Sofia Kalu - Won't be Flying Today (09/09/11)
Still Here, Still Fighting: Hi 'Freemovement' and all my courageous supporters I just want to salute all of you and say a big thank you for all your hard work my flight was cancelled today and I have put in a judicial review and hope to be released soon but the battle is still on.
Please everyone, continue with what you are doing I will be in touch.
Sofia Kalu <email@example.com> 09/09/11
Human rights: the assault continues
The government is poised to cut down the reach of human rights law, paving the way for easier deportation of foreign national prisoners.
The government's announcements in the wake of the riots that non-British citizens convicted of riot-related offences will be deported 'at the earliest opportunity' is part of a new attempt to strip foreign national prisoners of the minimal protection against double punishment afforded them by international human rights law. And already, moves are in progress among foreign ministers of the forty-seven signatory states to the Human Rights Convention to shift power from the European Court of Human Rights to the states' own domestic courts in matters of immigration and deportation. From November, the UK chairs the Council of Europe - and it will seek to use its chairmanship to push ahead with the reforms, which would allow the UK to adopt a much tougher line on the human rights criteria for deportation - without the oversight and corrective influence of the European Court.
Read more: Frances Webber, IRR 08/09/11
A world without borders makes economic sense
Allowing workers to change location significantly enriches the world economy. So why do we erect barriers to human mobility?
What is the biggest single drag on the beleaguered global economy? Opponents of globalisation might point to the current crisis, which shrank the world economy by about 5%. Proponents of globalisation might point to the remaining barriers to international flows of goods and capital, which also serve to shrink the world economy by approximately 5%. That sounds like a lot.
But the truly big fish are swimming elsewhere. The world impoverishes itself much more through blocking international migration than any other single class of international policy. A modest relaxation of barriers to human mobility between countries would bring more global economic prosperity than the total elimination of all remaining policy barriers to goods trade - every tariff, every quota - plus the elimination of every last restriction on the free movement of capital.
I document that remarkable fact in a new research paper. Large numbers of people wish to move permanently to another country – more than 40% of adults in the poorest quarter of nations. But most of them are either ineligible for any form of legal movement or face waiting lists of a decade or more. Those giant walls are a human creation, but cause more than just human harm: they hobble the global economy, costing the world roughly half its potential economic product.
The reason migration packs such economic punch is both simple and mysterious: a worker's economic productivity depends much more on location than skill. A taxi driver in Ethiopia's capital, no matter how talented and industrious, cannot earn more than a few thousand dollars a year. The same person doing the same job in New York City can easily earn $35,000 a year. The reason people will pay him that much is that his driving adds more than $35,000 of value to the New York economy, more value than his actions can add to the Ethiopian economy. Read the full article here
Poverty Matters Blog, Michael A Clemens, 05/09/11
Escort and removal of detainees - by Charter Flight to Jamaica & Nigeria
HM Inspectorate of Prisons accompanied a removal by the UK of 35 detainees to Jamaica and 53 detainees to Lagos, as well as reviewing records of three previous removal flights to both countries. The aircraft were chartered by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) and G4S were contracted to carry out the removals.
Inspectors were concerned to find that:
- in some cases, staff were not properly coordinated during potential and actual incidents, which raised tensions;
- force and restraints were sometimes used for longer than was necessary;
- there is currently no accredited training to guide and support staff who have to use force in confined spaces, such as on an aircraft;
- some staff used highly offensive and sometimes racist language between themselves;
- swearing freely, telling offensive jokes and indulging in sweeping generalisations about national characteristics.
- staff numbers seemed excessive at times;
- in some cases, procedures were too risk-averse; and
- Nigerian Charter Flight Specific:
- Detainees had long waits on the coaches before being taken to the departure airport and then a long flight.
- A man who could not walk was carried bodily to a van and to a toilet, with little regard for his dignity.
- detainees were not allowed hot drinks or blankets, unlike the escorts with whom they shared the transport.
- escorts sometimes spoke to detainees in patronising terms
- On arrival in Lagos, Nigerian officials came onto the plane to complete admission procedures.Their attitude was forceful and aggressive - and included physical assault
- As one detainee tried to explain he had spent most of his life in London, UK escorts mocked his accent.
- there were no arrangements to provide any advice or support to detainees who did not have family or other contacts in Lagos.
Nick Hardwick said: "Escorted removals are a difficult and distressing process. On these inspections, most escorts, most of the time, performed their duties well and dealt sensitively with the needs of individual detainees. However, tensions were sometimes raised when force or restraint was used unnecessarily and some staff demonstrated an unacceptably unprofessional attitude.
"The vulnerability of detainees during the process of removal is not to be taken so lightly, and the behaviour of all staff representing UK authorities should reflect better training and higher standards.
"Detainees arriving in the receiving country, sometimes with very few resources, faced hostility and had no advice or assistance.
"UKBA should ensure that detainees without local support receive some assistance when they first arrive.
"It is a concern that we also need to call on UKBA to ensure that detainees are treated decently at all times, with no physical or verbal abuse, throughout their journey and when they arrive."
HM Inspectorate of Prisons is an independent inspectorate, inspecting places of detention to report on conditions and treatment, and promote positive outcomes for those detained and the public.
The first inspection was carried out from 24-25 March 2011. Inspectors accompanied a charter flight removal of 35 detainees to Jamaica. They also reviewed records of the previous three charter flights to Jamaica. The entire removal process was inspected, from the point at which detainees were collected from immigration removal centres, to the end of the journey to the destination country.
The second inspection was carried out from 20-21 April 2011, when inspectors accompanied a charter flight removal of 53 detainees to Lagos, Nigeria. They also reviewed records of the previous three charter flights to Nigeria.
Charter flights to Nigeria, referred to as Operation Majestic.
Charter flights to Nigeria, referred to as Operation Waldrop.
Notional allocation for Operation Waldrop/ Majestic is 70 detainees and 140 staff
Charter flights were from Stansted, security checks were conducted at the Inflite Jet Centre, not the main terminal building.
The Inflite Executive Jet Centre at London Stansted Airport is a family run business that offers the ultimate Ôone stop shopÕ for the Corporate and Business Aircraft Operator. It provides an extensive range of aircraft handling, engineering and support services all from its purpose built and newly refurbished premises. Located just five minutes from the M11 motorway, with ample secure parking using the Jet Centre is fast and convenient.
Our services are built on the combination of two essential factors, 30 years of experience and the pursuit of excellence in everything we do. We have achieved our success by total commitment to maintaining the quality of our highly skilled workforce and state of the art facilities.
* Family run business
* Five minutes from M11 motorway
* Secure parking facilities
* High quality bar and on site catering services
* In-house security screening
* Approved customs immigration facility
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - August 2011
5 actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated in August 2011, according to the latest issue of the International Crisis Group's monthly bulletin CrisisWatch.
Deteriorated Situations: Kosovo, Mexico, Nigeria, Syria, Turkey
Syria: Anti-regime protests continued across Syria despite increased crackdowns on the major flashpoint cities. Security forces, including tanks, snipers and navy gunboats were mobilised against protests in Latakia, Daraa, Damascus, Homs, Deir el-Zour and elsewhere. Over two thousand deaths have been reported since the unrest erupted in mid-March. The UN Human Rights Commissioner recommended that the Security Council consider referring the situation to the International Criminal Court on the basis of possible crimes against humanity. The international community condemned the violence, with the U.S. and EU calling for President Bashar Assad to step down.
Turkey: the Kurdish PKK rebel group launched a wave of attacks against security forces in the southeast of the country, killing some 30 security personnel over the month. In retaliation the Turkish military bombarded PKK bases in northern Iraq, claiming it killed more than 150 rebels. The government has vowed a hard line, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an saying "The time for words is over. Now is the time for actions".
Kosovo: The situation remains tense in the north of Kosovo after the crisis that erupted in late July, when attempts by Kosovo special police to take control of two border gates with Serbia prompted a violent response from local Serbs. Kosovo's government has promised further actions to enforce its sovereignty in the Serb-held north. Observers fear violent reprisals by local Serbs if Pristina attempts to impose its institutions without prior agreement. Violence in the north could provoke ethnic Albanian reprisals against Serb communities elsewhere in Kosovo. CrisisWatch identifies a conflict risk alert for Kosovo for the coming month.
Nigeria: 23 people were killed and dozens injured in a car bomb attack on the UN headquarters on 26 August. Radical Islamist sect Boko Haram, which is behind an ongoing campaign of attacks on civilians and security forces in the north, claimed responsibility. Officials have named as a suspect a man with alleged links to al-Qaeda.
Mexico: Violence escalated still further in August. At least 52 people were killed in an arson attack on a casino in Monterrey on 25 August. Five suspected members of a drug cartel have been arrested in connection with the attack.
Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, Bosnia, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China (internal), Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, DR Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India (internal), Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories, Jordan, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Myanmar/Burma, Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan), Nepal, Niger, North Caucasus (Russia), North Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Serbia, Somalia, Somaliland, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yemen, Zimbabwe
Improved Situations: Libya
September 2011 Outlook
Conflict Risk Alert: Kosovo
Conflict Resolution Opportunity: None
Muhammed Shuket, Brian Dalrymple, John Yohona RIP
INQUEST, Bail for Immigration Detainees and the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) have raised concerns about three deaths in immigration removal centres in one month. Muhammed Shuket died on 2 July 2011 at Colnbrook IRC; Brian Dalrymple died in Colnbrook IRC 31 July; and Moldovan national John Yohona died in Campsfield IRC on 2 August.
Iran executes three men on homosexuality charges
Three Iranian men have been executed after being found guilty of charges related to homosexuality, according to a semi-official news agency. The men, only identified by their initials, were hanged on Sunday in the south-western city of Ahvaz, the capital of Iran's Khuzestan province.
"The three convicts were sentenced to death based on the articles 108 and 110 of Iran's Islamic penal code, for acts against the sharia law and bad deeds," the Isna agency quoted a judiciary official in Khuzestan as saying.
Iran Human Rights, an independent NGO based in Norway, said the men were charged with "lavat" – sexual intercourse between two men. It is not clear whether the three men were homosexuals or merely smeared with homosexuality accused of being gay.
Saeed Kamali Dehghan, guardian.co.uk, 07/09/11
Urgent: Lydia Besong and Bernard Batey Must Stay
At 7.30am today (Monday, 5th September) at least five UK Border Agency officers went to the home of Cameroon playwright Lydia Besong and her husband Bernard Batey at their home in Bury, Greater Manchester. They took Bernard from the address - Lydia was not at the house at the time.
Bernard is currently in Colnbrook IRC and Due to be forcibly removed from the UK on Kenya Airways flight KQ526 @ 20:00 hrs Saturday 10th September 2011 from UK to Nairobi for onward transit to Cameroon.
The indications are that the UKBA want to deport Lydia as well.
It seems that the UKBA decided to reject their fresh evidence on August 17th but had not written to Lydia and Bernard or their solicitor to inform them of this decision. The first they knew about the decision was when their legal representative contacted the UKBA AFTER Bernard had been detained this morning.
Lydia and Bernard are human rights activists who had to leave Cameroon after being imprisoned and tortured. Lydia was also raped by a prison guard. They were persecuted in Cameroon because of their membership of the Southern Cameroon National Council, a peaceful pressure group which campaigns for the rights of the English speaking minority in Cameroon. An Amnesty International report in May confirmed that the regime of President Paul Biya continues to persecute the SCNC. Lydia and Bernard will be in grave danger if they are returned to Cameroon.
Support materials for Lydia & Bernard can be found here . . . .
Sofia Kalu - Captured, Removal Direction Set
Sofia was captured by UKBA, yesterday morning when she went to sign at Dallas Court. She has been served with removal directions for Friday 9th September 2011, on Virgin Atlantic flight VS601 from London Heathrow @ 20:30 hrs to Johannesburg. Her partner Johson Kalu has not been arrested or detained and is still in Manchester; where both have been very active amongst the Manchester immigration community. Sofia is currently in Yarl's Wood IRC
If you are willing to help, please contact:
WAST Manchester <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Background - Johnson and Sofia must stay
Keep Manjeet Kaur Safe in the UK
Manjeet, an Afghan national, is seeking asylum in the UK following a series of threats and attacks made on her since the disappearance of her husband in India. Her husband Amitt Bhatt, a journalist and Panun Kashmir activist, was threatened and attacked as a result of his anti-government publications including Lies and Genocide of the Indian Government (2010) and Cryashmir (2009). He disappeared without trace in February 2011. Online petition can be signed here . . . .
Innocent Empi 1971 - Tuesday 30th August 2011
"Freemovement' announce with deepest sorrow, the passing of Innocent Empi in London, on Tuesday 30th August 20011, it is understood he died from a heart attack.
Innocent was an inspiration to the Anti-Deportation movement from the moment he arrived in the UK in 2005. Constantly organizing against UKBA for others and himself, day in day out, he was always available on the phone for advice and help 7/24/365.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been made, when they have 'Freemovement', will announce the details with a full obituary, which is being put together by those who knew him best.
John O for 'Freemovement'
Statement from Innocent Empi on gaining refugee status
I have been given full refugee status. Thanks, from the depths of my heart, for everybody who has supported my campaign to stay in Britain and who have brought their skills and knowledge to help and succeed. I am happy that I have safety now, but my thoughts are with so many good people who deserve safety as much as I do, who are still being criminalised and scapegoated in this country.
I am also thinking of people I left behind in the Congo, who I love, who I have lost, who's safety I fear for, and who only ask for the right to live in peace, free from fear with their loved ones. I can never be at ease while they are in danger.
I do not want to sound ungrateful, but the same government who has given me asylum, significantly contributes to maintaining the horrors from which I and my fellow Congolese fled. So I have mixed feelings right now. I am happy, and heartbroken at the same time. I want to thank you for your support over these years. I could not have survived without the support of so many of you. You know I will continue the struggle. I know you will remain with me in the struggle. And of course, the struggle continues.
Innocent Empi - Tuesday 25th September 2007
Angola: Stop Repression of Anti-Government Protests
The Angolan authorities should immediately end the use of unnecessary and disproportionate force against demonstrators, Human Rights Watch said today. It should also ensure the protection of demonstrators and journalists covering anti-government protests against violence, Human Rights Watch said. Human Rights Watch also expressed concern that more than 30 demonstrators arrested by the authorities are still being held incommunicado, their whereabouts unknown.
On September 3, 2011, police agents and groups of unidentified men apparently allied to the authorities violently dispersed an anti-government rally involving several hundred protesters. The demonstration, at LuandaÕs Independence Square, called on President Josˇ Eduardo dos Santos Ð in power for 32 years Ð to step down. The police said four police officers and three citizens had been injured and that 24 people had been arrested, and blamed the demonstrators for the violence. However, witnesses told Human Rights Watch many more were injured and more than 40 demonstrators arrested.
Human Rights Watch, September 5th 2011
Impunity and insecurity undermine human rights protection in the North Caucasus
Thomas Hammarberg, European Commissioner for Human Rights
"The situation in the North Caucasus continues to present major challenges for the protection of human rights. The efforts made to improve the quality of life of the people living in the region should continue, but greater determination is needed to put an end to serious human rights violations, such as abductions, disappearances and ill-treatment of detained persons", said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, releasing today the report on his visit to the Russian Federation from 12 to 21 May 2011. The continuing challenges to security in the North Caucasus amount to a serious ongoing crisis with consequences which extend beyond the region.
Read the full article here . . . .