Perihan and daughters, going nowhere except back to their UK Home
With relief, we can announce that our client - the Kurdish lady and her two daughters - have been released from detention and are on their way back to Gloucester. The High Court has ruled they must not be removed, whilst their current legal papers are being considered.
A big THANK YOU to everyone who has contacted the Home Secretary, MPs and airline on their behalf. If you haven't already opted to join the campaigns list, please consider emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to do so.
It would be great if we never needed to campaign again but that would probably be unlikely given the current climate.
Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Police arrest 11 after protest against forced deportations
Around 30 activists gathered outside Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre and some locked their arms inside concrete blocks in a bid to prevent the removal of "up to 50" people to Ghana.
Members of the group No Borders, which campaigns for free migration, claimed that some of those scheduled to be deported were removed from the flight. The UK Border Agency confirmed on Wednesday that 22 people were removed. They included two convicted criminals, 12 immigration offenders, and eight failed asylum seekers.
Scotland Yard said the protest began at around 6pm Tuesday, and ended in the early hours of Wednesday morning and caused the chartered flight to be delayed.
Joe Taylor, who took part in the protest, said: "We were standing there surrounded by cops as the news that a number of the deportees were taken off the flight arrived. The deportation was cancelled as a result of last minute legal representation. If we weren't there, these people would have been deported in a complete disregard of their human rights. The heavy-handed policing was only there to facilitate this cynical operation."
A UK Border Agency spokesman said: "When someone has been found not to have the right to be in the UK we would prefer they left voluntarily. Where they do not we will seek to enforce their removal."
Sophie Warnes, Indpendent, 16/02/12
Children deported to Kabul/Afghanistan will face 'horrible risks'
Picture your 16-year-old son, brother, cousin or friend. Picture him without his parents in a strange country, where he is picked up by uniformed officials and put on a plane alone. Picture him dropped off in a strife-ridden city, like Kabul or Baghdad, and left to fend for himself. Picture having no idea where he will end up.
That is what the United Kingdom Border Agency wants to do to migrant children in Britain. It has a proposal to start deporting unaccompanied 16 and 17-year-old Afghans early this year, even if it cannot find the children's families back in Afghanistan. It is quite obvious that children returning to Afghanistan, especially under these circumstances, face risks of destitution, violence, and recruitment into armed forces.
Human Rights Watch 10/02/12
Activists blockade detention centres in protest over deportation plans
Tuesday evening ahead of what they said was a scheduled plan to deport dozens of detainees to Ghana on a flight at midnight. Eleven members of the No Borders network locked their arms together inside concrete blocks and one suspended herself from a 10ft tripod made of scaffolding poles to prevent coaches carrying deportees from leaving Harmondsworth and Colnbrook detention centres.
At least 20 protesters carrying banners and chanting anti-deportation slogans joined them. "My friend will be on that flight. He suffers from chronic injuries following his violent arrest during an immigration raid last year," said 26-year-old Yvonne Mason, a protester.
Read More: Ben Quinn, guardian.co.uk, 14/02/12
Number 13 unlucky for some but not for Patrice Ndjonssy
The escorts came for me at 01:30 am Monday morning and we had to drive around and around and then find somewhere to wait. I do not know why they came so early.
Eventually we arrived at the airport, one escort went to the plane to see if they could take me. I think they were told they had to wait until the Air France pilot arrived. When the pilot did arrive, he came over to the van and asked if I was Patrice and asked if I was ready to fly with them. I said No I do not want to go back as my life will be in danger. He said okay I won't carry you and went back to the plane. So here I am back in Colnbrook STH, no doubt waiting for RDs number 14.
I thank all the people who supported me and got in touch with Air France. But now UKBA say that the next thing will be a charter flight, but a charter flight to where to as I understand Cameroon will not accept such flights. I have been told by other detainees that a charter flight to Nigeria in January carried other nationalities than Nigerian. I believe they were from Tanzania and Somalia and they were dumped at Lagos airport to make their own way back to their countries
Dushy & Tiffany belong to Gorton
'Dushy' and Tiffany came to Manchester four years ago and now the Home Office intends to deport them on Thursday 8th March 2012.
Tiffany is six years old. She was born in England and has lived in England for her whole life. She is a bright girl who is doing well at school. Tiffany speaks only English and has no knowledge or understanding of life in Sri Lanka. For Tiffany, Sri Lanka is an alien land that she couldn't even recognise on the map and yet the Home Office wishes to send her there.
Tiffany is of mixed ethnicity (Dushy is Sri Lankan and Tiffany's father is African) so Tiffany's skin colour is very dark and she has distinctive African hair. In Sri Lanka, racial discrimination is widespread, stemming from the war between the Tamils and Singhalese people. If Tiffany were to be sent to Sri Lanka, she would face daily bullying and cruelty for her skin colour and the fact that she is illegitimate (she was born to parents who were not married and are no longer together). She would not have equal opportunities with other children and this would continue throughout her adult life. This would extend to her schooling, her job prospects and even her standing with the justice system. Yet the Home Office wants to send her to Sri Lanka.
Dushy and Tiffany are both Christians. Dushy became a Christian four years ago and is actively involved in a church in Gorton. In Sri Lanka, there is theoretical religious freedom but in practice, Christians who want to be active in their faith are regularly persecuted. State schools refuse to accept Christian children or if accepted force the children to study Buddhism. We know of a number of people who have been given asylum in the UK because they were so badly persecuted for their Christian faith. Yet the Home Office wants to send Dushy and Tiffany to live in Sri Lanka.
Being an asylum seeker is a very difficult position to live in. But despite this, Dushy has tirelessly volunteered at the Oasis Centre in Gorton for the last three years. She has helped many people in this community to resolve issues with housing, debt, financial worries, benefits and more. Dushy is a huge asset to the community of Gorton and there are many hundreds of people who have been helped because of her involvement and love for this community. Yet the Home Office wants to send her to Sri Lanka.
Dushy and Tiffany have built a life as a family in England. Tiffany is surrounded by people one who she calls Nana and she also has many 'aunts' and 'uncles' and they are the only extended family she has never known. They have a loving church family and many friends who support them. Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights provides a right to 'a private and family life' and yet the Home Office wants to send Dushy and Tiffany to Sri Lanka.
Please become a part of this campaign - we must do all we can to help them remain in this country.
1) Please show your support by contacting the Home Secretary to ask that Dushy and Tiffany be allowed to stay.
You can write a letter to ask the Home Secretary to use her powers to grant protection and leave to remain. It helps if you can write a personal letter, but you can download and use the wording of the Dushy-TM-ModelLetter.doc if it helps. . Always remember to include Dushy's Home Office reference number: C1070572
You can fax the Home Secretary on fax number 0207 035 4745.
Emai to these addresses:
"CIT - Treat Official" <CITTO@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk>
Or post to:
Rt. Hon Theresa May, MP
Secretary of State for the Home Office,
2 Marsham St London SW1P 4DF
Please remember to include Dushy's Home Office reference number - C1070572
2) Show your support for Dushy and Tiffany by visiting and 'liking' their Campaign Facebook Page
Whatever action you take, please let the campaign know:
£2m paid out over child asylum seekers illegally detained as adults
The Home Office has paid compensation of more than £1m, plus £1m costs, in a case involving 40 child asylum seekers who were wrongly detained as adults, the Guardian can reveal. Legal case involved 40 youngsters who were locked up in adult units under Home Office policy deemed to be unlawful It is thought to be the first case of its kind and the largest immigration detention payout for a single case.
Government officials accepted that the policy was unlawful and changed it as a result of this case. However, data passed to the Guardian shows that children are still being detained. The case that resulted in the £2m payout involved girls and boys, including 25 aged 14 to 16, from countries including Afghanistan, Iran, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Eritrea, Uganda, Somalia and China. The youngest was a 14-year-old girl from Sri Lanka. Some were survivors of torture in their home countries and some of the girls were survivors of rape and other forms of sexual violence.
Read more: Diane Taylor, guardian.co.uk, Friday 17 February 2012
Ruhul Anam 4th Birthday in Detention Approaching Fast
Just to let you all know, that despite the High Court deciding and the SSHD accepting, that I was illegally detained from May 2008 to August 2009, I still remain in detention. I have argued in Court that my continuing detention is also illegal but due to a administrative foul up, a massive failure by UKBA to serve my papers to court last year, the court has not been able to hear the case and no date as yet has been set for a final hearing.
On Wednesday the 14th March 2012, I will have spent 4 years in immigration detention. I will not be celebrating, I sorely miss my family.
Morton Hall IRC
Sheffield demonstration over asylum housing contract
A demonstration has taken place in Sheffield over plans to give a security firm a contract to manage housing for asylum seekers across Yorkshire. About 40 people stood outside the city's town hall after it was announced that the UK Border Agency planned to sign a regional contract with G4S.
South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group (SYMAAG) said "G4S was not the best company for the job". Stuart Crossthwaite, from SYMAAG, said: "We believe they got the contract because they undercut the other bidders. For them its about saving money. "Saving money means moving people to the cheapest housing and the cheapest housing is not going to be the best housing by any means."
BBC News, 15 February 2012 http://www.symaag.org.uk/
Poor diet kills 2.6 million infants a year
Malnutrition is the root cause of the deaths of 2.6 million children each year, and the bodies and brains of 450 million more will fail to develop properly due to inadequate diet over the next 15 years unless immediate action is taken, according to a survey published on Wednesday by a leading international charity.
The survey of developing countries, A Life Free from Hunger, produced by Save the Children, estimates one in four children are already stunted because of malnutrition.
Read more: Simon Tisdall, guardian.co.uk, 15/02/12
Respect and suicide prevention at the UK Border Agency
"Staff did not carry anti-ligature knives," inspectors found on their unannounced visit last October to Waterside Court in Leeds, one of the UK Border Agency's holding facilities for immigration detainees. What's more, escort staff at the commercial contractor Reliance Security "had difficulty in locating anti-ligature knives and one van did not have a knife at all".
In their report on Waterside Court published Tuesday 14th February, HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) urged: "Detainee custody officers (DCOs) should routinely carry anti-ligature knives" — to enable the prompt rescue of detainees who try to hang themselves. It's hardly rocket science, yet HMIP has had to urge this upon the UK Border Agency repeatedly in numerous reports over years. The Agency's persistent failure to ensure that cut-down knives are carried may say something about its attitude towards the vulnerable people in its care.
Read more: Clare Sambrook, 14 February 2012
Importance of Children in Automatic DeportationCcases
This case concerns the application of human rights exceptions to the deportation of individuals who were married to British citizens or who had British children.
The Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) (the "Tribunal") noted that in Mr. Walker's case, it was accepted before the Court of Appeal that there was an error of law by reason of the failure of the Tribunal to examine the interests of British national children as a primary consideration in light of the guidance in (ZH) Tanzania v SSHD  UKSC 4. It found that similar errors existed in the other two cases and, as such, it would set aside and re-make the decisions.
Read more: Wessen Jazrawi, UK Human Rights Blog, 13/02/12
Sanade, Harrison & Walker v Secretary of State for the Home Department  UKUT 00048(IAC) – Read judgment
UKBA: Operational Guidance Note - Bangladesh
This document provides UK Border Agency case owners with guidance on the nature and handling of the most common types of claims received from nationals/residents of Bangladesh, including whether claims are or are not likely to justify the granting of asylum Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave. Case owners must refer to the relevant Asylum Instructions for further details of the policy on these areas.
Published on Refworld, 10/02/12
UKBA: Operational Guidance Note - South Africa
This document provides UK Border Agency case owners with guidance on the nature and handling of the most common types of claims received from nationals/residents of South Africa, including whether claims are or are not likely to justify the granting of asylum, Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave. Case owners must refer to the relevant Asylum Instructions for further details of the policy on these areas.
Published on Refword, 10/02/12
UKBA: Operational Guidance Note - Palestinian Territories
This document provides UK Border Agency case owners with guidance on the nature and handling of the most common types of claims received from nationals/residents of Gaza and the West Bank including whether claims are or are not likely to justify the granting of asylum, Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave. Case owners must refer to the relevant Asylum Instructions for further details of the policy on these areas.
Published on Refword, 10/02/12
EDM 2717: Stop Financing Of Illegal Activity in the West Bank
That this House welcomes the December 2011 Report by the EU Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah, especially the proposal for appropriate EU legislation to prevent and discourage financial transactions in support of settlement activity; notes the UN Human Rights Council declaration that the Jerusalem Light Rail extension into East Jerusalem is in clear violation of international law and relevant United Nations Resolutions (Resolution 13/7 of 14 April 2010); and calls on the Government to facilitate and support effective EU legislation to ensure the cessation of EU finance for illegal Israeli settlements and that economic operators aiding and abetting the building, maintenance or servicing of illegal Israeli settlements be excluded from public contracts in the EU.
Primary sponsor: Jeremy Corbyn, date tabled: 08/02/2012
EDM 2715: Deteriorating Human Rights in Tibet
That this House strongly condemns the Chinese security forces' unwarranted use of force including opening fire on unarmed demonstrators to quash peaceful protests in Tibet; is greatly saddened by the loss of life both of Tibetans who were shot and killed whilst protesting and the instances where Tibetans have resorted to self-immolation in an effort to draw attention to the ongoing repression by the Chinese authorities; is alarmed by the imposition of de facto martial law in Tibetan regions, the restriction of movement for Tibetans and the complete ban on foreign media; calls on the Prime Minister to make a public statement of concern on the deteriorating human rights situation in Tibet; further calls on the Government to urge the Chinese government to ease tensions by withdrawing its armed forces from Tibetan areas, to release full details of all incidents involving its forces opening fire upon civilians and to give foreign journalists, humanitarian agencies and independent observers full and unfettered access to Tibetan areas to ascertain the current situation; and further calls on the Government to work with other governments to safeguard Tibetans' rights and interests and instigate a multilateral approach whereby international governments together urge the Chinese government to enter into immediate and unconditional negotiations with representatives of the Tibetan people in order to resolve the Tibetans' underlying grievances.
Primary sponsor: Fabian Hamilton, date tabled: 08/02/2012