UKBA officials 'illegally targeting' bus passengers
Civil rights campaigners and human rights group Liberty condemn previously undisclosed tactic as 'deeply distasteful'. Border agency officials are conducting unlawful passport checks on buses to try to catch illegal immigrants, a previously undisclosed tactic that has infuriated civil liberties campaigners.
Documents seen by the Observer reveal that staff from the UK Border Agency have been "regularly" targeting coaches at bus stations "to prevent illegal migrants from making use of the public transport network". However, the practice appears to be illegal, with officials only authorised to examine passengers at air or sea ports. One bus passenger subjected to the identity checks described them as "harassment" and behaviour that had no place in a democratic society.
Mark Townsend, guardian.co.uk, 05/11/11
Head of UK border force suspended
The head of the UK's border force, Brodie Clark, and two senior immigration officials have been suspended after passport and anti-terrorism checks on non-EU nationals were secretly relaxed at some of Britain's ports from July.
The home secretary, Theresa May, said to be furious about the fiasco, confirmed the suspension of Clark, the £130,000-a-year head of enforcement at the UK Border Agency, on Thursday. He is believed to have told UKBA's chief executive late on Wednesday that the lighter passport and anti-terrorism checks had been authorised without the knowledge of ministers.
Alan Travis, home affairs editor, The Guardian, 05/11/11
UK Border Agency attacked for 'dumping' missing cases
MPs have accused the UK Border Agency of losing track of a population of asylum seekers and migrants equivalent to the size of Cambridge. The Home Affairs Select Committee said 124,000 asylum seeker and immigration cases had been "dumped" in an archive, with the agency giving up on them. The term "controlled archive" was used to try to hide the fact that it was a list of lost applicants, said the MPs. Ministers and the opposition blamed each other for the reported failings.
Dominic Casciani, BBC News, 04/11/111
Sofia and Johnson - back together again in Manchester
On Wednesday 16th February 2011 Johnson was detained when a number of UKBA officers forcibly entered the home where he was living with Sofia & dragged him from their marriage bed and took him to Colnbrook IRC. He remained there, until yesterday, when his legal team managed to get him bailed. They will pursue legal action against UKBA as they are convinced the detention was unlawful.
Sofia & Johnson, wish to thank all who have supported them in these hard times and the hard times will continue, until they have both been recognised as refugees and granted leave to remain. Sofia Kalu / firstname.lastname@example.org
Free Babar Ahmad - No Extradition/Deportation to the US
Babar Ahmad is the longest detained-without-trial British citizen in the modern history of the UK. He has spent over 7 years in prison without trial fighting extradition to the US. Ahmad was previously arrested by British police but material seized from his home was found by the CPS to be insufficient to charge him with any offence. Yet, that same material now forms the basis of the US indictment against him, which appears to completely undermine the British criminal justice system.
An official e-petition has been launched on the government website to put Babar Ahmad, now in his eighth year of detention, on trial in the UK.
The petition can be signed here . . . .
Abuse of Cambodian Domestic Workers Migrating to Malaysia
The Cambodian and Malaysian governments' failure to regulate recruiters and employers leaves Cambodian migrant domestic workers exposed to a wide range of abuses, Human Rights Watch said in a report issued today. Tens of thousands of Cambodian women and girls who migrate to Malaysia have little protection against forced confinement in training centers, heavy debt burdens, and exploitative working conditions.
Human Rights Watch, 21/10/11
Zambia: Workers Detail Abuse in Chinese-Owned Mines
Chinese-run copper mining companies in Zambia routinely flout labor laws and regulations designed to protect workers' safety and the right to organize. Zambia's newly elected president, Michael Sata, a longtime critic of the Chinese labor practices, should act on his campaign promises to end the abuse and improve government regulation of the mining industry to ensure that all companies respect Zambia's labor laws.
Human Rights Watch, 03/11/11
Well! Ebenezer, Daisy & Zillah are still in Cardiff
Please don't ask why 'Freemovement' has no idea and neither does Ebenezer. Taxi didn't turn up as expected last Thursday and no phone calls from UKBA to say why. She went to report to immigration earlier this morning by herself and nothing transpired out of that whatsoever, as she signed without any questioning/comment from staff. She then went to the post office for her weekly allowances and got them as usual.
No doubt there will be more on this anon, but until then, thanks to everyone who responded to the alert.
Congolese Community of Wales Cardiff
Ebenezer, Daisy & Zillah - Must Remain in the UK
Children Entering detention - September 2011
11 children entered Cedars Pre-Departure Accommodation
4 children entered Tinsley House IRC
1 child entered Dungavel IRC
Source: Home Office 27th October 201
Urgent Action Appeal! - Please help Ananne Anidu
Ghanaian trade unionist Anaane Anidu was detained by the UKBA a week ago in Glasgow. 35 year old Anaane has been married to Isobel, a British national, since 2006 and has a 21 year old stepdaughter in Glasgow. The UKBA have given him removal directions to be forcibly removed from the UK on a charter flight to Ghana on Friday 4th November.
Originally granted limited leave to remain in the UK following his marriage, the UKBA refused to allow him to extend this to Indefinite Leave as they believed his marriage was a sham. He was then forced to submit an asylum case to stay in the UK with his family. His asylum case was refused last year.
Over the years he has lived in Glasgow, Anaane has developed very strong roots with the local community and was involved with setting up Migrant Rights Scotland. For the last five years he has been working as a nursing assistant at an NHS home for the elderly, where he was also a Health and Safety Officer, and was also a union steward for Unison.
As a member of the minority Kusasi tribe, Anaane fears return to Ghana as well documented ethnic and tribal conflict has claimed the lives of many Kusasi in the Bawku region. The Ghanaian government has been unable/unwilling to prevent sporadic outbursts of violence.
US Human Rights Report: Ghana
Human rights problems included the following: use of excessive force by police, which resulted in deaths and injuries; ethnic killings and vigilante violence; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; police impunity; prolonged pretrial detention; arbitrary arrest of journalists; corruption in all branches of government; violence against women and children, including female genital mutilation (FGM); societal discrimination against women, persons with disabilities, gays and lesbians, and persons with HIV/AIDS; trafficking in women and children; ethnic discrimination and politically motivated violence; and child labor, including forced child labor.
Anaane is in danger if he is returned to Ghana but more importantly he has made his life here in the UK. He has always worked to support imself and has never claimed benefits. Nor does he have a criminal record. Neither he or his partner have been prosecuted for the sham marriage and this allegation has not been tested in a court.
Anaane faces forced removal on a charter flight to Ghana this Friday.
We urgently ask you to send letters to Theresa May using the model letter Ananne AniduTM.doc. Please feel free to amend or write your own but don't forget to include Anaane's Home Office reference number A1318152.
Write to the Home Secretary
Rt. Hon Theresa May, MP
Secretary of State for the Home Office,
2 Marsham St London SW1 4DF
Fax: 020 7035 4745
(00 44 20 7035 4745 if you are faxing from outside UK)
"CIT - Treat Official" <CITTO@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk>
Please let the campaign know of any actions taken:
The UNITY Centre
30 Ibrox Street
0141 427 7992
The UNITY Centre is run entirely by volunteers and funded completely by donations from our supporters. We need your help! If you would like to help by making a donation or by volunteering you can find more details on our website. Thank you! UNITY!
Nigeria: Bombings and shootings leave at least 67 dead
At least 67 people have been killed in a wave of bombings and shootings that targeted police stations, banks and churches in northern Nigeria, officials said yesterday.
No organisation has claimed responsibility, but there are suspicions that the radical Islamist group Boko Haram may have been responsible. The attacks started with a car bomb, which exploded outside a military barracks in the city of Damaturu, the capital of Yobe State. Gunmen then charged through the town, torching police stations and churches. A branch of a local bank was also destroyed.
Great News: Khethiwe Mashavave released
We are not sure yet which day she will be home with us in Bristol, but so good to hear that she will be out of detention today and will taste freedom for the first time in 6 weeks
Thanks to all of you who have come to demonstrations, written letters, made phone calls, signed the petition and spread word of the campaign to others. Some people were out campaigning on Bristol College Green only yesterday, talking about how ridiculous the length of detention has been, about Bristol City of Sanctuary launch in which Khethiwe played such a large part and about the conditions in detention centres and solidarity was expressed for all asylum seekers facing detention.
As we celebrate this amazing news, we must continue to stand in solidarity with those detained and not given a fair hearing of their case. Check out the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns and and Free Movement, which share information from Anti-deportation campaigns across the UK and have supported Khethiwes campaign against her deportation and dentention.
Well done everyone!
Khethiwe Must Stay Campaign
C/O Bristol Refugee Rights, Assisi Centre, St Nicholas of Tolentino, Lawford's Gate, Easton,Bristol, England BS5 0RE
DRC poll campaigns under way amid fears of pre-rigging, violence
Deteriorating security, rampant poverty and illiteracy, logistical difficulties and allegations of rigging are among the concerns raised by analysts and activists ahead of the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) presidential and parliamentary elections, scheduled for 28 November.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) has rebuffed opposition calls for the country's second democratic polls since independence in 1960 to be postponed to ensure better planning.
"If things remain as they are - without dialogue between the electoral commission and political parties over the electoral process, as well as between the commission and civil society and the international community - and elections go on as planned, the result could be violence," Jerome Bonso, chairman of the National League for Free and Fair Elections.
DR Congo: Arrest Candidate Wanted for Mass Rape
Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo should immediately arrest an armed group leader running for political office who is wanted for crimes against humanity, including mass rape, Human Rights Watch said today. A Mai Mai militia leader, Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka, is running as a candidate for the National Assembly in elections scheduled for November 28, 2011. A Congolese arrest warrant against Sheka for mass rape issued on January 6 has yet to be enforced.
Human Rights Watch, 02/11/11
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - October 2011
Deteriorated Situations: Kenya, Philippines, Somalia, Yemen
Philippines, Deadly clashes between government forces and the insurgent Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) broke out in the troubled southern Philippines in October.
Yemen, is still on the verge of full-scale civil war between security forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and opposition forces.
Somalia, Deadly clashes pitting Transitional Federal Government forces and allied militias against al-Shabaab rebels intensified throughout the month.
Kenya, Al-Shabaab also carried out attacks in neighbouring Kenya in response to the entry in mid-October of Kenyan troops into Somalia.
Read the full report CrisisWatch N°99
Early day motion 2336: Anniversary Of Occupation Of Kashmir (No. 2)
That this House records that 27 October 2011 marked the 64th anniversary of the Indian occupation of large areas of the state of Jammu and Kashmir; notes and applauds the improvement in confidence-building measures which had led, until recently, to a welcome improvement in relations between India and Pakistan; regrets, however, that recent demonstrations have led to a totally unacceptable number of deaths, particularly amongst young protesters; and believes that ultimately such demonstrations will only cease with the prospect of meaningful change, an end to repression and the right of the people of Kashmir to determine their own future.
Primary sponsor: Roger Godsiff, Date tabled: 31/10/2011
Uganda [ Child sacrifice]
Lord Alton of Liverpool, yo ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Jubilee Campaign report on child sacrifice in Uganda; and what measures they intend to take to combat this practice.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We are appalled by the ongoing practice of child sacrifice, and other forms of ritual murder in Uganda and around the world, as highlighted by the Jubilee campaign.
House of Lords / 21 Oct 2011 : Column WA112
Sixth Attempt to Remove Cornelius Lansana
Cornelius Lansana a national of Sierra Leone and resident in the UK since 2002, is currently in detention @ Dover IRC and due to be forcibly removed from the UK on BMI flight - BD 967 on Friday 4th November @ 13:15 to Sierra Leone.
This will be the sixth attempt to remove Cornelius. A previous attempt on Wednesday 8th June 2011 failed, Immigration officials in Sierra Leone, refused him entry and he was brought back to the UK.
Once again they are trying to remove him on a 'European Travel Document' that the Sierra Leone London Embassy has okayed, but highly unlikely that immigration at the the airport in Sierra Leone will accept.
Model letters to Home Secretary/Airline here . . . .
Khethiwe, still detained - No progress -
Support Demo Thursday 3rd November
Assemble 3:00 pm
Thursday 3rd November
To make it clear that "Khethiwe Must Stay" - Campaigning and protesting have already prevented her deportation to Zimbabwe, which was originally scheduled for Thursday 29 September.
We must be her voice to speak out for justice and for her safety. Until she is released from detention and granted refugee protection.
If you are local to Bristol then we hope you will join us on Thursday.
If you can't attend you can still help by telling and encouraging your friends within your networks to come.
Thank you for your support.
Khethiwe Must Stay Campaign
Khethiwe Mashavave Belongs to Bristol - Not Robert Mugabe
Important briefing on Children Facing Removal from the UK
In a judgment handed down on Tuesday 25th September, HH Judge Anthony Thornton QC has given some very interesting guidance on the scope of the duty under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 following the guidance of the Supreme Court in the landmark case of ZH (Tanzania) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  UKSC 4. The case is R (on the application ofÊTinizaray)Êv Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 1850 (Admin).
The judge carefully examines section 55 and the judgment in ZH (Tanzania) and gives sensible, useful guidance on similar cases:
Read the briefing is by "Free Movement' the blog
Mildred and family can stay in Sheffield!
I am sure you all will be pleased to learn that that Mildred Okpara has just received her official notification that she and her three children have been given leave to remain the the UK.
She wants to thank 'Freemovement' supporters who responded to the alert for Mildred and her children, particularly as without their help we would not have been able to build such an effective campaign throughout the country.
Mildred and the children were requested by UKBA to forcibly deport themselves in September, but they never went to the airport. They stayed in Sheffield and campaigned against the removal.
Keep up the good work everyone,
On behalf of Mildred and Kirklees Refugee Forum