Nottingham family detained after morning immigration raid: Urgent appeal

Selina Adda and children detained after a raid at their home in The Meadows

UPDATE: Removal stayed. Selina and her children were arriving home [/b]in Nottingham as of 4th Oct, after they were detained for removal to Ghana on Friday. A good neighbour drove to London to collect them as soon as they knew she was being released. Selina has seen that 940 supporters signed a petition in support of her and the children. Brian (aged 8) is very happy ‘to be out of the Dungeon’, and we are hoping that little Chelsea (5) will start eating again soon, because she wouldn’t eat in Yarl’s Wood (Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire). The campaign has learnt is that another family with young children ‘disappeared’ from the same school (St Patricks, in Wilford) over the summer holidays, and an older sister bringing a younger sibling to school mentioned that her family had beein in Yarlswood for three months last year. This is just one primary school… we need to keep the Campaign going for Selina, and we need to think about what else is going on in our midst.

Evening Post article:
http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/news/Mea…il/article.html

Selina Adda and her two children, Brian (aged 8) and Chelsea (aged 4) were detained after Immigration arrived at their home in The Meadows (Nottingham South) yesterday morning, just as they were getting ready to go to their school, St Patricks, in Wilford. Selina is from Ghana. She is now ill in Yarlswood, and her little girl is refusing to eat. Yesterday she just asked for orange juice, and Selina was explaining that there is none. Friends and supporters of Selina have put together a letter to the Immigration Minister, and a petition is up and running online
http://www.PetitionOnline.com/asf03oct/
Selina and her children (The Adda Family: Home Office ref: A1290971) face removal to Ghana on Friday, BA 81 at 14.15 3rd October: LONDON HEATHROW–>ACCRA, GHANA (ACC). Use this model letter [attachment=16] to write to Liam Byrne.
Please send copies of what you have sent to the campaign address:
St Saviour’s Cottage, St Saviour’s Gardens, The Meadows, Nottingham, NG2 3HL
tel: 0115 9567686 email: selina_adda@live.com or to Nottingham & Notts Refugee Forum. Read more for full info and text of model letter. Complain to British Airways also (again, read more for phone/fax details).

This news comes as the Home Office has been forced to recognise that there are hundreds of claims by asylum-seekers of abuse and assault in detention centres and during removals, and start an investigation.

UPDATE: Removal stayed. Selina and her children were arriving home [/b]in Nottingham as of 4th Oct, after they were detained for removal to Ghana on Friday. A good neighbour drove to London to collect them as soon as they knew she was being released. Selina has seen that 940 supporters signed a petition in support of her and the children. Brian (aged 8) is very happy ‘to be out of the Dungeon’, and we are hoping that little Chelsea (5) will start eating again soon, because she wouldn’t eat in Yarl’s Wood (Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire). The campaign has learnt is that another family with young children ‘disappeared’ from the same school (St Patricks, in Wilford) over the summer holidays, and an older sister bringing a younger sibling to school mentioned that her family had beein in Yarlswood for three months last year. This is just one primary school… we need to keep the Campaign going for Selina, and we need to think about what else is going on in our midst.

Selina Adda and her two children, Brian (aged 8) and Chelsea (aged 4) were detained after Immigration arrived at their home in The Meadows yesterday morning, just as they were getting ready to go to their school, St Patricks, in Wilford.

Friends and supporters of Selina have put together a letter to the Immigration Minister, and a petition is up and running online http://www.PetitionOnline.com/asf03oct/
Selina and her children (The Adda Family: Home Office ref: A1290971) face removal to Ghana on Friday, BA 81 at 14.15 3rd October: LONDON HEATHROW–>ACCRA, GHANA (ACC). Use this model letter [attachment=16] to write to Liam Byrne. Please send copies of what you have sent to the campaign address:
St Saviour’s Cottage, St Saviour’s Gardens, The Meadows, Nottingham, NG2 3HL
tel: 0115 9567686 email: selina_adda@live.com or to Nottingham & Notts Refugee Forum. See below full info and text of model letter. Complain to British Airways also (again, read more for phone/fax details).

Selina is from Ghana. She is Catholic but was betrothed to a man thrity years her senior when she was just a schoolgirl. Selinas family were very poor and couldnt afford the school fees and a wealthy, polygamous local business man offered to pay all the fees and support the family, in exhcange for a promise that Selina would marry him when she left school. Selina did not want to marry a man so much older and she didnt want to convert to Islam ( the faith of the man she was betrothed to) and she ran away. At first, looked after by a befriender in Ghana, but eventually obliged to leave the country.

Selina hasnt been able to prove the relationship with this man – its a difficult one because domestic arrangements dont come signed sealed and delivered in such a neat evidential way, but Selina is very, very afraid. Selina claims that after she left the country her sister was offered in her place. her sister took her own life last year. Unfortunately despite a suicide note, the Home Office will not give the benefit of the doubt that this was written by Selinas sister.

Now faced with removal, Selina is very afraid that her daughter, just five years ol, will be subjected to FGM in Ghana. Although the practice has been outlawed, all the evidence suggests that it is still common place. it is certainly practised in ethnic groups of Selina, her betrothed, and the little girls father.

Selina is now ill in Yarlswood, and her little girl is refusing to eat. Yesterday she just asked for orange juice, and Selina was explaining that there is none.

Selina and her children ( who are neighbours of Amdani), ask you, please, to sign the petition, to write to the Home Secretary and to do whatever you can for this young family, who face removal to Ghana on Friday, BA 81 at 14.15 3rd October, and to let me know or recive copies of what you have sent.

Dear Liam Byrne MP
Minister for Immigration
Home Office
50 Queen Anne?s Gate
London
SW1H 9AT

30 September 2008

Dear Mr Byrne,

The Adda Family: Home Office ref: A1290971

Selina and her two children Brian and Chelsea Tumfour are currently at Yarlswood Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire awaiting deportation on Friday. Their asylum claim has been rejected.

Selina Adda was born on 25 May 1974 in Tamale in Northern Ghana into a Catholic family in part of the war-like Dagomba tribe. This tribe is ruled by strong chieftains and follows Muslim customs, including female genital mutilation (FGM). FGM is common in northern Ghana and, though it was made illegal in 1994, there are few prosecutions of those guilty of the crime.

Selina was betrothed to a Muslim chieftain of the tribe who was 30 years her senior and already married to two wives. She fled to the capital Accra where a pharmacist took pity on her and gave her a job working in his shop. Several years later members of her tribe close to the chieftain spotted her and her whereabouts were made known.

Her mother visited her in Accra and told her that if she didn?t return home and marry him, the chieftain would kill her mother. With the help of the pharmacist she left Accra to claim asylum in the UK. By this time she had met another man and had a child, Brian, in September 2000, and was pregnant with her second child Chelsea who was born in the UK in December 2004. She has no other relatives in the UK.

In 2005, an advert appeared in a Ghanaian newspaper offering a reward for information on Selina. When the family found out Selina had arrived in the UK, they informed the chieftain and he agreed to marry their other daughter. She could not face marrying him and took her own life by taking poison. Her death certificate says she died of food
poisoning. The Home Office refused to accept the suicide letter as evidence.

The firm Paragon Law represented her, but her asylum claim was rejected on 7 December 2007. Her solicitor said there was not enough evidence to show that the chieftain would still pursue her and she could live safely in other parts of Ghana. But people who make threats don?t tend to put it in writing in official documents. She and the children are afraid to go back.

Selina is seeking asylum in the UK because she is betrothed to a man she does not want to marry. She does not believe that the authorities have the power to protect her if members of the chieftain?s tribe discover her again. Nor will they be able to protect Chelsea from FGM, despite the fact that it is technically illegal. Tribal customs mean that if she is discovered again in Ghana, she will be forced to marry a polygamous man based on promises she made when she was just a child and there will be an expectation that Selina will be required to adopt the faith of her husband. Selina rightly believes that going back to Ghana would place her and her children at significant risk.

Since Selina has been in the UK, both her mother and her sister have died. She has no close relatives in Ghana. She suffers from severe depression and was prescribed medication by her GP, which she is still taking. Social services have also been involved in her case. Under their advice, she attended an access to nursing course at Basford Hall College last year and gained a distinction. This year, she had just started taking Maths GCSE in order to get onto a nursing course. Selina?s children are achieving at school and are well settled.

Please allow the Adda family to remain the UK on compassionate grounds.

Yours sincerely,

Name_____________________________________________________

Address____________________________________________________

Postcode_____________________________________________________

Country_____________________________________________________

Date_________________________________________________________

British Airways.

Please fax / call British Airways to express concern and ask them not to take part in the deportation. This can work – deportations have been stopped when airlines have refused to take people. Phone calls may also be effective – see customer relations phone number below.

British Airways Chief Executive Officer (Willy Walsh):
Fax: 020 8759 4314
email: Company.Secretary@ba.com

British Airways Press Office
Fax: 0208 738 9838, or
email: media.relations@ba.com

BA Customer Relations:
Telephone: 0844 493 0 787
Fax: 020 8759 4314

Flight is LONDON HEATHROW–>ACCRA, GHANA (ACC), BA81 at 14.15 on Friday October 3rd.
Selina Adda & Family: Home Office ref: A1290971
heathrow immigration office tel: 0208 745 4700

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