Gay refugee avoids deportation from UK to Uganda but remains in high security removal center
Escorts at the UKÕs most secure Border Agency removal centre did not follow through with plans to deport a gay Ugandan asylum seeker today. As previously reported by Gay Star News 41-year-old Felix Wamala had been booked on a Virgin flight back to Uganda toda But escorts at Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre told him that they would put him on the plane as they knew he didnÕt want to go.
Read more: Alex Hopkins, Gay Star News, 4th May 2012
Kenyan Police and Military Abuses against Ethnic Somalis
The Kenyan security forces have committed widespread human rights abuses against ethnic Somalis with total impunity, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Between November 2011 and March 2012, Kenyan police and soldiers arbitrarily arrested and mistreated Kenyan citizens and Somali refugees in North Eastern province in response to attacks by militants suspected of links to Somalia's Islamist armed movement al-Shabaab.
Human Rights Watch, 04/05/12
Gunmen fire on Nigeria cattle market, 56 dead
Gunmen set off explosives and fired on a cattle market in remote northeastern Nigeria overnight, killing at least 56 people, a nurse who received bodies in the local hospital said on Thursday. A spate of attacks in the past few days, including one against Christians in the north that killed 19 people on Sunday, have dampened hopes that tighter security had significantly reduced the sect's capability. Nigerian forces killed the suspected mastermind of Sunday's attack on Christian worshippers, in a raid in the main northern city of Kano on Tuesday that resulted in a gun battle lasting several hours.
Chicago Tribune, 03/05/12
Theresa May rebuked over illegally deported asylum seeker
Rare court order calls on home secretary to find and bring back Turkish national and investigate UK Border Agency conduct. The Border Agency forcibly removed the man, a Turkish national, from the UK in March despite a court order being issued before he boarded the plane preventing officials from deporting him. His lawyers had argued he should not be removed because he wanted to claim asylum but had not been allowed to do so. After the order was breached, Mr Justice Singh issued a second order to Theresa May to "use her best endeavours" to find the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and bring him back to the UK.
Diane Taylor, guardian.co.uk, Monday 30 April 2012
Second Attempt to Remove Ediage Valerie Ekwedde
Please can you help campaign against the removal of Ediage Valerie Ekwedde. Currently detained in Colnbrook IRC and due to be forcibly removed from the UK on Virgin Atlantic flight VS657 from Heathrow T3 @ 22:45 Tuesday 3rd July 2012 to Accra for onward transport to Cameroon.
Valerie is a gay man who has been in no doubt about his sexual orientation since the time of his school days, when he was expelled for this very reason. He tried since then to hide his sexual identity but made the mistake of drinking too much at his birthday party in a bar in Yaounde, which resulted in a public embrace between him and his partner. They were attacked by an angry crowd and taken to the police station.
Because they were both still bleeding from their injuries after two days, they were told they could be taken to the hospital if they had some money. They gave the officer all they had. Fortunately when they arrived at the hospital he just left them there and they were able to make their escape.
He was helped to come to the UK and has been living in Coventry, attending a men's group and frequenting a gay club, but the Home Office do not believe he is a gay man, in spite of having seen a copy of an arrest warrant that was issued for him. In it he is indicted for the crime of homosexuality under section 347 of the Penal Code. This arrest warrant has since been verified by a police officer in Cameroon.
His UK partner has now written to the Home Office to confirm they have been in a relationship and other letters from supporters are being submitted.
Cameroon urged to overhaul laws criminalizing gay relationships
Laws criminalizing consensual same-sex relationships must be repealed by the Cameroonian government, Amnesty International said as it called for the release of those currently in prison for homosexuality, "It is time to end the arrest, detention, prosecution and other forms of persecution and discrimination against people perceived or known to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender," said Erwin van der Borght, Amnesty International's director for Africa
Refworld, 5 March 2012
On Tuesday 1st May the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) published their annual report on Human Rights and Democracy in which they mention having been instrumental in EU efforts to raise human rights concerns with the government of Cameroon, including those of LGBT people. We hope that the Home Office will not be instrumental in returning Valerie back to what they know is a potentially life threatening situation this weekend.
Messages of support can be sent to Valerie on Mo: 074 3834 5228. Copies of any of the letters and emails you send or feedback on the response you get, can be sent to his Email: email@example.com
What You Can Do To Help:
1) Please fax/phone/email, Richard Branson, owner of Virgin Atlantic and ask him not to carry Ediage Valerie Ekwedde on Virgin Atlantic flight VS657 from Heathrow T3 @ 22:45 Tuesday 3rd July 2012 to Accra for onward transport to Cameroon. model letter <EdiageValerieEkweddeVA.doc> attached.
Virgin Atlantic Customer Relations
PO Box 747 Dunstable LU6 9AH
Head Office: 0844 811 0000
Fax: 0844 209 8708
2. Please fax/Email, Secretary of State for the Home Office, Rt. Hon Theresa May, MP. Ask her to exercise her discretionary powers to stop the flight, and release Ediage Valerie Ekwedde from detention and grant him protection in the UK. You can download model letter EdiageValerieEkweddeTM.doc or alternatively write your own one. Please remember to quote Ediage's Home Office Reference number in any correspondence: E1097317
Rt. Hon Theresa May, MP
Secretary of State for the Home Office,
2 Marsham St
London SW1 4DF
Fax: 020 7035 4745
Please let the campaign know of any actions:
Imperialism didn't end. These days it's known as international law
A one-sided justice sees weaker states punished as rich nations and giant corporations project their power across the world. The conviction of Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia, is said to have sent an unequivocal message to current leaders: that great office confers no immunity. In fact it sent two messages: if you run a small, weak nation, you may be subject to the full force of international law; if you run a powerful nation, you have nothing to fear.
While anyone with an interest in human rights should welcome the verdict, it reminds us that no one has faced legal consequences for launching the illegal war against Iraq. This fits the Nuremberg tribunal's definition of a "crime of aggression", which it called "the supreme international crime". The charges on which, in an impartial system, George Bush, Tony Blair and their associates should have been investigated are far graver than those for which Taylor was found guilty.
Read more: George Monbiot, guardian.co.uk, Monday 30 April 2012
Children [Cedars secure pre-departure accommodation]
Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) for what reason the healthcare and managing non-compliance sections of the operating standards for the Cedars secure pre-departure accommodation have not yet been published;
(2) for what reason the Short Term Holding Facility Rules that would apply to the Cedars secure pre-departure accommodation have not yet been published; which rules apply to the operation of the Cedars secure pre-departure accommodation; and whether the Cedars secure pre-departure accommodation may operate without published rules. 
Damian Green: The pre-departure accommodation healthcare operating standard was published on the UK Border Agency website in February. The operating standard on managing non-compliance is not yet finalised.
The Short-term Holding Facility Rules remain under development at present. Cedars pre-departure accommodation will be subject to the rules when they are made but, as was made clear when the facility opened last year, it currently operates in compliance with the published operating standards for pre-departure accommodation. This will continue to be the case when the rules are made as they will provide an over-arching statutory framework for all short-term holding facilities, including pre-departure accommodation, with the detailed operation of the different facilities set out in published operating standards appropriate to the type of facility. In this respect, Cedars pre-departure accommodation is no different to other short-term holding facilities at present.
House of Commons / 30 Apr 2012 : Column 1086W
Cedars: Children entering detention 1st quarter of 2012 - Jan/Feb/March
January 17 - February 9 - March
20 Christian worshippers Murdered in Northern Nigeria
Suspected Islamic terrorists killed as many as 20 Christian worshippers in an attack on a makeshift church at a university in northern Nigeria. Several small bombs, believed to have been fashioned from fizzy drinks cans, were thrown into a lecture hall that was being used for a Sunday morning service in Kano, a city that has been repeatedly attacked by Muslim radicals. The explosions killed one person and injured many others. But as the crowd fled the lecture hall, gunmen waiting outside opened fire with automatic rifles. Within minutes, as many as 19 others were killed, and their bodies littered the campus grounds as the gunfire continued for up to half an hour more, witnesses said.
Read more: Telegraph 29/04/12
UN 'appalled' by ongoing violations in Israeli prisons
An independent United Nations expert today said he was appalled by the ongoing human rights violations in Israeli prisons amid a wave of hunger strikes by Palestinian prisoners. More than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners began an open-ended hunger strike two weeks ago on 17 April - Palestinian Prisoners Day - to protest against unjust arrest procedures, arbitrary detention and bad prison conditions, according to a news release issued by the UN human rights office (OHCHR). Prison authorities have reportedly taken punitive measures against those on hunger strike, including by denying them family and lawyer visits, confiscating their personal belongings and placing them in solitary confinement, the news release added.
Human Rights Watch, 02/05/12
ARC: Commentary on UKBA April 2012 Sri Lanka OGN
This commentary identifies what the 'Still Human Still Here' coalition considers to be the main inconsistencies and omissions between the currently available country of origin information (COI) and case law on Sri Lanka and the conclusions reached in the April 2012 Sri Lanka Operational Guidance Note (OGN). Where we believe inconsistencies have been identified, the relevant section of the OGN is highlighted in blue.
The report can be downloaded here . . . .
Other available commentaries: Zimbabwe, Jamaica, Occupied Palestinian Territories,Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, OPT, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan can be accessed @:
Best wishes, Stephanie and Liz Consultants
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - May 2012
12 actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and 2 improved in May 2012, according to the new issue of CrisisWatch
Deteriorated Situations: Bahrain, DR Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Macedonia, Mali, North Korea, Pakistan, South Sudan, Sudan
Download the full report: Crisis Watch 105
UK migration: a hierarchy of injustices
The social cohesion and inclusion debate does not even begin to touch the lives of those invisible migrants who toil all hours of the day working out ways of pleasing their employers / traffickers / husbands. It is the existence of this population, more than any other, which exposes the myth of democratic universalism
There is a divide at the heart of the migrant community in the UK between visible and invisible migrants, the documented and the undocumented. Some of the good work done by activists trying to open up immigration controls so that migrants have space to live and breathe has had the perverse effect of damaging the position of invisible migrants – no accident as the interests of these two populations have been posited as antagonistic by the State.
Read more: Rahila Gupta, Open Democracy 1st May 2012
Essential Tools for Anti-Deportation Campaigners
Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) - Human Rights in Countries of Concern
FCO have listed 28 countries in their annual report that have/continue to severely abuse Human Rights. If you are supporting someone facing deportation to any of the countries below. Check the information contained and use it in your campaign material.
Afghanistan, Belarus, Burma, Chad, China, Colombia , Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) , DR Congo, Eritrea, Fiji, Iran, Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Libya, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan and South Sudan, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe
Pages 158 to 388 of the report contain details of all countries listed above
Download: 2011 FCO report
Help Aneesa Bibi Stay in the UK
Aneesa is facing removal to Pakistan on Tuesday, even though further legal representations are pending. Act now to support the campaign to keep this family together. Her flight is the UKBA chartered mass deportation flight, number PVT120, scheduled for 23:25 hrs from Heathrow Airport to Islamabad. NCADC have started a campaign page for Aneesa here . . . .
Commission asks the UK to uphold EU citizens' rights
– The European Commission has given the United Kingdom two months to comply with European Union rules on the free movement of EU citizens and their families across the EU or face an EU court case. The Commission's request takes the form of a reasoned opinion (the second step in the three-step EU infringement process). The Free Movement Directive (2004/38/EC) aims to ensure that EU citizens can fully enjoy their rights to freely travel, live and work anywhere in the European Union. The Commission may refer countries that are not fulfilling their obligations to the Court of Justice of the EU.
The Free Movement Directive should have been fully transposed by EU Member States in their national rules by April 2006. Following bilateral discussions with EU Member States, the Commission successfully resolved more than 90% of outstanding issues in national implementation, but certain obstacles remain (IP/11/981).
The Commission therefore launched infringement proceedings against Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Malta, Lithuania, Spain, Sweden, Poland and the United Kingdom during the period from March to October 2011.
The reasoned opinion against the United Kingdom follows two reasoned opinions against the Czech Republic and Lithuania, launched in January 2012 (IP/12/75).
As one of the EU's larger Member States, the UK is home to around 2 million citizens from other EU countries. It is therefore important that UK laws respect their rights. While the UK authorities have recently committed to amending their rules to ensure full compliance with EU law on free movement in a number of important areas, four issues remain unresolved, namely:
The Free Movement Directive guarantees that non-EU family members of EU citizens who hold a valid residence card issued by one EU country can travel together with EU citizens within the European Union without an entry visa. The UK laws do not grant this important right which lies at the heart of free movement.
The United Kingdom does not allow extended family members of EU citizens to apply to have their residence in the UK considered under EU law when they were lawfully residing in the UK before the arrival to the UK of the EU citizen on whom they are dependent.
Under the Free Movement Directive, EU citizens who settle in another EU country but do not work there may be required to have sufficient resources and sickness insurance. The United Kingdom, however, does not consider entitlement to treatment by the UK public healthcare scheme (NHS) as sufficient. This breaches EU law.
Finally, the United Kingdom does not issue workers from Romania and Bulgaria during the first 12 months with the same residence documents as workers from other EU Member States. While EU law allows the United Kingdom to temporarily keep in place a work-permit scheme for workers from Bulgaria and Romania, those who have a work permit have the same right to reside as other EU workers and must be issued the corresponding residence documents.
The Commission is continuing to closely monitor how all the other EU Member States are delivering on their commitments to amend their national rules in order to comply with the Commission's concerns.
Brussels, 26 April 2012
Global Peace Index for 2011
The world is less peaceful for the third straight year, due to an increased threat of terrorist attacks in 29 nations and a greater likelihood of violent demonstrations in 33 countries.
The fall in peacefulness in this year's Index is strongly tied to conflict between citizens and their governments rather than conflicts with other nations.
Top 15 least peaceful nations:
1 Somalia - 2 Iraq - 3 Sudan - 4 Afghanistan - 5 DPR Korea - 6 DR Congo
7 Russian Federation - 8 Pakistan - 9 Israel - 10 Central African Republic
11 Libya - 12 Nigeria - 13 Chad - 14 Zimbabwe - 15 Colombia
Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region least at peace, containing 40% of the world's least peaceful countries
Threat of Terrorism Climbs: Despite the decade long War on Terror, the likelihood of terrorist attacks has increased in the past year in 29 countries.
Somalia displaces Iraq as world's least peaceful nation
Violence cost the global economy more than $8.12 trillion in 2010
Defining peace - Positive/Negative
The concept of peace is notoriously difficult to define. The simplest way of approaching it is in terms of harmony achieved by the absence of war or conflict. Applied to nations, this would suggest that those not involved in violent conflicts with neighbouring states or suffering internal wars would have achieved a state of peace.
This is what Johan Galtung1 defined as a "negative peace"- an absence of violence. The concept of negative peace is immediately intuitive and empirically measurable, and can be used as a starting point to elaborate its counterpart concept, "positive peace".
Having established what constitutes an absence of violence, is it possible to identify which structures and institutions create and maintain peace? The Global Peace Index (GPI) is a first step in this direction; a measurement of peace as the "absence of violence" that seeks to determine what cultural attributes and institutions are associated with states of peace.
About the Global Peace Index (GPI)
The GPI, produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, is the world's leading measure of global peacefulness. It gauges ongoing domestic and international conflict, safety and security in society, and militarization in 153 countries by taking into account 23 separate indicators.