With the passing of the EU ‘returns directive’ last week (see also
http://www.outrageousdirective.org/ ), it is encouraging to report on two actions, one in Belgium and one in Denmark that defy state treatment of would-be refugees and migrant workers.
DENMARK: Stop the Deportations ( http://www.stopudvisningerne.blogspot.com/ ) is a network that has emerged in Copenhagen as an answer to the unacceptable practise of sending people back to the turmoil in Iraq. Stop the Deportations has lately, on several occasions protested and made blockades in Kastrup airport in order to stop the deportations. We have succeeded in raising awareness and public debate about the issue and we are – with inspiration from the campaigning all over Europe, planning future actions. One day in the third week of July week 30 we will act specifically against Lufthansa. See previous action against deportation at Copehagen. Airport. May 28th 2008: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pnbbk4-4wBQ
BELGIUM: On Saturday 28th of march, 22 refugee-activists blockaded the gates of the closed detention centre in Merksplas (Belgium). The group, Mindy’s Mega Blockade, locked the two gates where mini-vans transport the refugees in and out of the centre. The gate for the staff and visitors wasn’t blocked. From seven o’clock in the morning ten activists used tubes to link their arms trough the two gates, while one activist, dressed up as Mega Mindy (a very popular female superhero in a dutch television series) climbed up the wall of the closed detention centre. Encouraged by the detained refugees they kept up the blockade until 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Not a single van could bring refugees to the airport or inside the detention centre. The action group informed the police of the blockade, but the police didn’t arrest the activists. The action was broadcasted through all the media in Flandres (the dutch-speaking part of Belgium) on Saturday. The activists said they wanted to shut down the deportation machinery, raise awareness about the detention of children and strengthen the debate about closed dention centres. See photos on : http://ovl.indymedia.org/news/2008/06/23371.php
Note that UK, which implements an indefinite detention period, did not opt-in to the Returns Directive which lays down a maximum period of custody of six months & can be extended by a further 12 months in certain cases. The detention of human beings for any period is of course unacceptable to No Borders.
Continue reading European actions against detention & deportation
A protest NO DEPORTATIONS TO ZIMBABWE has been called by the Nottingham Zimbabwe Community Network on Friday 27th June at 4pm in Nottingham Old Market Square. Come and join it!
Read an Indymedia report following the showing of Zimbabwe film FLAME at the Sumac Centre on 18th June. Also find more NZCN news on the new blog-site:
Refugee Week 2008 events listing (14th ? 22nd June):
Continue reading No deportations to Zimbabwe – protest in Nottingham Fri 27th June
Amdani Juma’s deportation flight to Burundi via Nairobi on Kenya Airways flight KQ101 was cancelled at zero hour on Tuesday June 10th as an application for an judicial review, accepted by the High Court, was finally acknowledged. No thanks to the Home Office who could have ended his misery by discretion without forcing him to go through another court hearing (and still could), or to the immigration enforcement unit who kept him waiting until the last minute.
Supporters visited him all afternoon at Colnbrook immigration removal centre (run by private contractor Serco with transportation support from Group 4), and stayed well after the flight was seen to take off from Heathrow airport. Amdani’s legal battle to stay has only just begun, and he is not yet out on bail. He was also taken away by the Home Office during visiting this evening and was moved immediately to Campsfield detention centre in Oxfordshire. His bail hearing is set for Monday June 12th in London so he could remain in Campsfield until then, although this is by no means certain. But we can all be relieved and happy he was not on that flight (whilst knowing it was very likely carrying other forced deportees), and we look forward to having him back in Nottingham soon. The campaigning will continue in earnest. More to follow.
Continue reading Amdani’s deportation flight cancelled on day of removal – and moved today to Campsfield
Following the two unfounded ‘terror’ arrests at Nottingham University a support website for the staff member and peace activist Hicham Yezza has been launched, to provide information about how to help stop his imminent deportation on Sunday 1st June.
Information about Hich, by his friends, can be found on http://notts.indymedia.org.uk. Direct link: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/not…/05/399569.html
Continue reading Stop the Deportation of Nottingham University’s Hicham Yezza – support website
Article about a deportation flight that took place last Thursday:
Extract: […] Britain?s press completely ignored the forcible deportation, on Thursday, of 60 Iraqi Kurds, who were transported back to a decidedly uncertain future on a German plane from a UK airport. Each of the 60 ?failed asylum seekers,? as they are officially known, was escorted by an armed Home Office guard funded by the UK taxpayer. The guards had previously seized the men from the detention centers at Campsfield and Colnbrook in what looked uncomfortably like a ?dawn raid.? […]. For further information on the deportation, email Dashty Jamal, International Federation of Iraq Refugees (IFIR) Secretary on: firstname.lastname@example.org
See also: http://sankofafoundation.blogspot.com/2008…ns-to-iraq.html
Continue reading UK government deports 60 Iraqi Kurds; no one notices
Many (but certainly not all) Iraqi asylum seekers were receiving some support while our warmongering state continues to try and disentangle itself from the hellhole it has created in Iraq. While the killing still continues, the Home Office thinks now is good time to pull support and force hundreds of people to make a life or death decision – go back or starve. We can’t let this happen.
From Guardian newspaper March 13th 2008: More than 1,400 rejected Iraqi asylum seekers are to be told they must go home or face destitution in Britain as the government considers Iraq safe enough to return them, according to leaked Home Office correspondence seen by the Guardian [newspaper]. The Iraqis involved are to be told that unless they sign up for a voluntary return programme to Iraq within three weeks, they face being made homeless and losing state support. They will also be asked to sign a waiver agreeing the government will take no responsibility for what happens to them or their families once they return to Iraqi territory. […] The decision by the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, to declare that it is safe to send asylum seekers back to Iraq comes after more than 78 people have been killed in incidents across Iraq since last Sunday. Donna Covey, chief executive of the Refugee Council, said: “It is a nasty policy, and a failed one, that doesn’t achieve its stated aim of encouraging return. Iraq is still patently unsafe and people from there are terrified of going back. Removing support in such cases only results in one thing: more hungry and homeless people living in constant fear.” She added that most Iraqis wanted to go home when it was safe but until then the government should be offering them the chance to live decently in the UK (extracts from Guardian story).
Continue reading Home office threatens Iraqi asylum seekers – return or face destitution
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.
We’re relieved to hear Jane’s immediate deportation was suspended at the last minute, now pending judicial review.
Continue reading Stop deportation of Ugandan Jane Mary Mutetsi from Heathrow on Monday