Vigil for Jimmy Mubenga
Friday 14 October 2011, 12:00 noon to 1:30pm
Crown Prosecution Service
2 Southwark Bridge
London SE1 9HS
A vigil to mark the one-year anniversary of the death of Jimmy Mubenga
A year after his death Jimmy's family are still waiting for the police to finish their investigations and for the CPS to consider bringing charges against the three G4S guards arrested in connection with his death.
The three men were recently re-bailed by police until December. Jimmy died on 12 October 2010 after an attempt to deport him to Angola on a BA flight after allegedly being restrained by three guards from G4S, a company contracted (at the time) by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) as escorts.
Please bring candles
Called by the Justice for Jimmy Mubenga Campaign, supported by INQUEST, Medical Justice and NoBorders.
For further information email:
or phone 07972 850 143
Shamiso Kofi - Still Here, Still Fighting (Posted 06/10/11)
We spoke to our supporter Shamiso Kofi this morning, Thursday 6th October. She was not deported on Tuesday. She is still in Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre. She is keen to publicise what happened to her but is taking legal advice before deciding how to go ahead. We will keep you informed as we get information.
Shamiso and Zimbabwe Vigil, give thanks to all who responded to the alert,
Background: Shamiso Kofi - Belongs to Stevenage
The Vigil, outside the Zimbabwe Embassy, 429 Strand, London, takes place every Saturday from 14.00 to 18.00 to protest against gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. The Vigil which started in October 2002 will continue until internationally-monitored, free and fair elections are held in Zimbabwe. http://www.zimvigil.co.uk
From: "Zimvigil co-ordinator" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Home Secretary and the Pussy-Cat
(With sincere apologies to Edward Lear)
Theresa May and the Pussy-cat went to Tory Conference
Fur flies between Clarke and May as cat tale starts immigration row
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some legislation, and false information,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Minister of Justice looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
'O Home Secretary! O Home Secretary my love,
What a dopey Home Secretary you are,
What a dopey Home Secretary you are!'
Tensions within the Cabinet over human rights were laid bare yesterday as the Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, openly mocked a claim by the Home Secretary, Theresa May, that an illegal immigrant had avoided deportation because of his pet cat.
Read more: Independent, 05/10/11
Solicitors' clients too often overcharged and left in dark, regulator says
Customers who go to law firms are too often left in ignorance about progress in their case then burdened with a huge bill at the end of proceeedings, according to the chief executive of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
Launching a new system of regulation for the expanding profession, Antony Townsend said there were instances of gross overcharging and consumers needed to be given more information about costs.
"The key concerns that came up from consumers [in our research] were to do with information," he explained. "The biggest worries were lack of clear expectations and a lack of clarity about charging. Clients feel they don't know what's going on, there are delays that are unexplained and they are handed a huge bill at the end."
Solicitors' clients too often overcharged and left in dark, regulator says
Owen Bowcott,The Guardian, 06/10/11
UKBA/Barnardo's family-friendly removal policy, falls at first hurdle
A police investigation has been launched into an alleged assault on a Nigerian asylum seeker in front of her three young children on a plane bound for Italy. The alleged incident occurred just two weeks after the launch of the government's new family-friendly removal policy. The family are one of the first to be detained under the new arrangements.
The woman, Faith, 39, said six of the eight escorts on the flight beat her on the arms and legs, twisted her hand and put hands around her neck. She said she was left spitting blood and had still not recovered.
Her claims have raised concerns among human rights campaigners about the treatment of asylum seeker families during the revamped removals process.
Diane Taylor, guardian.co.uk, Monday 3 October 2011
Commentary on UKBA April 2011 Zimbabwe Operational Guidance Note
Still Human Still Here's latest commentary, which we wrote, on the latest OGN for Zimbabwe. The commentary identifies some inconsistencies and omissions between the available country of origin information and case law for Zimbabwe and the conclusions reached in the most recent OGN. The commentary is intended as a tool to assist legal practitioners and to help ensure that all relevant material is considered by decision-makers.
Stephanie Huber and Liz Williams, Consultants
<>Commentary on the April 2011 Zimbabwe OGN
October 3rd COI Update has just been issued. Please visit www.asylumresearchconsultancy.com and then click on the icon 'COI Update Vol 19' to access the document. The next edition of the COI Update will be published on Monday 17th October. We wish you an interesting read!
Reports of the Human Rights Act's death have been greatly exaggerated
The Home Secretary Theresa May's has told the Sunday Telegraph that she would "like to see the Human Rights Act go".
There will be plenty more of this before the Conservative party conference is over, so let's go back to basics with a few questions and answers about the Human Rights Act.
What is the Human Rights Act?
The Human Rights Act 1998 incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into British law. This means that a public authority – including government agencies, hospitals and even courts – cannot act in a way which breaches those rights. The ECHR is the engine of the Human Right Act, which is the bodywork surrounding it.
Is it going to be repealed?
Probably. So Theresa May will get her wish.
But is that the end of human rights in the UK?
No. A commission of 7 lawyers, an academic and a civil servant is currently investigating whether the HRA should be replaced with a UK Bill of Rights. So far they have advised the Government on reform of the European Court of Human Rights – another pantomime villain in this piece – and squabbled. They have to report in just over a year.
Read more: Adam Wagner, UK Human Rights Blog, 02/10/11
The 'Butchers Apron' ~ aka the 'Union Jack'
In the last 4 years, 104,834 people have been removed/deported back to Commonwealth countries.
The vast majority of people who make it to the UK, seeking asylum come from former British Colonies. Countries that the UK plundered of natural resources and when forced to depart, left most of the countries in political/economic turmoil the ramifications of which still bedevil these countries today.
The legacy of the British Empire MUST be front and centre when we make arguments about the injustice of immigration controls. "We are here because you were there and are still there" is critically relevant.
Read the full article here . . . .
Shamiso Kofi - Belongs to Stevenage
Shamiso Kofi (also known as Caroline Shamiso Tagarira) is a national of Zimbabwe. Seven years a resident of the UK, originally in Newcastle and was settled in Stevenage at the time of her capture by UKBA. She is currently detained in Yarl's Wood IRC and due to be forcibly removed from the UK on Kenyan Airways flight KQ 101 at 20:00 hrs on Tuesday 4th October. What is worrying is that she has no onward ticket to Zimbabwe and is unlikely to be allowed to stay in Kenya.
Background here . . . .
What you can do to help
1) Email/Fax/Phone, Sam Okwulehie, Group Area Manager Kenya Airways. Urge him not to carry out the forced removal of Shamiso Kofi (also known as Caroline Shamiso Tagarira). Due to be forcibly removed from the UK on Kenyan Airways flight KQ 101 at 20:00 hrs on Tues 4th October.
Download model letter Shamiso Kofi KA.doc – you can copy/amend/compose your own.
Put as much pressure on this airline as you can, to make them consider if it's worth the damage to their reputation to continue as one of UKBA's deportation airlines.
Fax: 020 8745 5027 (Or from outside the UK + 44 20 8745
Phone: 020 8759 7366 (Or from outside the UK + 44 20 8759 7366)
2) Email/Faxing Theresa May, Home Secretary
Ask her to exercise her discretionary powers to stay the removal and release Shamiso Kofi from detention and to grant Khethiwe protection in the UK.
Download model letter, Shamiso Kofi TM.doc or alternatively write your own one.
Rt. Hon Theresa May, MP
Secretary of State for the Home Office,
2 Marsham St, London SW1 4DF
Fax: 020 7035 4745
"CIT - Treat Official" <CITTO@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk>
3) Email/Fax Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister: Ask him to intervene with the Home Secretary Theresa May to stop the forced removal of Shamiso Kofi. due to be forcibly removed from the UK on Kenyan Airways flight KQ 101 at 20:00 hrs on Thursday 29th September, for onward transit on KQ 700 to Zimbzbwe.
Download model letter Shamiso Kofi NC.doc. You can copy, amend or write your own version..
Nick Clegg - Deputy Prime Minister's Office
Cabinet Office, 70 Whitehall, London SW1A 2AS
Correspondence Section: Tel: 020 7276 0527, Fax: 020 7276 0514
Please let the Campaign know of any actions taken:
Zimbabwe Vigil Co-ordinator
Deportee to sue for unlawful detention
A man detained by the immigration authorities for four years and seven months while they tried to deport him to Morocco is claiming damages for unlawful detention after the high court ruled his incarceration was "self-evidently unreasonable".
Mounir Raki's solicitors said that instead of being released after the high court ruling, he has been "cynically" re-arrested and held on a charge relating to a forged birth certificate.
Raki Ð who has claimed to be Palestinian, but whom the Home Office believe is Moroccan Ð was initially jailed for six months for two convictions of theft and then detained pending deportation as a foreign national prisoner in January 2007.
Mr Justice Birtles said Raki made at least seven serious attempts at self-harm and suicide during his detention and has been on anti-depressants for the past three years, and ruled that the Home Office had failed to take into account the impact of his continuing detention on his mental health as was legally required.
The ruling added that the immigration authorities did not even know how long he had actually been detained. At the latest review of his case on 18 July the UK Border Agency (UKBA) insisted he had been inside for 42 months when he had actually been detained for 54 months.
Alan Travis, home, guardian.co.uk, Thursday 6th October 2011
Nottingham asylum seeker fell from balcony 'after taunts'
A failed asylum seeker fell from the seventh floor of a Nottingham tower block after being taunted by a crowd of people, an inquest has heard. Osman Rasul Mohammed, 27, an Iraqi Kurd, had been in Britain for almost 10 years when an application to stay in the country was rejected. The inquest in Nottingham heard he climbed on to the railing of a balcony in a distressed state in 2010. Coroner Maureen Casey said a "baying" crowd below called on him to jump. The inquest heard Mr Mohammed died at Clifford Court in Radford on 25 July last year after he became very distressed about his immigration status. A neighbour and police spent more than two hours trying to persuade him to get help but he suddenly fell as taunts were shouted from below.
BBC News, 05/10/11
Ivory Coast: 'They Killed Them Like It Was Nothing'
The Need for Justice for C™te dÕIvoireÕs Post-Election Crimes. This 130-page report details the war crimes and likely crimes against humanity committed by forces under both Gbagbo and Ouattara. It documents the horrific human rights abuses that took place from November 2010, when Gbagbo lost an election and refused to yield power, through June 2011. Ouattara took power in April 2011. At least 3,000 people were killed and 150 women raped during the conflict period, often in targeted acts perpetrated along political, ethnic, and religious lines. The report also explores the accountability efforts of the Ouattara government to date, including charges brought by the civilian or military prosecutor against at least 118 members of the former Gbagbo camp.
Human Rights Watch, October 5th 2011
Report on an unannounced short follow up inspection of Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre
Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre - Too Little Progress
Inspectors were concerned to find that:
- while enforced 'separation' was not overused, it was sometimes not properly authorised;
- there were a number of weaknesses in UKBA casework;
- there was a need for more interpretation services and wider use of translated notices;
- there were significant weaknesses in health care services;
- some multi-disciplinary attempts were made to manage vulnerable detainees leaving the centre, but attention needed to focus more on detainee care rather than solely on control issues; and
- education provision had not increased and was particularly unsuitable for those spending lengthy periods in the centre.
Read the full introduction: Campsfield IRC Inspection
Suicide bomb kills over 80 in Somali capital Mogadishu
At least 82 people were killed in Somalia's capital Mogadishu when a suicide truck bo
mb exploded outside a compound housing several government ministries.
13 killed in Pakistan shooting attacks
Suspected Sunni extremists opened fire on Shiite Muslims travelling through south-western Pakistan today, killing 13 people and injuring seven others in the latest apparent sectarian attack to hit the country, police said.
Indpendent, Tuesday, 4 October 2011
Benefits tourism – an EU/UK dust-up
A niggle has broken into a very public row between the British government and the European Commission which may yet become a bare-knuckle fight – not over the Eurozone crisis or bailouts or anything in the headlines, but over the availability or not of certain classes of benefits to EU claimants who do not satisfy this country's "right to reside" test.
British social welfare arrangments provide for a class of non-means tested benefits such as Child Benefit and Income-based Employment Allowance that are only available to people who have resided legally in the UK for five years. The European Commission has declared this fencing-off to be in breach of EU law since it indirectly discriminates non-UK nationals coming from other EU Member States. EU rules on the social security coordination (EC Regulation EC 883/2004) allow the UK to grant social benefits to those persons who habitually reside in the UK; this EU test is satisfied by those who have been resident in the UK for two years or less. It is a common law test – a question of fact on the balance of probabilities, to be determined by looking at all the circumstances in each case. But those who pass this latter qualification can only claim means-tested benefits.
Rosalind English, UK Human Rights Blog, 03/10/11
19 killed in attack on Nigerian village
Men armed with guns and machetes attacked a village in North-west Nigeria early yesterday, shooting and slashing 19 people to death as they went from house to house posing as visitors.
The attack happened in Lingyado village in Zamfara state, a rural region near Nigeria's border with Niger. About 150 attackers surrounded the village and roamed between compounds, shooting residents who came out to greet them, village elder Husaini Dansadau said.
It appeared the communal clash was a reprisal for an attack in August. Witnesses said the attackers appeared to be cattle herders from the Hausa-Fulani ethnic group, which dominates Nigeria's Muslim North. Lingyado is a village of Hausa-Fulani settlers.
Communal violence regularly occurs in Nigeria. Typically, the violence cuts across different ethnic or religious groups, though it finds its base in economic or political strife.
Ibrahim Garba in Kano, The Independent, 03/10/11
Shell oil paid Nigerian military to put down protests
Secret papers reveal that in the 1990s the oil giant routinely worked with the army to suppress resistance to its activities. Shell has never denied that its oil operations have polluted large areas of the Niger Delta – land and air. But it had resisted charges of complicity in human rights abuses.
Court documents now reveal that in the 1990s Shell routinely worked with Nigeria's military and mobile police to suppress resistance to its oil activities, often from activists in Ogoniland, in the delta region.
Confidential memos, faxes, witness statements and other documents, released in 2009, show the company regularly paid the military to stop the peaceful protest movement against the pollution, even helping to plan raids on villages suspected of opposing the company.
According to Ogoni activists, several thousand people were killed in the 1990s and many more fled that wave of terror that took place in the 1990s.
John Vidal, The Guardian, Monday 3 October 2011
The dead begin to speak up in India
Kashmir is one of two war zones in India from which no news must come. But those in unmarked graves will not be silenced. While the government goes about trying to silence the living, the dead have begun to speak up. Perhaps it was insensitive of Barsamian to plan a trip to Kashmir just when the state human rights commission was finally shamed into officially acknowledging the existence of 2,700 unmarked graves from three districts in Kashmir. Reports of thousands of other graves are pouring in from other districts. Perhaps it is insensitive of the unmarked graves to embarrass the government of India just when India's record is due for review before the UN human rights council.
Arundhati Roy, guardian.co.uk, Friday 30 September 2011
Israeli Arab activist detention was (mostly) lawful
Mahajna v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 2481 (Admin) (30 September 2011). Read judgment. The High Court has ruled that detention of a Palestinian activist, whilst he was challenging the decision to deport him on public policy grounds, was lawful in principle. However, the failure to explain to Raed Salah Mahajna the reasons for his detention in a language he could understand rendered the first 35 hours of detention unlawful.
The treatment of foreign nationals pending deportation has provoked a good deal of controversy, as reported recently. These cases are primarily ones where deportation is considered to be conducive to the public good because of serious criminal offences committed by the individual. In this case however, no crime was committed, but a history of activism perceived as anti-semitic preaching was considered a threat to security in the UK.
Mr Raed Salah Mahajna entered the UK as a result of errors made by the UK Borders Agency. He was the subject of an exclusion order because of fears that his brand of anti-Israeli activism could provoke violence in the UK. This order wasnÕt served on him.
Two days later, he arrived in the UK and was allowed leave to enter, despite the order excluding him. Once news of his entry reached the Home Secretary, she decided to deport him; a decision which is being challenged in separate proceedings. Mr Mahajna was arrested in his hotel on 28th June and kept in detention until he was released on bail on 18th July. Mr Justice Nicol heard the challenge to the lawfulness of this detention.
October 2, 2011 by Rachit Buch