drayton (England, UK).
Ms V.M. entered the United Kingdom illegally on 18 November 2003 with her son. In November 2003 her son was admitted to hospital with serious injuries and then taken into care. Ms V.M. was later charged with child cruelty and convicted on 7 April 2008. Due to the seriousness of her offences, the Crown Court judge recommended deportation. Ms V.M thus remained in detention when her criminal sentence ended on 8 August 2008.
In the following three years, until her release on bail in July 2011, Ms V.M. brought a number of proceedings challenging the decision to deport her. In December 2008, the immigration authorities dismissed her appeal against her deportation. In June 2009, she also requested the decision to deport be reversed or that her representations be treated as a fresh asylum claim, referring to her poor mental health (recurrent depression and a personality disorder) and the poor standard of treatment facilities in Nigeria if she were deported. Five months later the Secretary of State refused to treat those representations as a fresh claim for asylum. Permission to apply for judicial review was granted in May 2010 and a hearing took place in July 2010: both the Court of Appeal and the Administrative Court concluded that, in view of the serious risk of Ms V.M. absconding, reoffending or harming herself or others, she would have been detained lawfully during the period between August 2008 and April 2010 even if the policy to favour alternatives to immigration detention for the mentally ill had been considered. Ms V.M.’s bail applications were also rejected on similar grounds. During her detention, Ms V.M. had ongoing medical assessments and, by March 2010, the assessments noted that her mental health had significantly deteriorated. However, the courts reviewed all of the medical evidence in their decisions on Ms V.M.’s case and concluded that the authorities’ decision not to transfer her to hospital had been reasonable.
Relying in particular on Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security), Ms V.M. complained about the excessive length of her detention as well as the system of immigration detention in the UK, notably alleging that the time-limits on the maximum period of immigration detention were unclear and that there was no automatic judicial review. She also complained that her detention from August 2008 (when her criminal sentence ended) to July 2010 (when her first application for judicial review was heard) had not been lawful as it had breached the policy on mentally-ill immigration detainees.
Violation of Article 5 § 1 – in respect of the period of Ms V.M.’s immigration detention between 19 June and 14 December 2009
Just satisfaction: 3,500 euros (EUR) (non-pecuniary damage) and EUR 10,000 (costs and expenses)
This press briefing: http://tinyurl.com/zclmewk
Full court transcript: http://tinyurl.com/jkq2dsv
UK Minister Confirms Work to Start On £1.9m Calais Wall
Work is about to begin on “a big, new wall” in Calais as the latest attempt to prevent refugees and migrants jumping aboard lorries heading for the Channel port, the UK’s immigration minister has confirmed. Robert Goodwill told MPs on Tuesday that the four-metre high wall was part of a £17m package of joint Anglo-French security measures to tighten precautions at the port. “People are still getting through,” he said. “We have done the fences. Now we are doing the wall,” the new immigration minister told the Commons home affairs committee. Building on the 1km-long wall along the ferry port’s main dual-carriageway approach road, known as the Rocade, is due to start this month. The £1.9m wall will be built in two sections on either side of the road to protect lorries and other vehicles from migrants who have used rocks, shopping trolleys and even tree trunks to try to stop vehicles before climbing aboard. It will be made of smooth concrete in an attempt to make it more difficult to scale, with plants and flowers on one side to reduce its visual impact on the local area. It is due to be completed by the end of the year.
Read more: Guaridan, http://tinyurl.com/jpr2cd9
Protest at Jamaican Embassy In London Against Deportation Flight
Protesters gathered yesterday outside the Jamaican high commission in south-west London to demonstrate against Jamaica’s cooperation with a deportation flight due to take off today Wednesday 7th September. Mothers, fathers and grandparents are among those due to be forcibly removed from the UK to Jamaica despite many of them having spent their entire adult lives in Britain. In some cases they are still fighting their immigration cases, activists said. Critics have raised questions about the tactics used by Home Office immigration enforcement, which has been accused of “strategically” detaining individuals to fill the flight, without consideration of their circumstances.
The Unity Centre, a Glasgow-based migration support collective, said in a statement that it has spoken to more than 50 of the passengers booked on the flight, all of who came to the UK as children but have failed to regularise their immigration status.
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees – August 2016
Deteriorated Situations: Central African, Republic, Gabon, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Thailand, Turkey, Syria, Yemen
Improved Situations: Philippines, Colombia
Outlook for September 2016
Conflict Risk Alerts: Western Sahara - Resolution Opportunities: None
Global Overview August 2016: The month saw Yemen’s peace talks collapse with violence there intensifying, and the Syrian conflict escalate following Ankara’s launch of a cross-border ground offensive against Islamic State (IS) and Kurdish forces, days after a major terror attack in Turkey’s south east. Troop deployments in Western Sahara threatened to bring about clashes, and violence flared in the Central African Republic. In Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, security forces brutally suppressed anti-government protests, while in Gabon, the president’s disputed re-election triggered violent clashes. In Asia, a suicide bombing killed over 70 people in Pakistan, while suspected militants in Thailand’s southern insurgency launched attacks on targets outside the traditional conflict zone. In positive news, peace talks between the Philippines government and communist rebel groups resumed after a four-year hiatus. On 24 August, Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) declared that they had reached a final peace accord, paving the way for an end to 52 years of armed conflict.
Read more: International Crisis Group, http://tinyurl.com/hrls83b
Weight to be Given to the Public Interest in an Appeal Against a Refusal to Revoke a Deportation Order Against a Foreign Criminal
IT (Jamaica) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 932 (02 September 2016)
1. This appeal from the Upper Tribunal's determination dated 12 January 2015, dismissing an appeal from the determination of the First-tier Tribunal ("FTT") dated 5 September 2014, raises the question of the weight to be given to the public interest when a deportee applies for revocation of a deportation order made against him. On it depends the further question of what the deportee must show to displace that public interest and in turn what he must demonstrate to a tribunal to succeed on any appeal from the Secretary of State's refusal to revoke that order.
2. In this case, the appellant, A, was deported under section 32 of the UK Borders Act 2007 ("the Borders Act") in 2010 following his conviction for a serious criminal offence for which he was sentenced to 42 months' imprisonment. The Secretary of State has refused to revoke that order so that he can return to the UK to live with his wife and son. The FTT allowed A's appeal and the Upper Tribunal dismissed a further appeal. It is effectively common ground that, under section 117C of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 ("the 2002 Act"), the deportation order may only be revoked if its retention is determined to be "unduly harsh", but there is a dispute between the parties as to the weight to be given in that determination to the public interest in deporting foreign criminals who have committed serious offences and to whether the tribunals followed the right approach in this case.
3. For the reasons given below, in my judgment, the undue harshness standard in section 117C of the 2002 Act means that the deportee must demonstrate that there are very compelling reasons for revoking the deportation order before it has run its course. Section 117C is to be read in the context of the Immigration Rules which make that clear. The tribunals in this case recognised the role of the public interest but fell into error because they did not direct themselves as to the weight to be given to it in balancing it against the interests of the applicant and others.
?64. The balancing exercise in this case has to be performed again. The FTT did not seek to analyse whether there were very compelling reasons why the deportation order should be revoked. In those circumstances, if my Lord and my Lady agree, the appropriate order is that the appeal should be allowed and that the matter should be remitted to the Upper Tribunal for further consideration in accordance with the judgment of this Court.
Read the full transcript:
Stop The Demolition of the "Jungle" Refugee Camp
Emergency Demonstration Tonight - 6pm Wednesday 7th September 2016
French Embassy, 21 Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2EN.
Demand Our Government Does More!
The blockade of the Calais jungle refugee camp has been lifted but only after protest leaders received assurances from state regional representatives that the camp will be dismantled 'in a single step'.
Clare Moseley, founder of Care4Calais comments; “In February 2016 over 50% of the camp was demolished and yet six months later the camp is bigger than it has ever been before. This is clear evidence that demolitions do not act as a deterrent. The refugees come because they have no choice. Destroying their homes achieves nothing more than making living conditions so much more inhumane.”
The French and British governments are failing in their duty of care towards up to ten thousand refugees including hundreds of unaccompanied children. Many are sleeping in appalling conditions at the camp.
Stand up to Racism will protest against the planned assault on the Jungle to offer our solidarity to those at the camp.
Source for this message: Stand up to Racism
Roots to Return - Now up and Running! – Free Help With Out of Country Appeals
We wish to let you know that Roots to Return is now up and running and can be contacted by anyone affected by the Out of Country Appeals process directly, their friend or family member, caseworker or representative. Roots to Return has been set up in response to the UK Home Office's Out of Country appeals process (or 'Deport Now, Appeal Later' policy). We aim to support individuals and their families affected by this policy, both those removed from the UK and those left behind.
Present activities: At present we are supporting individuals forced to leave the UK with an out of country appeal right to understand the process of making an appeal outside the UK, overcome barriers to this process and to maintain contact with family and friends in the UK while the appeal is pending and immediately following removal. (At present we cannot provide money for the £140 appeal fee but we aim to be able to raise this for those that need this provided in the near future). We have a guide that can be accessed in our website (http://rootstoreturn.wixsite.com/home/out-of-country-appeals) and a dedicated volunteer who will lead individuals through the process.
We are also able to provide support to those who have had a family member or friend removed from the UK. We understand the process and have extensive experience talking to and supporting those going through this situation. We can make referals to specialised services depending on the needs discussed. Lastly, we can be contacted by anyone looking to publicise their personal situation and for campaigning about out of country appeals and charter flights.
Anyone wanting to get in contact about any of these activities can send an initial email to firstname.lastname@example.org outlining the situation and providing preferred contact details.
Asylum Research Consultancy (ARC) COI Update Vol. 131
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 23 August and 5 September 2016. http://tinyurl.com/jxz6uek