Horrific Situation for Migrants in Calais
For millions of British tourists, Calais is a gateway for continental driving holidays and the pleasures of the Summer. For others itÕs a city of designer shops, of the massive Euroshopping mall Cité Europe, where the Daily Mail and P&O ferries were offering £1 fares for foot passengers to do their Christmas shopping last year.
There is of course another Calais, the city that has become a trap and another of the worldÕs border bottlenecks, where EuropeÕs unwanted migrants come each year in the hope of getting onto a truck that can take them to the UK. Most of them have endured astonishingly harsh and difficult journeys to escape poverty and political, religious or gender oppression, only to find themselves living in derelict squats, tent camps or on the streets, constantly watched, harrassed, arrested and often beaten by the contingents of the Republican Security Companieswho have been deployed there especially to make their lives hell.
Read more: Matt Carr, IRR News
Stop the Deportation of Mukther Uddin
Mukther faces deportation at 8.00am Friday 15 August, on Qatar Airways flight QR006 from Heathrow Terminal 4.
His life is at risk. This is someone who has fought injustice and repression in two countries: Bangladesh and Britain. We must act urgently to demand that Qatar Airways refuses to deport him and to demand that the Home Office cancels his removal.
Mohammad Mukther Uddin has been a leading fighter for justice for asylum seekers who are detained on the notorious 'Fast Track', a system designed to set up asylum seekers, like Mukther himself, to fail.
On 9 July the High Court ruled that the operation of Fast Track is unlawful. This was a victory for a struggle in which Mukther had played an important part - in the mass protests against fast track by over 300 detainees in Harmondsworth detention centre that started on 2 May. Mukther organised petitions and held regular weekly meetings of fellow Bangladeshi detainees. He continued to do this in defiance of the Harmondsworth management. He was active in building support for the "Surround Harmondsworth" demonstrations called by the Movement for Justice on 7 June & 5 July. That was given as the reason for moving him to Dover detention centre at the beginning of July.
Mukther Uddin was a prominent activist in the biggest anti-government party in Bangladesh, the Bangladesh National Party, opposing a repressive and corrupt regime. In 2005 he escaped to Britain when his own life was in danger, especially after government supporters kidnapped and murdered one of his best friends, Ilyas Ali, a well-known opposition MP. The murderous persecution of opposition supporters by the government of Bangladesh is well-documented, but since the UK government views it as a 'friendly' regime the Home Office has a policy of consciously ignoring the evidence.
What You Can Do
1. Contact Quatar Airways
Email: Qatar Corporate communications department:
Phone: 0161 8320022 (main office for Qatar Airways in Manchester - press option 1 or 4 when you get through) and 0207 3269880 - the press officers for Qatar Airways.
<> Qatar Airways Facebook Page here . . . .
What you can say . . . . . The deportation of Mukther Uddin on flight QR006 on Friday 15th August at 8.00am is a forced deportation and an abuse of human rights. Mukther Uddin has been an important figure in the fight to expose abuse in the UK immigration system, his deportation a cynical attempt to silence that exposure. As a prominent political activist, his life is in danger if he is returned to Bangladesh.
You are responsible for actions and transactions that you permit on your property, within your own vehicles. In enquiries that have been made to the UK Home Office, that Office is very clear on this point: you are not obliged to take this passenger - you do so, they stress, voluntarily and without any pressure from the UK government - and in so doing you accept the normal moral and legal responsibility for the outcomes of your own commercial decisions
Already many airlines have refused to fly passengers who are not being removed voluntarily. You will be familiar with the very serious concerns raised about the private contractors hired by the Home Office to 'escort' deportees. Your airline has a duty of care to your passengers. The Home Office has confirmed that you have the right to refuse to fly someone if you have serious concerns about their safety. You also have a responsibility to your other passengers for their safety, Mr Uddin will not be going voluntarily, he is extremely distressed and frightened by this deportation and fears for his life, he will not be silent, he will try everything to get off that plane. You are well aware of the high profile deaths of detainees caused by the restraint used by 'escorts' in forced deportation, do you really want Quatar's reputation to be as the airline who allows restraints & beatings to take place on its flights?
Please cancel Mr Uddin's ticket with haste.
2. Contact unite the union and ask that they advise workers not to co-operate with Mr. Uddins removal (or any forced removal)
Given that people have been killed and seriously injured in transit while being deported, Unite should surely be advising its members not to participate in such actions, and offering them support if they are pressured to do so by their employers. You should not have to turn a blind eye to violence and abuse going on in your own workplace, wherever you work, as a condition of employment, nor should their members have to take part in actions that violate human rights.
Unite London & Eastern: Erkan Ersoy 020 8800 4281
Email Unite Regional Secretary Peter Kavanagh
20 Detainees Stage Peaceful Protest at Brook House IRC
Detainees at a Gatwick immigration centre staged a peaceful protest last night 07/08/14 and refused to return to their cells, according to firefighters. At around midnight last night, inmates were reportedly protesting on a small section of grass within the Brook House Centre, located towards the south of the airport. The complex, which was opened in 2009 and is designed to hold more than 400 people, is operated by security firm G4S. It is unclear what the inmates were protesting over. A crew of firefighters were called from Horley Fire Station because a small bonfire had been lit, which was quickly extinguished. G4S is currently looking into the issue and say they will respond in due course.
Crawley News, <> 08/08/14
Chaos at Harmondsworth IRC as New Protest Takes Place
About 70 detainees at Harmondsworth removal centre took part in a protest last night, Saturday 9th August, which was broken up by a special police unit. The prisons unit Ð the officers they use against prison riots or any disorder in a detention facility Ð arrived at about 6:00 am. They are dressed entirely in black, wore helmets and carried batons. They reportedly arrested everyone and handcuffed them. Those involved appear to have been shipped out Ð possibly to Dover removal centre. Doctors reportedly gave first aid to those injured.
A representative from Harmondsworth confirmed there had been a non-violent protest of about 60 people which was brought to an end when the prisons unit showed up. But he said there had been no use of force at all. "In most of these of these situations itÕs the presence of these guys which brings the situation to an end," he added.
That was a different account to the one given to by a detainee, who spoke on the phone as he watched the protestors being put in a van through a cell window. He said one man was not walking properly and showed signs of having been beaten around the legs.
Read more: politics.co.uk - 10/08/14