Ay family, Kurdish refugees from Turkey, win six-figure payout from the Home Office eight years after childhood ordeal
Four children who were incarcerated in detention centres for 13 months – the longest time children have ever been locked up in the UK – have won a six-figure compensation payout from the Home Office more than eight years after their release. The Ay family: Dilovan, now 20, Newroz, 21, Beriwan, 23, and Medya, 16 - who was just seven when the family were held in one room in Dungavel immigration removal centre in Scotland.
Through the media the children documented the damaging effect that being locked up was having on them. "The government and the police in the UK broke our hearts," said Beriwan.
The children showed signs of trauma while they were in detention and more than eight years after being released they are still living with the effects.
Read more: Diane Taylor and Simon Hattenstone, Indpendent 06/01/12
Bomb attacks leave 70 dead across Iraq as Shia are targeted
Bomb attacks in mainly Shia Muslim areas of Iraq killed more than 70 people and wounded scores yesterday, police and hospital sources said, demonstrating increased sectarian strife across the country.
The largest single attack was beside a police checkpoint west of Nasiriya in the south, where a suicide bomber targeting Shia pilgrims killed 44 people and wounded 81, said Sajjad al-Asadi, the head of the provincial security committee in Nasiriya. Photographs showed relatives hugging the bodies of young men lying face down on the ground covered in blood and with the pilgrims' belongings strewn around them.
Read More: Kareem Raheem, Indpendent, 06/01/12
Yidnek Haile - Still Here, Still fighting
Our last alert for 2011, sent out just before the festive holidays was for Yidnek Haile facing deportation to Ethiopia. A last minute stay on the removal was achieved, his case will now be reviewed, but Yidnek remains in immigration detention. So if you haven' t already signed his Online petition, please join the other 3,110 signatures.
Stop Deportation of Yidnek Haile to Prison in Ethiopia
Charter Flight to Sri Lanka Thursday 15th December 2011
Operational name of the flight was 'Tetyra'
Notional allocation was 50 returnees, Sri Lankan authorities agreed for this flight to accept 55 individuals.
48 males and 7 females were removed, there were no minors
10 cases were withdrawn before the flight
2 individuals failed to board through disruptive behaviour
Charter Flight to Nigeria Thursday 8th December 2011
Operational name of the flight was 'Majestic'
Target allocation 65 to 70 returnees
50 males and 17 females were removed, there were no minors
15 cases were withdrawn before the flight
2 individuals failed to board through disruptive behaviour
All data above from response to FOI request
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - December 2011
Ten actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and one improved in December 2011, according to the new issue of CrisisWatch
Deteriorated Situations: Afghanistan, DR Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, South Sudan, Sudan
Download the full report: CrisisWatch N°101.pdf
Afghanistan: Bomb attacks by Pakistani Sunni militants Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif killed 84 people on the Shia holy day of Ashura. Relations with Pakistan remained strained, as Pakistan's boycott overshadowed the Bonn conference. over 90 states and international organisations signed 33-point statement calling for enduring international support beyond 2014. Insurgent attacks continued: 19 killed 7 Dec, 6 killed 13 Dec by roadside bombs in Helmand; at least 20 killed 25 Dec by suicide bomb in Taloq; 10 police killed 29 Dec by roadside bomb, Helmand. High Peace Council said govt will accept Taliban liaison office in Qatar, but no foreign involvement without consent. NATO 19 Dec said night kill-and-capture raids will continue despite repeated protests by Karzai. Senior U.S. commander 20 Dec said U.S. forces could remain beyond 2014 withdrawal date.
DR Congo: Tension remained high after November's flawed presidential and parliamentary elections. Continued violence and repression by security forces claimed at least 30 lives. Incumbent president Joseph Kabila was sworn in for a second term on 20 December, despite international observers finding that the results "lacked credibility". Opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, who has declared himself president, continues to contest the vote. Kabila's dubious mandate bodes ill for the country's peace and security, especially if legislative polls throw up a pliant parliament – counting of legislative ballots is ongoing.
Guinea-Bissau: Renegade soldiers 26 Dec assaulted Bissau army HQ in attempt to remove army chief Indjai; Angolan MISSANG troops intervened to prevent abduction of PM Gomes JuÅLnior; at least 2 killed. Navy chief Bubo na Tchuto, former army chief Watna na Lai and at least 30 others – including several politicians – accused of orchestrating attack, held in Mansoa military garrison. UNSG Ban 27 Dec condemned use of force to settle differences, AU 29 Dec appointed BurkinabeÅL President CompaoreÅL mediator. Govt, Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) and ECOWAS failed to reach security sector reform agreement; army chief said deployment of ECOWAS troops could plunge country into turmoil. Tensions continued between opposition and ruling PAIGC over President Sanha's health, possible replacement by National Assembly President Raimundo Pereira, role of MISSANG troops. UNIOGBIS mandate extended until Feb 2013.
Iraq: the official withdrawal of the last U.S. combat troops, nearly nine years after the invasion, was quickly followed by a political crisis. Authorities issued an arrest warrant for the country's top Sunni politician, Vice President Tariq Al-Hashimi, accusing him of running death squads. He and other leading Sunni politicians fled to Kurdistan, while the Iraqiya alliance, to which they belong, protested by boycotting parliament. In turn, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki threatened to abandon the power-sharing agreement. Meanwhile Baghdad was hit by a new wave of attacks by suspected Sunni insurgents linked to al-Qaeda, reigniting fears of a resurgence of sectarian violence.
Kazakhstan: At least fifteen people were killed and 100 injured in Janaozen in western on 16 December as government forces clashed with a crowd including former oil workers, who have been on strike for 6 months. Eyewitnesses and opposition activists allege much higher casualties, amid reports of mass arrests and torture. The violence marks growing social tensions in the country. Elsewhere, the security services' response to several armed jihadi attacks raises questions about the state's ability to handle its security challenges.
Nigeria: President Jonathan 31 Dec declared state of emergency after 22-25, 29 Dec Boko Haram bombings and gun attacks across Northeast and in Abuja killing over 100, leaving 90,000 displaced in northeastern Damaturu city. Police 19 Dec captured 14 Boko Haram militants, seized bomb-making equipment in Kano after shootout that left 3 police and 4 militants dead. 10 killed 13 Dec in Maiduguri in Boko Haram blast targeting soldiers, who allegedly retaliated with indiscriminate shooting, arson. Bomb factory discovered in Maiduguri after 17 Dec residential blast, large quantities of IED materials, AK-47 rifles, ammunition uncovered. At least 50 killed in 31 Dec ethnic land clash, Ebonyi state.
Pakistan: Tensions between government and military leadership escalated as the Supreme Court began its probe over a memo last May requesting U.S. help to avert a military takeover. The government continues to deny allegations that its former ambassador to the U.S. Hussain Haqqani authorised the memo and rejects the Supreme Court's jurisdiction. Army and intelligence top brass have repeatedly insisted on the Supreme Court investigation, raising fears of a coup. Friction with NATO over its November airstrike on Pakistani border posts continued, with the government boycotting the Bonn conference on Afghanistan in protest and tens of thousands marching in Lahore to demonstrate against the strikes.
Senegal: President Wade 23 Dec confirmed intention to run for controversial 3rd term in Feb election; opposition parties 1 Dec failed to rally behind single candidate to challenge him. Increasing concerns over reported use of youths by political actors to intimidate rivals; leader of Socialist Party's youth league BartheÅLleÅLmy Dias 23 Dec opened fire on reportedly armed Wade supporters, leaving 1 dead. Attacks by separatist Casamance Movement of Democratic Forces (MFDC) on military positions 13, 20 Dec killed 13 soldiers; 5 held hostage. During meeting boycotted by separatist hardliners, MFDC moderate Jean-Marie Francois Biagui 17 Dec announced plan to transform group into political party.
Sudan and South Sudan: relations deteriorated further. Tension over the status of Abyei continued, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calling for the withdrawal of both sides' armed forces, while the two countries' militaries clashed in the disputed territory of Jau. Southern President Salva Kiir accused Khartoum of destabilising South Sudan with cross-border militia raids and bombings. Khartoum, meanwhile, accuses the South of hosting JEM rebels, who are stepping up attacks in North Kordofan.
Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Indonesia, Iran, Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories, Jordan, Kashmir, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Myanmar/Burma, Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan), Nepal, Niger, North Caucasus (Russia), North Korea, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Serbia, Somalia, Somaliland, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zimbabwe
Improved Situations: Bosnia
Bosnia avoided an intensified political crisis as leaders of the six main political parties agreed to form a government at the end of the month, ending fourteen months of deadlock after the October 2010 elections. A new state budget was adopted just in time to avert shutting down state institutions.
January 2012 Outlook
Conflict Risk Alert - None
Conflict Resolution Opportunity - None
International Crisis Group 03/01/12
Gladys needs your help once more
Gladys Mabvira, a Zimbabwean activist who has been detained in Yarl's Wood for nearly 4 months, has once again received removal directions, this time for 12th January.
Gladys has been an active member of opposition group ZAPU UK (Zimbabwe African People's Union). Her open and public participation with this group, particularly her online blogging, would put her at risk if she was returned to Zimbabwe. As elections are likely to take place in the new year in Zimbabwe, political tensions will rise and repression of opponents to the Mugabe regime will increase. A recent International Crisis Group report highlighted that violence and repression continue in Zimbabwe, despite the existence of the unity government.
UKBA have refused Gladys' application for further leave to remain in the UK, despite her having lived here for 9 years. She has been an active and positive presence in her local community, for example through her leading role at Destiny House Church.
Campaign material available NCADC
DR Congo: UN experts outline sources of funding for armed rebels
– Armed rebel groups active in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) derive their funds from several sources, notably trade in natural resources, but also ordinary commerce and illegal taxation, according to a report by a United Nations group of experts unveiled today.
The final report to the Security Council by the Group of Experts tasked with monitoring the arms embargo and other sanctions against armed rebel groups in DRC details their recruitment networks and sources of financing, including trade in minerals, timber, charcoal and cannabis and other cash crops.
Foreign armed groups active in eastern DRC include the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), which has its origins in Uganda and is active in DRC's north-eastern province of Orientale; Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), which are present in North and South Kivu; the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which also originates from Uganda and is active in the north-east of North Kivu; and Burundi's Forces nationales de liberation (FNL), which has a presence in southern areas of South Kivu. Unlike the others, the LRA sustains itself from pillaging, according to the report.
UN News Service
Nigerian President under fire for mishandling Islamic attacks
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has been accused of mishandling a spate of attacks by Islamic militants after he declared a piecemeal state of emergency in some parts of the country. The move will grant sweeping powers of arrest and detention to security services and seal the borders in four restive states in northern Nigeria. It came after 40 people were killed in series of attacks that included bomb blasts at church services on Christmas Day.
Mr Jonathan also announced the creation of a specialist unit to co-ordinate anti-terror efforts as it sought to reassure the Christian half of Africa's most populous nation that it is winning its war on the Islamic sect Boko Haram. But critics have accused Mr Jonathan of inaction after he took more than a week to visit areas affected by recent attacks and has only now set up a counter-terrorism force.
Read more: Daniel Howden, Independent, 02/01/12
Solidarity Demonstration for Ruhul Anam
Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th January 2012
Assemble 09:00 am both days
Nottingham Magistrate Court
Demonstration called by, Friends of Ruhul Anam, Nottingham No-Borders, 'No-Deportations'.
Please come and support Ruhul Anam at his immigration hearing at Nottingham Magistrates Courts on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th Jan 2011. The hearings are scheduled to begin at 10:00 am on both days.
Ruhul has been in detention since March 2008, 3 years and 9 months. The Court of Appeal has found that his detention from May 2008 to August 2009 was unlawful and he has been awarded nominal damages, the amount yet to be decided. He will now challenge UKBA that the continued detention from May 2009 to date has also been unlawful.
Ruhul has requested that we demonstrate against the injustice of his long period of detention and he hopes that you can be there.
Messages of Support/Solidarity to:
Ruhul Anam <email@example.com>