Second Attempt to Deport Jeyaseelan Thirukkumaran
Jeyaseelan is due to be removed from the UK on Tuesday 7th January 2014
We previously wrote about our attempt to prevent the deportation of Mr Jeyaseelan. On that occasion the deportation was stopped. We initially reported that he had received an emergency injunction, but it later emerged that this was not the case. What actually happened was that the Home Office cancelled the removal of their own volition, claiming that Mr Jeyaseelan was too disruptive to be removed. But to our knowledge Mr Jeyaseelan was not being disruptive at all and so it appears that this was simply a convenient excuse.
There are two potential reasons why this could have happened. One is that it could well be that your pressure paid off, and they wished to avoid the negative publicity of a deportation and wait until our attention was elsewhere. Or even more cynically it could be that, as they knew that Mr Jeyaseelan is no longer entitled to legal aid and could not afford a private lawyer, they were simply hoping to wait him out.
But if that is the game they are playing then it will not work. Incredibly selfless lawyers have agreed to represent him pro-bono and we have been keeping a close eye on the case.
But now we need your help once again. Mr Jeyaseelan is again scheduled to be deported, this time at 8:00 am on Tuesday 7th of January.
We are urgently trying to obtain fresh forensic medical evidence to back up a judicial review application which would keep Mr Jeyaseelan in the country. But this will not be possible before the 7th. Almost as if they knew this the Home Office are rushing this deportation through over the holiday period.
So please write once again to the Home Secretary and Qatar Airlines asking them to use their discretion not to deport Mr Jeyaseelan until he can be seen by forensic experts.
Mr Jeyaseelan is feeling suicidal. He is convinced that he will be tortured, sexually assaulted and murdered if he is returned to Sri Lanka. He has written a statement he has asked us to share. So convinced is he that he is going to die if he is removed that he has referred to this statement as his "last testimony".
We include below his statement*, and a sample email to send to the Home Secretary and Qatar Airlines. Please take a few moments to send a few emails, and please spread the word.
The Sri Lanka Campaign
Please email the home office email@example.com, Privateoffice.firstname.lastname@example.org, CITTO@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk and demand that this deportation be stopped.
Please also contact Qatar Airlines and demand that they use their discretion not to fly him. You can contact them on email@example.com or 0333 320 2454.
Dear Home Secretary/Qatar airlines.
Please use your discretion not to remove Mr Jeyaseelan Thirukkumaran. He is currently slated to be removed on flight QR006/QR662 via Doha to Colombo at 08:00 on the 7th of January.
Mr Jeyaseelan is a survivor of torture and horrendous abuse. His ordeal, and the questioning of his sister, show that he remains a person of interest to the Sri Lankan Government. While the Home Office may feel that his involvement with the LTTE was fleeting and inconsequential, it is clear from the actions of the Sri Lankan Government that they do not feel that way.
Mr Jeyaseelan was due to be removed two weeks ago but the removal order was cancelled at the last minute. He is in the process of filing a Judicial Review which would keep him in the country (his previous lawyers having failed to do this he has now had new counsel). However he needs fresh forensic medical evidence to do so. Independent forensic medical examiners have agreed to see him at their first available appointment. However they cannot see him before the 7th and the Home Office's decision to deport Mr Jeyaseelan with undue haste over the Christmas period may result in a grave miscarriage of justice.
Mr Jeyaseelan is feeling suicidal. He is convinced that he will be tortured, sexually assaulted and murdered if he is returned to Sri Lanka. He has written a statement he has asked to share with the world. So convinced is he that he is going to die if he is removed that he has referred to this statement as his "last testimony". I have included that statement below.
Please do the right thing and make sure Mr Jeyaseelan is not on that flight. If he is then you will be responsible for what happens next.
"My Last Testimony - Please Prevent the Genocide and Crimes in Sri Lanka against Tamils" by Jeyaseelan Thirukkumaran
Dear Sir / Madam,
My name is Mr Jeyaseelan Thirukkumaran and I am writing to you to record my last testimony as I am facing removal to Sri Lanka where I will definitely be tortured to death. I would like you to document my last testimony as I want you to to use this to prevent the same tragedy happening to anyone. At least my death should save others.
I am an ethic Tamil from Jaffna in Northern Sri Lanka. I was born on 28th May 1989 in Vavuniya. I am from a well-educated and decent family. I studied bioscience in Sri Lanka and had a good future.
I was the Head prefect in my School and I became involved in assisting the LTTE with their cultural events. They fought for the independence of the Tamils and not to separate the Country. I also helped them in their propaganda by preparing posters and arranging speeches in the villages. I continued to do this until 2006. My cousin was a member of the LTTE who attained martyrdom in fighting against the Sri Lankan army. Although I do not agree with the LTTE's violent means of fighting, I am a Tamil Nationalist and I believe in independent Tamil homeland for our people.
On 28th July 2009, I was arrested by the Sri Lankan army and CID on suspicion of supporting the LTTE. I was detained and interrogated. I was subjected to torture and sexual abuse until I was released in 10th December 2009 by paying a bribe. I was required to report on a monthly basis.
I applied for a visa in February 2010, but arrested by the Sri Lankan army again when I went to report. I was again tortured and raped. I sustained visible scars from the torture. My father paid a bribe via the EPDP members and I was released on 1st September 2010.
I fled the country using a student visa and arrived in UK on 16th September 2010, using a student visa valid from 24th August 2009 to 24th February 2010. I never wanted to claim asylum, as I wanted to return to Sri Lanka after problems settle down in Sri Lanka.
My sister was abducted on her way to work in December 2010. This was documented by the local medias. She was threatened to provide information about me and she had to give them a copy of my passport in order to secure her own release. This was also reported to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka.
In late April 2013, I received information from my family that my mother had been receiving threatening phone calls about my return. After learning this, I was forced to claimed asylum. However my claimed was refused as I had no money to hire a Barrister to argue my case and to obtain Medical Report to prove that I was tortured and raped. I believed at least Britain would give me safety and justice. But I am the most unluckiest person. They want to remove me to Sri Lanka. I am sure that I will be tortured to death. However I am determined to end my life before being deported as I have no strength to face the torture again.
I am writing to you during the last days of my life. My life is completely destroyed by the Sri Lankan Government. I don't want this to happen even to my enemy. Please do some thing to prevent this. Tamils are also humans. Why the international world is turning a blind eye? You all failed to stop the war in 2009. At least save my people now. Even after the end of the war, this is what happening in Sri Lanka? Are you going to let the Sri Lankan Government continue its genocide and eliminate the last Tamil in Sri Lanka?
I am happy to give evidence in any international proceedings against the Sri Lankan Government for the Crimes they are committing. There is nothing worst to happen to me. Please record my testimony before I am killed by the Sri Lankan army and use this to prevent this from happening to others. At least my death should help to save my people.
Mr Jeyaseelan Thirukkumaran
Immigration Removal Centre
Perimeter Road South
London Gatwick Airport
* We wouldn't necessarily agree with everything in the statement, particularly the reference to "martyrdom", but we thought it important to share Mr Jeyaseelan's thoughts in his own words.
From: F Carver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice
Demonstration - Save Legal Aid - Justice for All
A cross-section of NGO's, Trade Unions, charities and grass roots organisations of the Justice Alliance which includes Amnesty UK, Liberty, Unite, the Howard League for Penal Reform and the Children's Society, will join with the legal aid profession to highlight serious concerns with the cuts to prison law and proposals to change criminal law; introduce a Residence Test and limit access to Judicial Review.
We hope you will join us for some new year's action at a demo on Monday 6th January to protest about cuts to legal aid. This coincides with the morning of action against the cuts organised by the Criminal Bar Association.
Demo Date: Monday 6th January 2014
Demo time: 9:30 to 10:30 am
Demo venue: Westminster Magistrates Court, 181 Marylebone Road, London, NW1
Nearest Tube: Edgware Road
Janis Sharp (mother of Gary McKinnon, hacker saved from extradition to the US)
Frances Crook (Chief Executive, Howard League for Penal Reform)
Nigel Lithman QC (Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association)
Ian Lawrence (General Secretary, NAPO)
Judith Freedman (Consortium of Expert Witnesses)
Patrick Maguire (Maguire Seven)
Pragna Patel (Director, Southall Black Sisters)
Professor Ben Bowling (founding member of Stop Watch)
Sue Willman (civil rights solicitor)
This demonstration is organised by
Justice Alliance UK
We are an alliance of legal organisations, charities, community groups, grass roots and other campaigning groups, trade unions and individuals who are united in our opposition to the government's proposed attack on legal aid and the criminal justice system.
For more information see: http://justiceallianceuk.wordpress.com/
Children in Detention November 2013
A total of 22 Children were detained in November 2013
Tinsley house 9
Brook House 1 (aged 16) Larne House 1 (aged 16)
Should Britain accept refugees fleeing the fighting in Syria?
Guardian Online Poll You can vote Yes or No <>here . . . . .
The government has rejected the call from Ukip's Nigel Farage for Britain to accept Syrian refugees and 'honour the spirit' of the 1951 Refugee Convention, although Farage has since rowed back, suggesting the UK should only welcome Christians. Should Syrians escaping violence be welcomed?
Commentary on UKBA December 2013 Nigeria OGN
This commentary identifies what the 'Still Human Still Here' coalition considers to be the main inconsistencies and omissions between the currently available country of origin information (COI) and case law on Nigeria and the conclusions reached in the December 2013 Nigeria Operational Guidance Note (OGN) issued by the UK Home Office. Where we believe inconsistencies have been identified, the relevant section of the OGN is highlighted in blue.
Published on Refworld, <> 24/12/013
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - December 2013
11 actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in December 2013, according to CrisisWatch N°125
Deteriorated Situations: Bangladesh: , CAR. China/Japan, DR Congo, Egypt, Korean Peninsula, Lebanon, North Caucaus (Russia), South Sudan, Thailand, Yemen
You can download the full report here: <>CW125.pdf
Sudan: Longstanding political divisions within South Sudan's ruling Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the military (SPLA) escalated into factional fighting between army units that has brought the country to the brink of civil war (see Crisis Group's recent statement and open letter to the UN Secretary-General). Violence rapidly spread beyond the capital, with armed groups targeting civilians based on their ethnicity; reports of over 1,000 dead are likely to be underestimates. Over 75,000 civilians are sheltering in UN compounds and the UN Security Council has approved the deployment of 5,500 additional troops. Significant parts of Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei states are under the control of armed groups not loyal to the government – Unity State oilfields have been shut down as a result, though Upper Nile's fields remain operational. The two major armed factions, under pressure from the regional body, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), began talks on 2 January, but clashes are ongoing and the situation remains extremely volatile.
Central African Republic: Sectarian violence escalated in Central African Republic as anti-balaka groups launched a number of offensives against ex-Seleka in Bangui and the north east (see our recent commentary). CAR risks becoming ungovernable – despite the deployment of French and regional troops, religious killings and retaliations continue to rise and there have been reports of massacres, including the discovery of 30 bodies near a military camp in Bangui. President Djotodia's efforts to restore calm have thus far gone unheeded. Crisis Group identifies a conflict risk for CAR (see our recent report on the Central African Republic).
DR Congo: In the Democratic Republic of the Congo supporters of pastor Gideon Mukungubila, a former presidential hopeful, attacked state and military buildings in Kinshasa with the purported aim of ousting President Kabila. The attempted coup was rapidly quashed by security forces, with over 40 attackers reportedly killed and scores arrested. In the east, the Congolese government, M23 rebels and the Ugandan government reached a peace agreement that includes limited amnesties for M23 fighters. Focus has now turned to other armed groups operating in the region, including the ADF-NALU, a Ugandan group believed responsible for a number of attacks in North Kivu throughout December.
Thailand: the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), led by former Democrat Party secretary general Suthep Thaugsbhan, ramped up its protests in an effort to overthrow the government and oust the "Thaksin [Shinawatra] regime". The PDRC is demanding that the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Thaksin's sister, step down to allow for an appointed council to reform an electoral system it says is corrupted by populist policies and vote buying. Yingluck dissolved parliament and elections are scheduled for 2 February, but the Election Commission has urged a delay and the PDRC is threatening to block the polls and seize Bangkok unless their demands are met. The Democrat Party will boycott the election and has thrown its support behind the protest movement.
Bangladesh: The political crisis continues to intensify as the country heads for a general election on 5 January which the main opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP) has vowed to boycott. Political violence has brought the country to a virtual standstill as the BNP has enforced blockades and strikes, demanding the ruling Awami League stand down and form a neutral caretaker government to supervise the polls. More than 100 people have died in political violence since the BNP announced its boycott on 2 December. The boycott, which is supported by other parties, could see over half of parliamentary seats going uncontested – raising the prospect of polls which are widely viewed as illegitimate and setting the scene for further political violence and deadlock.
China/Japan: Relations between China and Japan, already severely strained, sunk further after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, where several war criminals are enshrined. His visit drew a swift rebuke from China, whose foreign minister, Wang Yi, said Abe's action created a new and major political barrier to Sino-Japanese ties. Earlier in the month Japan adopted a new National Security Strategy and increased military spending over the next five years, citing as justification its concerns over China.
North Korea: A high-level political purge in North Korea prompted widespread international concern over political stability there, after Kim Jong-un's uncle by marriage and political guardian Chang S?ng-t'aek was stripped of his positions of power and executed on 12 December. Meanwhile Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine has killed any immediate prospect of improvement in bilateral ties between South Korea and Japan – scuppering U.S. efforts to strengthen trilateral security cooperation to counter perceptions of North Korea's threat to regional security. (See our latest report).
Lebanon: A car bomb in downtown Beirut on 27 December killed Mohammad Chatah, former finance minister and a senior figure in the March 14 alliance. Chatah, a high-profile political moderate, was strongly critical of the Syrian regime and Hizbollah. The March 14 alliance and others accused the Syrian government and Hizbollah of being responsible for the attack, which left seven others dead and scores wounded; both denied the claims. The assassination raises fears of further security deterioration as the March 14 alliance renewed its calls to the president and prime minister-designate to form a non-partisan government without prior agreement of political parties. Hizbollah for its part warned against such a de facto government describing it as a "threat to Lebanon".
Yemen: Security in Yemen rapidly deteriorated after armed forces killed Saad bin Habrih, a prominent Hadrami sheikh, at a military checkpoint in early December. In response, the Hadrami tribes, supported by southern separatist movement Hiraak, called for security responsibilities in Hadramout to be transferred to them, and for those responsible for the sheikh's death to be handed over. The killing further prompted a violent response in the South, as protesters attempted to seize several cities and clashed with the armed forces. On 23 December several political parties signed an agreement granting a measure of autonomy to the South, although there is still no agreement on the number of federal regions. The capital was also struck by violence, as al-Qaeda attacked a defence ministry complex in Sanaa killing over 50 and injuring hundreds.
Egypt: The interim government formally labelled the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation – despite lack of evidence of its involvement in a series of recent bomb attacks, the ostensible justification for this decision. The move, which effectively rules out the possibility of reconciliation with the group, the largest and most effective party in the country, significantly complicates Egypt's political scene and could poison political life for some time to come (see our latest report).
Russia: Concerns over security in southern Russia and the North Caucasus ahead of the upcoming Sochi Olympics increased after two suicide bomb attacks in the southern Russian city of Volgograd in late December. Islamist militants from the North Caucasus are widely suspected of being responsible for the bombings, in which at least 31 people were killed. (See our recent commentary and latest report).
Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, China (internal), Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, India (non-Kashmir), Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel-Palestine, Kashmir, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan), Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Serbia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Western Sahara, Zimbabwe
Improved Situations: None
Conflict Resolution Opportunity: None
Conflict Risk Alert for January 2014:
Bangladesh, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Thailand