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

Morton Hall Noise Demo – repeat visit to Lincolnshire detention centre – 29/10/2011

On Saturday 29th October there will be a noise demo outside Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre in Lincolnshire. This follows two previous demos already held there over the summer http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/1962

We want to continue to express our disgust and anger against the existence of yet another new detention centre. With news of detainees escaping and going on hunger strike in recent months, it seems more important than ever to communicate our solidarity with the struggle of those held inside. We’ll be bringing a sound system, pots and pans and other noise making materials, and it would be great if others can do the same.

We plan to meet at Nottingham train station at 10am to catch the train arriving at Swinderby at 11.10. We will have some funds to cover the cost of travel for people. The detention centre is 10 minutes walk from the station. If others are coming from elsewhere, we suggest meeting at the detention centre at 11.30. The address is Morton Hall IRC, Swinderby,
Lincolnshire, LN6 9PT. We encourage as many people to join us there with banners, placards and noise making materials.

Morton Hall detention centre was formally opened by immigration minister Damien Green on 1st June. Morton Hall was formerly a prison for female foreign national prisoners but has now been converted to an immigration removal centre for male detainees. It is run by HM Prison Service in collaboration with the UK Border Agency. Less than 30 miles from Nottingham it is the only detention centre in the East Midlands.

This demo is a chance for us to show solidarity with those imprisoned and to let them know that there are people out there who oppose the way that they are being treated by our inhuman and racist immigration controls.

There is also a visitors group that has been recently formed to offer support and friendship to those inside. For more info on this, contact mhvg [at] riseup.net

Hip-Hop Benefit Night for Morton Hall at The Sumac Centre, Nottingham – report

On Monday, Monday October 17th 2011 a Hip-Hop Benefit Night at The Sumac Centre Featuring … Test Their Logik, Louis Cypher and Martin the Livewire took place.

Details: http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/2104

The benefit gig was to help support the Morton Hall Detainee Visitors Group.

Test Their Logik brought their empowering and inspirational hip-hop sounds all the way from Southern Ontario, Kanada AKA Turtle Island.

The Morton Hall detention centre was formally opened by immigration minister Damien Green on 1st June. Morton Hall was formerly a prison for female foreign national prisoners but has now been converted to an immigration removal centre for male detainees. It is run by HM Prison Service in collaboration with the UK Border Agency. Less than 30 miles from Nottingham it is the only detention centre in the East Midlands.

Demonstrations there are a chance to show solidarity with those imprisoned and to let them know that there are people out there who oppose the way that they are being treated by our inhuman and racist immigration controls.

Previous article about demonstration in July 2011:
http://www.nobordersnottingham.org.uk/regional-news-and-events/morton-hall-noise-demo-this-saturday/