As reported on BBC East Midlands Today television news earlier this month (see video clip), frustrated asylum seekers along with the local charity, Refugee Action, have exposed an example of how a housing association “Refugee Support” is taking vast amounts of public money whilst providing worse than ‘sub-standard’ accommodation through private landlords.
Refugee Support is one of the Metropolitan Support Trust’s (MST) refugee ‘services’ that provides housing for many asylum seekers in Britain. MST in turn is part of the of the vast Metropolitan Housing Partnership. According to the Refugee support website, “MST was created in April 2007 from four organizations (Refugee Housing Association, StepForward, Threshold Support and Walbrook Support) coming together to provide a wide range of specialist services to vulnerable people.”
Well, this news report shows not only how some of these ‘vulnerable people’ spoken of by MST were forced to shame them by getting Refugee Action and the local BBC involved to make public just what a terrible state their house was in, but also how one of them was threatened with being made homeless for complaining when offered it. The ceiling was leaking and falling in and the heating did not work.
Typically, the BBC also concentrates on ‘cost to the taxpayer’, although at least they remember to say that government policy won’t let asylum seekers work, so their housing has to be provided by the state. The report also explains that this is not an isolated case, mentioning other complaints in Leicester (with 12 people sharing one shower). So next time someone goes on how asylum seekers are costing the taxpayer, remind them that it’s rip-off merchants like Metropolitan, and the private landlords they deal with, that are taking the piss here.
Asylum seekers, refugees, trade unionists and supporters from all over the North marched from the Home Office in Sheffield to Lindholme Detention centre near Doncaster between 26-28th October. The marchers were demanding “The right to work for asylum seekers” and stating that “Seeking asylum is not a crime.” They finished at Lindholme immigration removals centre, the nearest such centre to Nottinghamshire, where asylum seekers are often held without having committed any criminal offence. The demonstration there on Sunday 28th was joined by supporters from Nottingham.
A rally was held at the fence of Lindholme and the marchers could hear detainees inside chanting in response to them. A candlelit vigil for those who’d died in detention centres was held and speakers from many countries, including the Congo, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Iran, Iraq and South Africa spoke. The demonstration is the latest in a series of protests at Lindholme making the demand to “Shut Down Lindholme!” Continue reading Dignity not detention – report from march to Lindholme prison in October→
No Borders Nottingham presents an evening to discuss the idea of a world without borders and how we might get there. We hope to make you angry & inspired! We’ll be showing an amazing video about tearing down fences at detention centres around the world. We’ll also give a brief report-back from the recent transnational No Borders camp near Gatwick, which opposed the building of a new detention centre there. You can find out about local campaigns, including against our nearest detention centre, Lindholme, and also The Friends of Amdani Juma, which is opposing the Home Office’s vindictive attempts to deport a local activist. And there’ll be great vegan food provided by the Women’s Group of the Nottingham & Notts Refugee Forum and the Sumac bar will be open too.
FATMA NAVRUZ MUST STAY!
Ms Navruz is a 54 year old woman who is suffering from considerable problems of ill health. She has no less than three different appointments scheduled for this week at the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham – one for an endoscopy, another in the department of Thoracic medicine, and another with her psychiatrist. She has further appointments pending because she is suffering severe pain requiring treatment for pain relief and physiotherapy. Ms Navruz’s consultant states that she is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety and depression, which they say is in keeping with her accounts of torture, rape and imprisonment in her country. She is also suffering from psychosis. The fact that Ms Navruz has not been able to prove torture and rape at the hands of the Turkish authorities for her political actions in support of working people in Turkey and the Kurds in particular is not a surprise to anyone who has worked with survivors of both torture and rape – two of the most heinous and hidden acts of terror to the individual. Fatma is due to be deported to Turkey Details of flight:
Flight on Turkish Airways, Flight Number: TK1982
Departure Date: Tuesday 23rd October 2007 06.55 a.m.
Flying from Heathrow Airport ,Terminal 3
Recommended arrival time at Heathrow: 4.30 a.m. Boarding 45 minutes before flight
Recommended vaccinations for travellers to Turkey : Polio and Typhoid ( neither of which Fatma has been given)
************************************************************************** Please fax the following using the attached letters or in your own words.
Jacqui Smith Fax: 020 7035 3262
Turkish Airlines Fax numbers: Head Office:( UK ) 0207-976 17 38/33
Terminal 3 Turkish Airlines at Heathrow/Fax: ) 0208-759 58 14
UK address of Head Office: 125 Pall Mall, SW1Y 5EA, LONDON
UK office address at Heathrow Airport: Heathrow Airport Office Block Room 226 Hounslow Middlesex TW6 1RW
Turkish Airlines email: email@example.com LONTZTK E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
customer concerns and opinions email address: email@example.com
Heathrow Airport ( Heathrows own terminal fax number) terminal 3 zone: fax number +44-178-4421726
A support group has been launched by the Friends of Amdani Juma to support his appeal against a Home Office ruling to terminate his right to remain. Amdani came to the UK in March 2003 from Burundi and applied for asylum. Within a month he was given Humanitarian Leave to Remain because of his experience as a torture survivor and political dissident, having escaped death on more than one occasion because of ethnic conflict and as a result of his involvement with the Democratic Front of Burundi. The DFB aims to disarm the Burundian army as a means to peace in opposition to the military government. Like most of its leading activists, Amdani has been forced into exile in recent years. Many of his family & friends have faced torture and been murdered. Please download and distribute the attached petition and read on to find out more about the case……
[attachment=6] Continue reading Support Amdani Juma’s right to remain in the UK→
Join us as we march on Sunday 28th October from the Home Office in Sheffield to the Detention Centre at Lindholme to protest against the treatment of asylum seekers in this country. Additional demonstrations in Sheffield and Doncaster during the weekend.
Download leaflet [attachment=7] produced by South Yorkshire Migrant and Asylum Action Group (SYMAAG). SYMAAG unites refugee, asylum and migrant organisations with campaign groups, trade unions, charities, political parties and supportive individuals. SYMAAG campaigns both for the rights of those seeking asylum and of those coming to work in this country. Contact via 0114 241 2780.
The detention centre is adjacent to Lindholme prison and was formerly part of RAF Lindholme. It has been used to incarcerate immigration detainees since 2000.
Latest news: BUT PLEASE NOTE THE AUG 28 DEMONSTRATIONS WILL GO AHEAD AS PLANNED. Judge halts DR Congo deportations until a hearing in September decided whether the country was fit for returning asylum seekers. See NCADC and BBC News. The legal action was bought by 10 failed asylum seekers after Home Secretary Jacqui Smith refused to halt a charter flight to DR Congo on 30 August. The judge said, “I don’t consider it would be reasonable for the Secretary of State to take the attitude that she can continue to remove.”
Action will be taking place in many British cities because a number of Congolese detainees received “removal directions” for Thursday 30th August, stipulating Flight number PVT616 and ‘Operation Castor’. Castor was the ‘Operational’ name given to the ‘Charter Flight’ on the 26th February that removed 21 children and 17 adults to DR Congo. This deportation was planned before a (delayed) review of the Home Office position that DR Congo is safe. Evidence against the Home Office position is overwhelming. Early morning raids, detentions and deportations just before a “country guidance” hearing is due to take place follows a pattern where the UK Government publicly condemns abusive regimes and quietly deports their victims back to them, under the legal-radar.
THE PLANNED DEMONSTRATION WILL STILL GO AHEAD HOWEVER. It is important to keep up the pressure and continue to show solidarity with people still threatened with deportation, and nor least because the September “country guidance” hearing is still to some.
STOP DEPORTATION FLIGHTS – DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO IS NOT SAFE FOR ASYLUM SEEKERS
WHEN? Join demonstration on Tuesday 28th August 2007 starting at 12 o’clock.
WHERE? Old Market Square (outside the Council House), Nottingham, NG1 2DT.
CALLED BY : Nottingham Congolese Community.
SUPPORTED BY : Nottingham & Notts Refugee Forum, No Borders Nottingham, National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns, Apareco North Midland, SOS Immigration, Satellite, Africa Initiative Support.
While reporting at Loughborough Reporting Centre on 8 August 2007 Jane Mary Mutetsi, asylum seeker from Uganda, was detained. She was moved to Manchester Airport holding centre since there were ‘no beds elsewhere’. She is due to be deported on Monday 13 August 2007, from Heathrow Airport London. It looks like the flight will be Kenya Airways flight KQ101 which leaves Heathrow Terminal 4 at 8pm on Monday.
Jane Mary is a Volunteer and a member of the Women’s Group at the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Refugee Forum (NNRF). To object to the deportation contact the Manchester Airport IRC (Immigration removal centre), Manchester Airport, M90 4HH Tel: 0161 489 5702, Fax: 0161 489 5701. More details to follow tomorrow lunchtime.
7th August: A demonstration took place this lunchtime outside Lindholme Detention
Centre, near Doncaster. From 11.30am to 1.45pm protestors showed
solidarity with the people detained inside for no other crime than
entering the UK seeking asylum from oppressive regimes at home.