Nottingham and Notts Refugee Forum

Nottingham and Notts Refugee Forum, based at the Sycamore Centre in St. Ann’s, offers advice, support and friendship to Nottingham’s refugees and asylum seekers.

There are lots of ways to help NNRF. Volunteering, working there or donations.
Volunteer opportunities and Job Vacancies are advertised on the NNRF website. Donate via the website: http://www.nottsrefugeeforum.org.uk/

Find NNRF on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nottsrefugeeforum/

Follow @NNRF1 on Twitter: https://twitter.com/nnrf1

Morton Hall Detainee Visitor Group

The Morton Hall Detainees Visitors Group (MHDVG) is an organisation set up in July 2011 in response to the opening of the new Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre (detention centre) in Swinderby, Lincolnshire earlier that year. The centre holds up to 392 people and is very isolated in its location. The site is a former women’s prison.

We support people detained at Morton Hall IRC by providing a link to the outside world. Immigration Detention is the deprivation of liberty and the administrative detention of people can impact on them mentally and
emotionally in many ways.

Visits from people who care, people that aren’t part of the system that keeps them locked up, can be invaluable for the emotional wellbeing of the people we visit. We aim to to reduce the isolation that is all too common in detention centres. As well as providing friendship and support we are able to signpost the people we support to other services.

#SOSEurope vigil Wed 22 April -To remember all people who have died crossing the Mediterranean

To remember all people who have died crossing the Mediterranean.
(source: http://www.amnesty.org.uk/groups/nottingham/soseurope-vigil-wed-22-april ).

This Wednesday 22 April, please join us at Brian Clough statue, Market Square, Nottingham, 5:30-6:30pm to remember all those dying as they try to cross the Mediterranean.

There’s been a two incidents in the news in the last few days, and up to 1,500 people are feared to have drowned this year alone.

Please come along if you can, and bring a white flower in remembrance.

More info on vigil: https://www.facebook.com/events/434913446682684/

More info on the situation from the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-32376082

More info on Amnesty’s campaign: http://www.sos-europe-amnesty.eu/stop-people-from-suffering-and-dying-at-our-borders-actions/

Nottingham and Notts Refugee Forum – website reminder

Just a reminder about the website of Nottingham and Notts Refugee Forum which also moved this year:
http://nottsrefugeeforum.org.uk/

http://nottsrefugeeforum.org.uk/were-on-the-move/

About:
Nottingham & Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum (NNRF) is an independent voluntary organisation and registered charity set up in 2000 to work with and for refugees and asylum seekers in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire offering practical advice, information, support and friendship and also campaigning on issues affecting them.

NNRF is run by a volunteer Management Committee, a third of whose members are refugees and asylum seekers. Its supporters include political, religious and students groups, trades unions and concerned individuals, as well as refugees and asylum seekers who have always been involved in the running of NNRF.

Our Mission:
To support Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Nottingham & Nottinghamshire to gain fair and just outcomes, rebuild their lives and integrate into society.

Our Vision:

A society where Asylum Seekers and Refugees are welcomed, receive just and compassionate treatment and support in rebuilding their lives.

We seek to achieve this by:

Providing a welcoming community centre.
Offering specialised advice & support services.
Providing programmes to develop confidence, skills and knowledge.
Campaigning for a just and generous response to Refugees and Asylum Seekers from government and the host community.
Advocating on behalf of individual Asylum Seekers and Refugees in cases of injustice and hardship.

Contact Address: NNRF, The Sycamore Centre, 31 Hungerhill Road, Nottingham, NG3 4NB.
Telephone: (0115) 9601230

Campaign with petition for Abdul Ghafar Rajabali – release from detention, no deportation

Update 16/5/2013 (full details below):

Abdul has been given his scheduled date for removal and flight time from the UK for early morning next Wednesday 22nd May at 00.10am. He is understandably very worried about this but his many friends continue to support him in every way they can.

What you can do:
– first and foremost, sign the petition at the website below:
– write to your local MP (or the relevant office for external affairs if you’re outside of the UK)
– write to Home Secretary, Theresa May MP at public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
– copy your email to Minister for Immigration, Mark Harper MP, at ministerforimmigration@homeoffice.gsi.gov
– telephone the office of the Home Secretary, Theresa May MP, on +44(0)20 7035 4848 or +44(0)870 606 7766
– telephone the office of the Minister for Immigration on +44(0)20 7035 4848 or +44(0)20 7219 5056

Let’s make a big push over the next few days to help ensure that Abdul stays.

Solidarity with Abdul!

We have been contacted by friends in Leicester about the detention of Abdul Ghafar Rajabali. As part of his asylum requirement, Abdul regularly reported to the UK Border Agency reporting station in Loughborough. However, while reporting to UKBA on Friday 10th May 2013, he was detained and held at Loughborough police station. From there, he was to be transferred to Morton Hall Detention Centre in Lincolnshire to await his removal back to Afghanistan. Morton Hall Visitors’ Group are aware of this.

Petition | Release Abdul Ghafar Rajabali and halt his deportation | Change.org
http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/release-abdul-ghafar-rajabali-and-halt-his-deportation

Here’s Abdul’s story in brief:

Abdul is being held in Morton Hall Detention Centre awaiting deportation to Afghanistan
He fled Afghanistan as a teenager to avoid the option of being either press-ganged into the Taliban or shot
His father was Russian and all his family were consequently murdered in connection with this
He arrived in the UK six years ago, when still a minor
He now knows no one in Afghanistan, would be unable to cope and would be in extreme danger there
He suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome and has other medical problems
He has made many friends in Leicester, helps out with Leicester City of Sanctuary based at the Cathedral and participates in a local anti-racist/anti-fascist football team, FC Kolektivo Victoria – https://www.facebook.com/pages/FC-Kolektivo-Victoria/199020316797628
He is an asset to his local community

It’d be much appreciated if you could sign the petition to halt his deportation (in cases like this, they can be very useful):
Petition | Release Abdul Ghafar Rajabali and halt his deportation | Change.org
http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/release-abdul-ghafar-rajabali-and-halt-his-deportation

You will also find more information on his case and tips on how to help Abdul further at this website: Campaign for Abdul Ghafar Rajabali
http://releaseabdul.blogspot.co.uk/

Also, if you could forward this info to anyone else you reckon would support Abdul, that’d be ace.

Another Hunger Strike at Morton Hall

Latest Morton Hall update, also on Nottingham Indymedia. 17th Jan 2013.

Another Hunger Strike at Morton Hall

A number of detainees have been on hunger strike inside Morton Hall IRC for as many as 9 days. Abbas Ayub, a Pakistani national said 3 men were protesting because they want to be returned to their countries of birth but the UK Borders Agency continues to detain them. Abbas said he had been refusing food since last Monday because he has been detained since May, even though he has agreed to return to Pakistan voluntarily. He said that no one from UKBA had spoken to him about his protest. “I just want to go back” he told No Borders Nottingham.

Indefinite detention is a deeply controversial part of the UK’s immigration detention system. According to Nick Hardwick, the chief inspector of prisons, speaking last month, some immigration detainees have “simply been forgotten”. One Somali migrant has been held for 9 years after he completed his prison sentence.

The hunger strike is the most recent in a series of protests by Morton Hall prisoners regarding their treatment over the last twelve months. On Wednesday 9th Jan, a Sudanese detainee attempted suicide by slitting his wrists. Friends of the man said that he was frustrated and angry at his long period of detention. Prior to this, a peaceful protest involving between 30 and 40 detainees took place on Christmas Eve. Prisoners had been left without running water, working toilets or cooked food for a number of days.

This is not the first hunger strike inside Morton Hall. In July 2011 an estimated 100 detainees went on hunger strike due to their treatment by the authorities. Two detainees scaled the centre’s rooftops and threatened to jump within less than 24 hours of each other. The detainees, originally from Palestine and Malaysia, were protesting at the ‘disrespectful’ and ‘inhumane’ treatment they experienced, including being detained for prolonged periods.

No Borders Nottingham activist Geoff Bates said “This hunger strike is only the most recent manifestation of ongoing resistance to this country’s inhuman migration control system. The indefinite detention of migrant detainees is an act of violence by the state on vulnerable members of our community and it must end.”

Morton Hall detention centre in Lincolnshire kicking off again

Demo at Morton Hall, Dec 2012Morton Hall in revolt again – Published: January 03, 2013

The situation in Morton Hall immigration detention centre is at boiling point again after a series of incidents around Christmas. The trigger for events was another serious breach of their responsibilities by the detention centre management who failed to deal swiftly with disruptions to the water supply. A large number of detainees refused to return to their cells in protest. A serious disturbance on Christmas Eve resulted in a detainee ending up in hospital with a serious head injury and injuries to a number of prison officers. There was also a thwarted escape attempt on Christmas Day.

According to No Deportations the situation that sparked the incident was grim: there was a serious water supply failure, before the incident, all toilets blocked, no running water whatsoever, no cooked meals, detainees given sandwiches and cold drinks …

Full article on Nottingham Indymedia: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/4699

See also:
Solidarity demo at Morton Hall detention centre, December 16, 2012
Hunger strike at Morton Hall immigration centre, July 25, 2012

Notts Refugee Week – 18-24 June 2012 plus launch event on 16th

For details about Refugee Week in Nottingham, see: http://www.refugeeweek.org.uk/In-Your-Area/East-Midlands/E-Midlands

Launch event 16th June: http://www.nottinghamcontemporary.org/event/celebrating-refugee-week
Facebook event page for the 16th: http://www.facebook.com/events/477047238978176/

Be sure to pick up a copy of the excellent Notts Refugee week paper ‘Beyond Borders’ which can be found at venues all around town.

Speak Out – detainee newsletter

“Speak Out” a newsletter produced by detainees can be downloaded here . . . .

Speak Out – Detainee Newsletter – Oct 2011

(Update: Sorry, there seems to be a problem with the file upload – while we try and fix it, please just email below to get the newsletter).

This newsletter is an idea of a detainee in UK Border Agency’s detention since 2008 and contains experiences of his own and others ill treatment by UKBA and its private contractors.

For more information or to submit articles for the next issue contact:
Email: Ruhul Anam ruhul_99 [at] live.co.uk
or Email: newsletter [at] gdwg.org.uk