Hunger Strike Protests by Immigration Detainees Spread
Harmondsworth/Campsfield/Colnbrook/Brook House IRCS
Once again, detainees at Campsfield are on hunger strike. The hunger strike began this morning (7th May) with the simple demand to close all immigration detention centres in the United Kingdom. Detainees believe their detention is a breach of their human rights. More than 50 detainees are partaking, which includes many nationalities including several Arabic speaking countries as well as Chinese.
Hunger striker Musawar Khan said: 'All of our friends want medias support. Authorities do not want to listen to us. Thankyou.'
On Friday (2 May) over 150 detainees in Harmondsworth migrant prison
near Heathrow airport occupied the main courtyard in a sit down
protest and began a mass hunger strike.
Their demands can be read <> here . . . . :
Yesterday (Tuesday 6 May) in Colnbrook detention centre, right next to Harmondsworth, guards broke up an organising meeting of 40 detainees and put five 'ringleaders' in isolation cells, before moving them to another secure facility. Supporters have since been unable to contact the men.
Then at 10pm last (Tuesday) night a group of 20 men detained at Brook House IRC near Gatwick staged a protest in the courtyard and refused to return to their cells.
Nothing Has Changed In The 20 Years Since Campsfield Opened:
16.04.98: Sir David Ramsbotham, chief inspector of prisons, publishes his report on Campsfield, which states that 'it is abundantly clear' that 'there is little or no consistency, or logic, in current arrangements for deciding upon detention' (§I-25).
17/4/98: 'Campsfield is an abomination to human rights in that it presumes guilt from the outset. Today those loyal protesters who have been branded as cranks and soft-centred do-gooders have been proved right.' – From the Oxford Mail
Contacts: Musawar Khan 07448 039 561
Campaign to Close Campsfield: Bill 01865 558145, Liz 07791 738 577
From: Bill MacKeith <firstname.lastname@example.org> 07/05/14
Asylum Detainees Stage Hunger Strike Over Poor Treatment
The Home Office is facing open revolt at its notorious Harmondsworth detention centre, after more than 100 detainees staged a hunger strike in protest against rules that leave them locked up while their asylum applications are processed.
The privately run centre near Heathrow airport in west London, which holds 615 people, has faced repeated criticism about poor treatment of detainees, with a recent inspection report highlighting "shocking cases where a sense of humanity was lost".
On Friday more than 100 detainees co-ordinated to stage a demonstration inside the facility's central courtyard, threatening to starve themselves amid growing anger about the application of the Government's fast-track asylum rules.
Friday's demonstration is understood to have been sparked by a broken fax machine, out of commission for several days – which many detainees were relying on to lodge their appeals.
The protesters decided to suspend their hunger strike over the weekend after Home Office officials agreed to meet a delegation of detainees, but it could be resumed if their concerns are not met.
One detainee told The Independent: "If we are stuck in a detention centre without a working fax machine or internet access, how can we be expected to get the necessary proof needed to challenge decisions?"
Read more: Kunal Dutta, Indpendent, <> 04/05/14
Afusat Saliu Still Here - Fight is on its' way to ECtHR
Thank you so much for all the support you have given Afusat and her two daughters. We have been been quiet the past week but only because we have been working hard behind the scenes. And I now have good news to share with you.
Thanks in part to the support of 115,000 people who signed this petition, we have succeeded in getting together a legal team to support Afusat. The team has submitted an urgent legal challenge in the European Court of Human Rights to prevent the family's deportation until it has fully assessed her case to stay in the UK.
Afusat remains with her daughters at home in Leeds and we are keeping optimistic of the outcome.
You can watch Afusat explain why she is fighting to protect her daughters from FGM in this video on the Guardian.
Thank you for all you have done to support Afusat so far, please continue to share Afusat's story and the petition: < >www.change.org/Afusat
Thank you, Anj
UKBA Uganda: Claims Based on Sexual Orientation
Country info/guidance: This document provides guidance to Home Office decision makers on handling claims made by nationals/residents of - as well as country of origin information (COI) about - Uganda. This includes whether claims are likely to justify the granting of asylum, humanitarian protection or discretionary leave and whether - in the event of a claim being refused - it is likely to be certifiable as clearly unfounded' under s94 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 Decision makers must consider claims on an individual basis, taking into account the case specific facts and all relevant evidence, including: the guidance contained with this document; the available COI; any applicable caselaw; and the asylum instructions for further details of relevant policies.
'Religious freedom is a fundamental human right recognized by international law that guarantees to all human beings the freedom to believe or not believe as their conscience leads, and live out their beliefs openly, peacefully, and without fear.'
U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
Annual Report -- The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent federal advisory body the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) created to monitor religious freedom abuses abroad, today released its 2014 Annual Report, and recommended that the State Department add eight more nations to its list of "countries of particular concern," defined under law as countries where particularly severe violations of religious freedom are tolerated or perpetrated: Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam. USCIRF also recommended that the following eight countries be re-designated as "countries of particular concern," or CPCs: Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Uzbekistan.
This year's report, the 15th since the Commission's creation in 1998, documents religious freedom violations in 33 countries and makes country-specific policy recommendations. The report also examines U.S. international religious freedom policy over the past decade and a half, reviewing what IRFA requires, assessing the record on implementing its provisions, and recommending ways to strengthen U.S. engagement on and promotion of religious freedom.
Specific Country Reports, can be found <>here . . . .
NA (UT rule 45: Singh v Belgium) Iran
Decision 29. We dismiss the appeal and affirm the decision of the FtT.
(1) Rule 45 of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (Procedure) Rules 2005 confers discretionary, procedural case management powers. It does not require the First-tier Tribunal to undertake evidence-gathering. Any direction given under rule 45 to the Secretary of State to seek out or validate evidence must be exercised sparingly and in a fact-sensitive way, bearing in mind CM (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 13. When considering whether to exercise its power under rule 45 to direct a party to produce evidence, the First-tier Tribunal should also be alert to its duty of impartial and independent adjudication and the essentially procedural nature of this rule.
(2) Neither Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union nor the decision of the CJEU in MM v Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Ireland [Case - 277/11], BAILII:  EUECJ C-277/11 establishes anything to the contrary. Similarly, neither of the ECtHR decisions in Singh and Others v Belgium [Application number 33210/11] and RC v Sweden [Application number 41827/07], BAILII: ( ECHR 307 is authority to the contrary.
(3) The decision of the Upper Tribunal in MJ (Singh v Belgium: Tanveer Ahmed unaffected) Afghanistan  UKUT 254 (IAC), that in relation to assessing the reliability of documentary evidence the Tanveer Ahmed  Imm AR 318* principles continue to apply, is reaffirmed.
Full transcript can be found here . . . .
Campaigns for Families of Investigative Journalists
Safety and security for relatives of persecuted reporters
Abiola and Manjeet Must Stay Safe in the UK
Abiola Famakinwa is a mum-of-three who came to the UK when her husband Samuel died mysteriously. Samuel, a renowned investigative reporter, worked for a newspaper that had been the target of extremist groups. He was summoned to an isolated location in Borno at the invitation of the State Governor.
Samuel never told his family about his work in an attempt to protect them from harm. After his death Abiola, a biomedical scientist, who was pregnant at the time, fled to the UK. She was denied a work visa and claimed asylum, wanting to safeguard the lives of herself and her children. Her husband's death and the threat of deportation has had a detrimental effect on Abiola's health and her children are receiving counselling.
The UK Border Agency intends to send Abiola back to Nigeria where she and her family will undoubtedly be exposed to the danger from which they fled.
YOU can help Abiola. Please start by signing <> her petitionhere . . . .
Manjeet Kaur came to the UK following the disappearance of her husband Amitt Bhatt, an investigative journalist, in India. Before his disappearance Amitt, a campaigning journalist and Panun Kashmir activist, had been persecuted and attacked as a result of articles and books he had written criticising the Indian government's policies in Kashmir. Manjeet had helped with proof-reading his books Lies and Genocide of the Indian Government (2011) and Cryashmir (2009). After Amitt disappeared, Manjeet, who is disabled and a wheelchair-user, was beaten ather home by men looking for information about her husband's whereabouts. The attacks were reported to the police but ni protection was offered. Manjeet fled India and came to London to be with family in 2011. She claimed asylum and was housed in Manchester where she now has the support of friends in her community and those she has met through RAPAR, where she is Chair, and through her trade unionist and disabled rights activities.
YOU can help Manjeet. Please start by signing <> here petition here . . . .
Support NUJ Member and Political Journalist Rzhwan Amin
The National Union of Journalists' Manchester and Salford branch has launched a campaign in support of its member - Rzhwan Amin, a political journalist who fled Iraq in 2010 after being threatened as a result of newspaper articles he wrote at the time of the elections.
Rzhwan wrote political reports for a newspaper in Kirkuk, a city which is disputed territory in Iraq and has one of the country's biggest oilfields on its doorstep. Rzhwan left Iraq after he was summoned to appear at a meeting of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party (PUK) to discuss his journalism – he was warned by a friend not to attend because it was a trap. PUK, whose leader is Jalal Al Talabani, the current president of Iraq, has a history of dissension with other Kurdish political organisations.
Read more: <> Rapar, Manchester
Country Information and Guidance: Somalia
This document provides guidance to Home Office decision makers on handling claims made by nationals/residents of - as well as country of origin information (COI) about - Uganda. This includes whether claims are likely to justify the granting of asylum, humanitarian protection or discretionary leave and whether - in the event of a claim being refused - it is likely to be certifiable as clearly unfounded' under s94 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 Decision makers must consider claims on an individual basis, taking into account the case specific facts and all relevant evidence, including: the guidance contained with this document; the available COI; any applicable caselaw; and the asylum instructions for further details of relevant policies.