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                               News & Views Monday 6th October to Sunday 12th October 2014

Human Rights Campaigner Appeals Home Office Eviction Decision

"The asylum process feels like a slow poison that is taking away my zest for life" - Manjeet Kaur

Manjeet Kaur's supporters to hold lobby outside Appeals Tribunal
9:00am-10:00am, Thursday 16th October:
AIT (Asylum and Immigration Tribunal), Piccadilly Exchange, Piccadilly Plaza (top of Mosley Street just before Piccadilly Gardens), Manchester M1 4AH

Disabled human rights campaigner Manjeet Kaur, who is resisting Home Office attempts to evict her onto the streets, is to appeal against the decision to withdraw her housing support. Trade unionists, disability and equal rights activists, and other campaigners will join the lobby in support of Manjeet outside the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in Manchester from 9am-10am next Thursday, October 16th.

Manjeet, who is Chair of RAPAR, appeared on national television news last year to counter new anti migrant policies announced by Home Secretary Theresa May at the 2013 Conservative Party Conference.Since she sought asylum in the UK more than three years ago, Manjeet has been a tireless campaigner for human rights and worked with the UK Disabled People's Council to highlight injustices faced by disabled people seeking asylum

She was told she must leave the accommodation in Whalley Range, where she has lived since 2011, by today (Thursday, October 9th) at the latest. The unsigned and unaddressed hand delivered letter from Serco, which runs asylum housing in the North West on behalf of the Home Office, said:"Should you refuse to leave the property on this date, we will have no choice but to take legal action to evict you."

Manjeet, who is from Afghanistan and has used a wheelchair since she was eight years old, recently lodged a claim with the Court of Appeal on the grounds that the High Court has failed to engage with the facts of her asylum case.

Currently, the Home Office are examining her latest appeal. Manjeet's solicitor Gary McIndoe, of Latitude Law, explains: "In our view, successive judges have failed to address the core issues of the case - Manjeet's nationality, the harm she suffered in the past and the practicality of removing her to India…"

A spokesperson for RAPAR said: "Manjeet is facing eviction from her home because her asylum case is deemed by the Home Office to be at an end. Yet, in the view of her lawyers, successive judges have failed to examine the core issues of her case. It seems that the Home Office is prepared to evict a disabled woman who uses a wheelchair onto the streets when the facts of her asylum case have not been properly considered."

Manjeet added: "As a disabled asylum seeker with various health issues and hospital appointments, I feel I am living on the edge. I will be made destitute with a limited ability to survive on the streets. Is this something the state allows to happen in the society that we live in? The asylum process feels like a slow poison that is taking away my zest for life."

Sharon Hooley, of DAN (Direct Action Network for Disabled People) will be one of the speakers at the lobby outside the tribunal next Thursday. Commenting on Manjeet's case, Sharon said: "We say this is a 'civilised country' yet it seems perfectly acceptable to demonise, discriminate, alienate and rob disabled people of their basic human needs. Since becoming disabled in the past six years, I never thought I would see such pure hatred and lack of humanity towards people like myself. So I'm shouting out for all those who have been made invisible to our society. I ask you all to open your eyes and ears and see the truth about what is happening right in front of you."

For more information, please contact:

Kathleen Grant 07758386208/

Background notes: Manjeet Kaur, who lives in Whalley Range, came to the UK in March, a month after the disappearance of her husband Amitt Bhatt - a journalist and Kashmir human rights activist who was threatened and attacked because of his anti government articles and books. In the past, Amitt has spoken on the same human rights platform as Jemima Khan.

Manjeet fled to the UK because she was beaten twice and threatened with rape and murder by people who were looking for her husband. She uses a wheelchair due to paralysis caused by polio and the injuries she sustained during the beatings have worsened her condition.

Manjeet was born and lived in Afghanistan until the death of her father, a doctor in Kabul. Since her husband disappeared, Manjeet has no-one to care for her in India but she has relatives in England who can support her. Earlier this year, Manjeet's husband finally escaped to the UK and immediately claimed asylum.

From: Kath Grant <>

Details of Manjeet's case can also be found on the RAPAR website here . . . .

Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - September 2014

4 actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in September 2014, according to CrisisWatch N°134

Deteriorated Situations: Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen

Lebanon Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIL) militants early month beheaded 2 Lebanese soldiers captured along with 8 others during Aug clashes in eastern border town Arsal; al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) reportedly detained 18 others, 19 Sept executed soldier, demanded release of Sunni Islamist imprisoned in Lebanon and Hizbollah withdrawal from Syria. Executions exacerbated ethnic and communal tensions including sparking attacks on Syrian refugees, tit-for-tat abductions between Sunni and Shiite tribes in Bekaa Valley. Hizbollah sought to use events in Arsal to jus-tify involvement in Syria by playing up jihadi threat, rejected any negotiations with IS, JN. 4 Hizbollah members among several casualties reported after clashes outside border village Ras Baalbek 10 Sept; 3 killed in attack on Hizbollah checkpoint near eastern village Khraibeh 20 Sept. Clashes between army and militants continued: Syrian militant killed 6 Sept in border town Al-Qaa; 2 soldiers killed in roadside bombing in Arsal 19 Sept, military subsequently arrested hundreds in raids. Several reported killed 22 Sept in Syrian regime airstrikes targeting rebels near Arsal. Deadly shootings re-ported in Tripoli late month including soldier killed by unknown gunmen 23 Sept.

Iraq, the beheading of captive U.S. journalists and a British aid worker by IS militants drew strong condemnations. U.S. President Obama vowed to dismantle the group's "network of death" and several countries, including France and the UK, joined the U.S.-led aerial campaign against IS. Adding to the sectarian divides that aided IS's initial rise, Iran continued to support Shiite militias in central Iraq, while Western and Iranian support for the Kurdish Regional Government provoked additional tensions by bypassing Baghdad. (See our recent commentary on the rise of the Islamic State, alternatively known as ISIL, ISIS or Daesh.)

Syria: The Syrian conflict continued to spill over into Lebanon. In September jihadi groups executed three Lebanese soldiers captured the previous month in the eastern city of Arsal, exacerbating ethnic and communal tensions, and sparking attacks on Syrian refugees. Clashes between the Lebanese army and Syrian rebels also continued in the east leaving several soldiers, Sunni militants and Hizbollah members dead.

Yemen: Weeks of anti-government protests led by Yemen's Huthis degenerated into several days of fighting in the capital Sanaa in mid-September. Over two hundred were killed as the Huthis clashed with rival forces loyal to General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar and, to a much lesser extent, Sunni Islamist fighters around Iman University. Large parts of the security forces sided with the Huthis who seized key parts of Sanaa, including government buildings, and were allowed to control security in the city. A new peace deal and power sharing agreement signed on 21 September called for the implementation of national dialogue outcomes and the government to be replaced, but the balance of power on the ground has shifted solidly towards the Huthis. Prospects for a Huthi withdrawal from the capital remain uncertain: a new prime minister has yet to be appointed, and since the agreement Huthis have surrounded and entered the homes of political enemies as well as attacking the home of Yemen's national security chief Ali al-Ahmadi in late September. (See our most recent report on Yemen's Huthis.)

The U.S. expanded its aerial campaign against Islamic State (IS) militants in late September with strikes in Syria's north and east. The operation, which targets both IS and fighters linked to al-Qaeda's central leadership and the affiliated group Jabhat al-Nusra, risks alienating other rebel groups in Syria and strengthening support for IS. The mainstream armed opposition faced another serious blow when most of the senior leadership of the influential group Ahrar as-Sham was killed in an unexplained bomb blast in early September. Meanwhile, IS continued its advance on the ground, including around the predominantly Kurdish city Kobani near the Turkish border causing some 160,000 Kurds to flee. (See our recent report and commentary on the possible fall of greater Aleppo and the impact this could have on the wider Syrian rebellion).

Improved Situations: None

October 2014 Outlook

Conflict Risk Alert: Syria

Conflict Resolution Opportunity
Sudan: After months of deadlock, Sudan's armed and political oppositions signed a statement on principles for a national dialogue process that would include them both. The government, the SPLM-N and Darfur rebels agreed to meet in October - under the auspices of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel - to discuss a possible cessation of hostilities in all conflict areas. The African Union Peace and Security Council welcomed the planned talks.

Download the full report <>here . . . .

Migrant Children Denied an Equal Chance at University
Changes to immigration rules, introduced in 2012, mean that young people who have discretionary leave to remain in this country but are waiting to be granted indefinite leave are no longer treated as home students with access to loans and are forced to pay higher international fees. Unlike Chrisann, many of these are asylum seekers or children of asylum seekers.

A further change, brought in earlier this year, means they have to wait at least 10 years before applying for the more settled status that would give them access to lower fees. And, since last yearÕs cuts to legal aid, no help is available for this. Now, other students and universities are stepping in to offer support to these students.
Read more: Guardian, 07/10/14

Sri Lanka Country of Information (COI) Query Response

Asylum Research Consultancy (ARC) has prepared a query response on Sri Lanka which addresses:

(1). Information on Tamils who have returned (voluntarily or forced) to Sri Lanka since February 2014 and who were subjected to detention and/or torture and/or ill-treatment;

(2) Information on the working methods of the Sri Lankan authority in 'screening' Tamil returnees, particularly since February 2014;

(3) Information on activities of Sri Lankan Embassies abroad to monitor the

behaviour/conduct of Sri Lankans abroad, particularly since February 2014;

(4) Any information on recent arrest/detention/ ill-treatment/ torture of Tamils within Sri Lanka, and on what grounds particularly since February 2014.

Published on Refworld, <> 07/10/14

Refusing a Residence Permit - Violation of Article 8

In Grand Chamber judgment in the case of Jeunesse v. the Netherlands (application no. 12738/10), which is final, the European Court of Human Rights held, by a majority, that there had been:

A violation of Article 8 (right to respect for family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The case concerned the refusal by the authorities to allow a Surinamese woman married to a Netherlands national, with whom she had three children, to reside in the Netherlands on the basis of her family life in the country.

The Court took into consideration that, apart from Ms Jeunesse, all members of her family were Dutch nationals entitled to enjoy family life with each other in the Netherlands, that Ms Jeunesse had been living in the Netherlands for more than 16 years (and the Netherlands authorities had been aware of this), that she had no criminal record and that settling in Suriname would entail a degree of hardship for the family. The Court further considered that the Netherlands authorities had not paid enough attention to the impact on Ms Jeunesse's children of the authorities' decision to refuse her request for a residence permit. Indeed, the authorities had failed to take account of and assess evidence on the practicality, feasibility and proportionality of the refusal at issue in order to give effective protection and sufficient weight to the best interests of the children. The Court concluded that a fair balance had not been struck between the personal interests of Ms Jeunesse and her family in maintaining their family life in the Netherlands and the public order interests of the Government in controlling immigration.

ILPA Information Service: Update 63

<> Immigration Act: Detention of Children
Contains provisions which seek to place limits on the detention of children. These represent some positive (if incremental) change in this area while still falling far short of the Government's commitment to end detention of children. The provisions are in large part a placing on a statutory footing policies and practices which have been introduced over the past few years and have been in operation for some time. Nonetheless the enshrining of these policies in primary legislation means that they have now been put on a more permanent footing and this has been welcomed by groups representing migrant children and their families.

<> Immigration Act: Marriage
Introduces significant changes to the requirements for marriage and civil partnerships. Of particular significance are changes to the notice requirements; these will affect everyone in England and Wales, regardless of the nationality or immigration status of the couple involved.

<> Immigration Act: Enforcement Powers
The Immigration Act 2014 makes four changes which increase the scope of existing enforcement powers, that is, the powers of immigration officers to enforce immigration controls. These changes are outlined below; all are already in force.

Some of the stateless persons in the UK are migrants. Some, such as the Kuwaiti Bidoon or the Burmese Rohingya have never had a nationality. Others have been stripped of their nationality. The UK can strip persons of their British nationality leaving them stateless in two circumstances: where they have acquired that nationality through fraud and, since 28 July 2014 as a result of the coming into force of section 66 of the Immigration Act 2014, where the person only became British as an adult, through naturalisation (not through registration) and the Secretary of State is satisfied that depriving them of their nationality would be conducive to the public good because they have done something seriously prejudicial to the vital interests of the UK and she has reasonable grounds for believing that the person is able, under the law of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom, to become a national of such a country or territory. Some British nationals, whether in the UK or overseas, have children who are stateless.

Shauna Gillan, Legal Officer, Immigration Law Practitioners' Association

R (on the application of Bilal Mahmood) v SSHD

(continuing duty to reassess) IJR [2014] UKUT 439 (IAC)

The application for permission is hereby refused.

1) The lodgement of permission and/or interim relief papers in a judicial review application is a beginning, not an end.

(2) If an application for permission is overtaken by supervening events or is otherwise rendered moot, there is a duty on the Applicant's solicitors to take appropriate and immediate action. This will include proactively communicating with this Chamber and the Respondent's representatives.

(3) From the inception of the proceedings and in particular following receipt of the Respondent's Acknowledgement of Service, there is a duty on every Applicant's legal representatives to conscientiously reassess the viability and propriety of their client's application for judicial review and to consider whether any further procedural step is required. If the Acknowledgement of Service renders the challenge unsustainable, appropriate withdrawal steps must be initiated promptly.

(4) Unjustifiable delays in the finalising and execution of proposed consent orders and lack of communication with the Upper Tribunal in this context are unacceptable.

UKHO CIG - Pakistan:
Background information, including actors of protection, and internal relocation. This document provides supporting guidance to Home Office decision makers on handling claims made by nationals/residents of - but is predominantly country of origin information (COI) about - Pakistan. It must be read in conjunction with the subject-specific country information and guidance reports. Public versions of these documents are available at

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 Home Office casework guidance in relation to relevant policies.

Published on Refworld, <>07/10/14


Last updated 9 October, 2014