On August 12th Hicham Yezza was released from HMP High Down after more than 5 months in prison following a year-long ordeal of first being arrested at his workplace University of Nottingham as part of a terrorist scare fiasco, subsequently incarcerated and moved around various detention centres facing immediate deportation but managing to prevent this and to take his case to court in spite of vigorous opposition from the Home Office, then being found guilty of a criminal charge and imprisoned again.
More details about his case and welcome release are forthcoming. In the meantime, his campaign website carries details of the new issue of Ceasefire, the magazine of Nottingham Student Peace Movement he edited whilst at the University. This one is a special 68-page limited edition edited in Cell 213, HMP Canterbury.
Hicham is due to speak at this weekend’s Beyond Borders event in Nottingham.
‘Tuesday Night Project’ Barbecue followed by No Borders meeting: Tuesday 21st July from 6pm at Nottingham and Notts Refugee Forum (Square Centre).
Amdani Juma support rally in the Market Square on Friday 24th July at 5.15pm. Click on Read More for the latest Press Release with background to Amdani’s campaign to stay in Nottingham.
Amdani Juma has been refused the Right to Remain in a manner breaching the Home Office’s own regulations, not to mention through a disgracefully botched and irregular process that no human being should be subjected to. A torture survivor and pro-democracy activist, Amdani escaped death more than once. He has no family in Burundi; his cousin, brother and sister are all permanently resident in the UK or the Netherlands. Human Rights groups and the UN report ongoing human rights abuses and torture in Burundi.
Read More to find out what you can do including Market Sq. demo on Friday 24th July at 5.15pm, other public events, petition etc …
To find out what you can to help local people facing deportation, visit: http://www.nottsrefugeeforum.org.uk/
There is also an Anti-deportation group that meets regularly – contact No Borders Nottingham for details: Email info (at) nobordersnottingham.org.uk
Visit http://www.nottsrefugeeforum.org.uk/nrcg.htm for news & advice about detention and deportation. For UK-wide anti-deportation information visit National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns: http://www.ncadc.org.uk/
Latest news, 20th May, 2009:
We have just heard that Sima Valand’s removal directions have been cancelled!
Sima now has a decent solicitor working on her case and the solicitor’s intervention stopped today’s removal. She has submitted fresh evidence which the Home Office are considering so hopefully, Sima won’t be at risk of removal now and can apply for bail. But if you’re poised over the fax machine about to send an appeal on Sima’s behalf to Smith, don’t let this stop you from carrying on!
Sima Valand is desperately fighting to stop the Home Office sending her to India where she is at risk of murder at the hands of her in-laws. She was not flown on Fri 8th May or Wed 20th May. She remains in an immigration prison until she is bailed, to fight and hopefully win her case. More info: http://www.nottsrefugeeforum.org.uk/
Amdani Juma, the Nottingham Community worker whose removal was postponed in June, will have his Judicial Review in the High Court on Tuesday 14th October and this Friday 3rd October. 250 post cards will be posted to 15 MPs to raise awareness about how Amdani has contributed to their constituency through his work. Amdani is a Burundian national. In 2003, he was granted 3 years Humanitarian Protection but his application for Indefinite Leave to Remain was turned down, and further application for discretion was refused by the UKBA/Home Office.
One of the ?Friends of Amdani? says:
?We are continuing to raise awareness about this issue and we won?t let up until justice is done. Some people think that because he was released, it is all over: we are trying to keep everyone updated with what is going on, as well as continuing to let more people know about this injustice. Last Saturday in Nottingham City Centre 150 more people signed the petition in less than 2 hours. The whole of Nottingham will be awaiting a just outcome.?
Local people have rallied to his support with three demonstrations in Nottingham and an online and paper petition combined have a total of over 5,700 signatures.
http://www.petitiononline.com/amdani/petition.html contains many testimonials from the community and has over 2,500 signatures. Paper petitions total over 3,000. A short campaign video paying tribute to our good friend Amdani Juma can be seen on YouTube: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=7qNho3_auGA
Babakhan Badalov, (Babi) the openly gay, internationally renowned radical artist and poet from Azerbaijan was arrested on the morning of 16th September during a reporting session in Cardiff. There will be a protest on Wednesday 17th September against Babi?s incarceration outside of the place where he was grabbed; the UK Border Agency offices at 31-33 Newport Road, Cardiff at 12 noon. All are welcome. This protest will only last one hour so people can come along in their lunch-breaks, and show your support with any banners or placards that you are able to make. Details and complains to Home Office from No Borders Wales. Friend and activist Hywel Bishop said: ?I?ve never seen anyone so scared. If Babi gets sent home he faces persecution from the state for his art, beatings from the local community, as well as the threat of honour killing from his family because they can?t live with the fact that he?s gay.?
On the same day, in Nottingham, a Zimbabwean women was detained at The Bridewell police station. There are many more signing detentions and dawn raids we don’t hear about. The inhuman harassment of asylum seekers in Britain is continuous. How much clearer can it be that nation states are the enemy of any freedom-loving person?
A moving video which speaks for more action: Independent video of the demo – interviews, speechs, march in the rain, support from students & co-workers, phone call with Hich in detention centre, etc.
Hich on mobile phone: “thank you … and hopefully we can all join in another demonstration to celebrate my release … you are a credit to Nottingham, a credit to Nottingham University, and a credit to students and student activism, and community activism”.
Free Hicham Yezza!
Amdani Juma, the Nottingham Community worker whose deportation has been delayed pending Judicial Review, is to attend a Bail Renewal Application Hearing at Loughborough Reporting Centre on Monday August 11. Mr Juma?s Judicial Review Hearing was adjourned for three weeks on Tuesday July 29, after his solicitor and Home Office legal representatives failed to reach agreement.
A short campaign video paying tribute to our good friend Amdani Juma can be seen on YouTube: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=7qNho3_auGA
Background – from Press release by Friends of Amdani :: Wed 6 August 2008
Contacts: Rob Peutrell ? 07846765761 or Leo Keely ? 07742884335
Amdani Juma, a refugee HIV prevention and community worker in Nottingham, was detained by the immigration authorities on Friday 30th May 2008. when he went to sign at a Reporting Centre in Loughborough. He spent 18 days in detention. His removal was postponed once to give both sides more time and then a second time on June 10th pending a Judicial Review application. He was released and returned to Nottingham after an initial bail hearing in London on Monday 16th June. The purpose of the August 11 hearing is to ascertain whether Mr Juma has adhered to his bail conditions. Amdani is a Burundian national. In 2003, he was granted 3 years Humanitarian Protection but his later application for Indefinite Leave to Remain was turned down. A further application for discretion by the Home Office was also refused resulting in his present detention. Alan Simpson, MP for Nottingham South, and Nottingham Council leader Jon Collins have both spoken out in opposition to Amdani?s proposed removal. There have been three demonstrations in Nottingham and an online and paper petition combined have a total of over 5,600 signatures. http://www.petitiononline.com/amdani/petition.html contains many testimonials from the community and has over 2,500 signatures. Paper petitions total almost 3,000. Signatories include Alan Simpson MP, and academic Noam Chomsky.
Update following Aug 11 hearing: Amdani’s bail has been renewed until November.
You can help stop the Deportation of Amdani Juma on Wednesday:
Please go to the site and sign the e-petition now and also send letters to the airline & ministers (model letter on website), and tell everyone you know to do the same. Do anything else you can think of.
Further to the great news update below that things are looking better for Dafuris in the UK generally as well those we have been worried about in Nottingham, all three of the Nottingham detainees are back and very grateful for all the support. However, we are hearing alarming stories of mistreatment. Abdul Hadi is diabetic and was not allowed to take his insulin or antibiotics with him when he was cast out of Colnbrook with nothing but an underground ticket to help him get back to Nottingham. If it wasn’t for his friends who have worked so hard to help him he might not have made it back and to the QMC, where he was put on a drip. Others, including from Nottingham, were similarly released from Oakington without travel tickets and stranded destitute in Cambridge. Friends helped over the phone to get them get to a station and talked to the travel clerk to pay for tickets. How many others have been released like this? Complaints should be made and if you have time to help with this we can put you in touch with NNRF people who have been doing such wonderful work on this case. Many thanks to those people and we are really glad to have everyone out and relatively safe.