Aidah Asaba Back Home Where She Belongs
Following submission of a fresh asylum claim by Wilson Solicitors the Home Office have cancelled removal directions and released Aidah from detentio today Friday 23rd May..
Online Petition: Cancel Aidah Asaba's Removal Directions
Aidah Asaba is a young traumatised lesbian from Uganda who fled harassment and persecution and therefore sought refuge on the basis of her sexuality in the United Kingdom. She is currently under immediate threat of removal to Uganda and at risk of imprisonment and torture upon arrival. She has received removal directions for Saturday the 24th of May and we therefore urgently need you to support Aidah by signing and sharing this petition widely!
Aidah's case has been refused in the fast track system without being given a chance to find proper solicitors nor time to gather evidence. If sent back to Uganda she runs the risk of being arrested at the airport, detained and imprisoned for years. Her name and case have widely appeared in Ugandan newspapers and come to the attention of the police and local authorities. She will be an easy target for rape, torture and killing either in the prison or by a homophobic mob.
On February 24, 2014 the Ugandan president Museveni signed the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill which includes life sentences for so-called 'aggravated homosexuality'. Within the following days the newspaper Red Pepper published a list with the full names and photographs of 200 alleged homosexuals. David Kato, a prominant LGBTI activist, was killed a few days after a similar list was published in 2011. The bill, the lists and the murder of David Kato are illustrative for the extremely violent climate and hatred towards LGBTIs in Uganda.
The UK Home Office does not believe that Aidah is a lesbian, but they do not allow Aidah enough time to present evidence. Furthermore, prominent LGBTI advocates of respected Ugandan organisations such as Frank Mugisha of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and Edwin Sesange of the Out & Proud Diamond Group are, contrary to the Home Office, convinced of Aidah's honesty and ready to put their names forward in her support.
It is unacceptable that Aidah has been put in the fast track system, which deprived her from the chance to collect the required evidence in time. She needs her removal directions to be withdrawn immediately so that she can finalise and submit a strong fresh asylum claim.
Please call on the UK Home Office to cancel Aidah's removal directions immediately and agree to reconsider her case. Help us save Aidah and sign and share this petition widely!
You can sign the petition <>here . . . .
Sean Ambrose McCarthy and Others v SSHD
Advocate General's Opinion in Case C-202/13
According to Advocate General Szpunar, a Member State may not make a third-country national's right of entry subject to the prior obtaining of a visa, when he already holds a 'Residence card of a family member of a Union citizen' issued by another Member State
Authorising a Member State to put such a precautionary measure of general application into effect would be tantamount to permitting it to circumvent the right to freedom of movement and would be contrary to the principle of mutual recognition
An EU directive1 provides that possession of a valid residence card exempts third-country nationals who are members of the family of an EU citizen, from having to obtain an entry visa. Nevertheless, Member States may adopt the necessary measures to refuse, terminate or withdraw any right conferred by this directive in the case of abuse of rights or fraud, such as marriages of convenience. Any such measure must be proportionate and subject to the procedural safeguards provided.
Mr Sean Ambrose McCarthy has dual British and Irish nationality. He is married to a Colombian national with whom he has a daughter. Since 2010 the family has lived in Spain, where they own a house. Mr and Ms McCarthy also own a house in the United Kingdom, to which they regularly travel. Ms Helena Patricia McCarthy is the holder of an EU family member's residence card ('residence card') issued by the Spanish authorities. Under the UK provisions on immigration, in order to be able to travel to the United Kingdom, holders of those cards must apply for an entry permit ('the EEA family permit'), valid for six months. This family permit may be renewed, provided that the holder personally attends a United Kingdom diplomatic mission abroad and fills in a form containing details of the applicant's finances and employment.
In 2012, taking the view that those provisions of national law prejudice their rights to freedom of movement, the McCarthy family brought proceedings before the High Court of Justice (England & Wales), Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court) (United Kingdom). That court has asked the Court of Justice whether, in the light of the Directive and of Protocol No 20 (the Frontiers Protocol),2 third-country nationals may, generally, be obliged to obtain a visa in order to be allowed to enter the territory of the United Kingdom when they already have a residence card.
Downlaod the full digest here . . . .
Permission Required To Ensure Public Funding in JR Proceedings
The Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2014 came into force on 22 April 2014 with the effect that judicial review proceedings commenced on or after that day will not be funded unless: (a) the High Court or Upper Tribunal grants permission; or, (b) permission is neither granted nor refused and the Lord Chancellor considers that it is reasonable to pay remuneration in the circumstances of the case.
Read more: Free Movement, <>19/05/14
Noela Claye Wins 10 Year Battle to Stay in the UK
"I could not have won my case without all the kind support I received from my friends, family, women from WAR, the public and from lawyers who worked for free after I was refused legal aid. During this time, I was also caring for my niece, a mother of two, who was suffering from breast cancer. She passed away on Mother's Day which has caused us so much shock. I feel that what the Home Office put me through hastened her death. I must now keep a steady head and take care of her precious children to try to bring love and happiness into their lives." Nola Claye
Background here . . . .
Unlawful Detention of a Pregnant Woman
The Home Office has admitted falsely imprisoning a pregnant woman at Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre. The Claimant was over six months pregnant when she was released. Jane Ryan of Bhatt Murphy acted for the Claimant.
Following its admission of liability, the Home Office has agreed to pay substantial damages to the Claimant as part of an out of court settlement. This case follows a June 2013 report by the charity Medical Justice, Expecting Change, which raised serious concerns about the treatment of pregnant women detained under immigration powers.
MPsto Investigate Serco Sex Assault Claim at Yarl's Wood IRC
Serco, the private outsourcing giant, is to be investigated by MPs after it was forced to disclose a secret internal report revealing evidence that it failed to properly investigate a claim of repeated sexual assaults by one of its staff against a female resident at Yarl's Wood immigration detention centre. The document, which was marked confidential, was made public last week following a four-month legal battle between Serco and Guardian News and Media. Lawyers said the report demonstrates a culture of disbelief towards women inside the detention centre, which is run by Serco, and hailed the high court's decision forcing Serco to disclose the document as a victory for greater transparency. The revelation comes a day after it was disclosed that Serco could be among companies to take over the running of privatised children's social services, including child protection, under proposals being considered by Michael Gove's Department for Education.
Read more: Mark Townsend, The Observer, <> 17/05/14
Were Migrants 'Wrongly Deported' After Advice From 'Sprakab'
Hundreds of asylum seekers may have been wrongly deported from Britain due to the Home Office's reliance on a Swedish firm to analyse their language, it was claimed last night. Sprakab was criticised in a judgement handed down this week by the Supreme Court, which said its staff had given "wholly inappropriate" opinions to asylum tribunals on whether a claimant sounded convincing, instead of merely analysing the way they spoke. Critics told The Independent such behaviour was commonplace and may have negatively affected hundreds of asylum cases.
The linguistics company is used by the Home Office to analyse the language and dialect of asylum applicants over the phone in an attempt to establish if they are lying about their country of origin so they can remain in Britain. It carries out around 4,000 such analyses every year for various governments around the world. The Supreme Court judgment, which focused on the cases of two Somali asylum-seekers in Scotland, may trigger a flood of appeals. It said immigration officials had been relying too heavily on Sprakab's reports and that some comments given by the firm's staff "went beyond the proper role of a witness".
Read more: Chris Green, Independent, <> 22/05/14
Tobacco's Hidden Children
Children working on tobacco farms in the United States are exposed to nicotine, toxic pesticides, and other dangers. Child tobacco workers often labor 50 or 60 hours a week in extreme heat, use dangerous tools and machinery, lift heavy loads, and climb into the rafters of barns several stories tall, risking serious injuries and falls. The tobacco grown on US farms is purchased by the largest tobacco companies in the world.
Ninety percent of tobacco grown in the US is cultivated in four states: North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. Between May and October 2013, Human Rights Watch interviewed 141 child tobacco workers, ages 7 to 17, who worked in these states in 2012 or 2013. Nearly three-quarters of the children interviewed by Human Rights Watch reported the sudden onset of serious symptoms—including nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, headaches, dizziness, skin rashes, difficulty breathing, and irritation to their eyes and mouths—while working in fields of tobacco plants and in barns with dried tobacco leaves and tobacco dust. Many of these symptoms are consistent with acute nicotine poisoning.
Read more: Human Rights Watch, <>14/05/14
Panic as UKIP discover 'UKIP' is Bulgarian for 'Welcome!'
There have been several reports of UKIP signs being vandalised around Southport this week. The shocking truth, however, is that the UKIP supporters themselves have been defacing their own campaign boards.
Apparently, an intern at UKIP's campaign headquarters was using Google Translate to find slogans to tell foreigners to 'f*ck off home' in 18 languages when she noticed that 'ukip' was actually a Bulgarian word meaning 'welcome!'
Child Asylum Seekers Held in Stuffy/Overcrowded Conditions
Child asylum seekers are being held in "disgraceful" conditions at Heathrow Airport, where they are often forced to sleep overnight in cramped rooms, a report published today warns. Four years ago the Coalition Agreement committed the Government to end the "detention of children for immigration purposes".
But a strongly worded report from the Heathrow Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) condemned the Home Office over the treatment of immigrant youngsters at Britain's largest airport. It said it had seen many cases where asylum seekers, including children, have been held for very long periods in the holding rooms. The IMB said they continue to be locked up in "stuffy and overcrowded" rooms with no natural light, no access to the open air and very limited facilities for children.
Many are held for long periods, including overnight stays, or are shunted between removal centres so they only get a few hours in bed, which the IMB denounces as a "disgraceful way to treat children".
Read more: Nigel Morris, Independent, 22/05/14
Download the full report here . . . .
Rahman, R (On the Application Of) v SSHD  EWHC 1640
1) In these proceedings the Claimant challenges the legality of his past detention by the Defendant on the grounds (a) that it lasted for a period that was unreasonable in all the circumstances, (b) that it became apparent that the Defendant would not be able to effect removal within a reasonable period and (c) that the Defendant failed to act with reasonable diligence and expedition. He seeks a declaration that his detention was unlawful for all or at least part of its duration and was in breach of Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights ("the Convention"). He seeks damages for false imprisonment and for breach of Article 5 and costs.
2) Permission to bring this claim for judicial review was granted by Philippa Whipple QC, sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge, on the 13th June 2013. When the claim was issued on the 29th November 2012 the Claimant was in detention and continued to be so when the substantive hearing of the claim began before Collins J on the 3rd September 2013. After some argument before Collins J an adjournment was granted to enable consideration to be given to the release of the Claimant. On the 12th September 2013 it was confirmed by the Defendant that the Claimant would be released and he was released that evening with the Defendant allowing his temporary admission to the UK. A hearing before Collins J on the following day considered his release conditions and accommodation and an order was made addressing those matters and the future conduct of the claim. It has been accepted on the Claimant's behalf that he has not complied with the conditions of his release. When the matter came before me on the 10th April 2014 I was told that the Claimant has still not complied with those conditions and is homeless but remains in contact with his solicitors.
67) In conclusion, in my judgment, the detention of the Claimant was unlawful from the 25th April 2013 until his release on the 12th September 2013. Accordingly, both at common law and under Article 5 he is entitled to damages.
Nigeria: Back-to-Back Bombings kill 118
At least 118 people and wounded 45 in the crowded business district of the central Nigerian city of Jos on Tuesday, emergency services said, in an attack that appeared to bear the hallmarks of Boko Haram insurgents. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. But the militant group Boko Haram, which has set off bombs across the north and centre of Nigeria in an increasingly bloody campaign for an Islamic state, was likely to be the prime suspect in what would rank among their deadliest single attacks in five years of insurrection.
Read more: Alert Net, <> 21/05/14
Global Forced Labour Generates $150bn a Year in Illegal Profits
Forced labour in the global private economy generates illegal profits of $150bn (£89bn) a year – three times more than previously thought – according to a report that lays bare the lucrative scale of the exploitation faced by millions of people trapped in modern-day slavery, coerced employment and trafficking.
The study, by the UN's International Labour Organisation (ILO), found that almost two-thirds of the total profits ($99bn) came from commercial sexual exploitation; the rest was derived from forced economic labour, such as domestic work, construction and mining.
According to ILO estimates, more than half of the 21 million people believed to be experiencing forced labour, trafficking and modern-day slavery are women and girls in commercial sexual exploitation and domestic work. Men, meanwhile, are most commonly exploited in agriculture, construction, manufacturing, utilities and mining – sectors that together account for $43bn of the annual illegal profits. The remaining $8bn comes from the savings private households make by either not paying or underpaying domestic workers held in forced labour.
Read more: Sam Jones, Guardian, <>20/05/14
JB (Torture and III treatment - Article 3) DR Congo
1. The appellant is a national of the Democratic Republic of Congo. He appeals to us with leave against the decision of an Adjudicator, Mr J R Devittie who dismissed his appeal against the respondent's decision not to allow him to remain in the United Kingdom under the Human Rights Act 1998. The appellant arrived in the United Kingdom on 11 December 195 and claimed asylum. The application was refused on 1 October 1996 and his appeals against the decision were finally determined and dismissed on 10 May 1999. On 28 July 1999 the appellant made a claim to remain under human rights. That claim was considered but refused by the respondent on 15 January 2002. The Adjudicator dismissed appeal against that decision on 15 October 2002.
9. We have reminded ourselves of the high threshold required for Article 3. At the same time we have borne in mind the absolute nature of protection afforded by Article 3. In our judgment the removal of the appellant to the DRC would infringe his rights under Article 3. We therefore allow this appeal.
Published on Refworld, 19/05/14
Ilkhani (Mahsa) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
1. Lord Justice Moses: This is a renewed application for permission to appeal following refusal in writing by myself. The grounds of the appeal are that the immigration judge, be it noted the second time around, found that the applicant was not a truthful witness on the basis of inconsistencies which, so it is contended, were not inconsistencies. Now that I have had the benefit of Miss Fisher's submissions, I am persuaded that there was more to this than met my eye and that the discrepancies on which the immigration judge relied are, it is strongly arguable, either too flimsy to rely upon for a credibility finding or not, it is strongly arguable, discrepancies at all.
10. In my judgment, there is a real prospect of success in this appeal and, in those circumstances contrary to my original view, I shall give permission.
Published on Refworld, 19/05/14
HK v Secretary of State for the Home Department
1. Lord Justice Neuberger : This appeal, which has been conspicuously well argued on both sides, highlights the very difficult task faced by Immigration Judges when they are called upon to make findings of fact, in circumstances where there is no direct factual evidence other than that given by the appellant himself, and a lack of background information or of general experience upon which the Judges can safely rely. The appeal also throws sharply into focus the difficult question of when it is appropriate for this court, which can only interfere with a decision of an Immigration Judge or the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal ("the Tribunal") on a point of law, to remit a decision which ultimately turns on questions of fact.
Conclusions and closing comments
63. Given that I consider that the appeal should be allowed on the two issues discussed above (namely the rejection of HK's story and the finding that he would not be at risk in any event), it follows that I would allow this appeal. However, before concluding, there are three points I should make.
64. First, the decision and reasoning in this case should not be interpreted as casting doubt on, or diluting, the point made in R (Iran)-v- Secretary of State and E –v- Secretary of State (and a number of other cases) about the difficulty normally faced by a projected appeal against a decision of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal on issues of fact (whether primary fact or inference from fact). In this connection, is important to emphasise the very unusual nature of the facts of this case. It is unnecessary to repeat them, but they include the nature of the appellant's story, the absence of any evidence to call it into question, the nature and extent of the evidence in support, the consistency of the appellant's story, and the nature of the reasons given by the Tribunal. As Mr Armstrong put it, this is "an unusual and extreme case".
65. Secondly, the fact that we are setting aside the decision of the Tribunal should not be seen as an adverse criticism. The difficulties faced by any tribunal required to decide this case are plain, and arise from many of the factors discussed in the previous paragraph. Indeed, they are apparent from the unusual (but admittedly not unique) fact that two previous decisions on HK's appeal have been remitted.
66. Thirdly, HK has also appealed against the rejection of his appeal by the Tribunal based on Articles 3 and 8 of the Convention. Realistically, Mr Armstrong, while not abandoning the argument, did not develop it orally at all. In so far as the argument is based on the risk of mistreatment if HK is returned, it is substantially the same as the second issue and the Article 3 appeal is to that extent allowed. As to the appeal based on Article 8, I hope it does no discourtesy to the argument simply to say that I agree with what is in Ms Grange's skeleton argument, namely that the Tribunal directed themselves in accordance with the law and reached a conclusion which was plainly open to them.
67. I would therefore allow HK's asylum appeal (and his appeal under Article 3 of the Convention) and remit his appeal against the Secretary of State's refusal of asylum (and leave to remain) for determination by a fresh Tribunal.
Published on Refworld, 19/05/14