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Yesterday’s charter flight to Iraq was returned to the UK with the majority of the Iraqi deportees returning to UK immigration detention centres. Sadly 10 of those on board were left in Baghdad.
The Stop Deportation Network together with The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees have issued a press release with the following statements from those who have been returned to Brook House detention centre, Gatwick:
“when we landed in Baghdad an Iraqi man got on dressed in army uniform, with seven other guards with Kalashnikovs. He asked the immigration officers why they brought us here then asked us if we wanted to come back. He said those of you who want to come back you get off, the rest of you stay where you are.
He told the immigration officers to go away and not try to send people back by force again.
So they took us back to Italy and we had to change planes there. About three people refused to move plane and they were beaten by security guards. They’ve got injuries from that. There were 130 security guards on the plane. Why did they need so many? There were even some arguments between the British and Italian securities.”
‘K’, who did get off in Baghdad, said this morning he did not do go voluntarily and did not Read the rest of this entry »
On the morning of 15th October, 39 people who had sought asylum in the UK were deported to Baghdad, Iraq on a chartered flight.
The Air Italy flight left from Stansted Airport, named “Operation Rangat” by the UK Border Agency. This was the first forced mass expulsion of people to southern Iraq from the UK.
An eyewitness told the International Federation for Iraqi Refugees “When my friends started shouting they couldn’t go back these big security guards handcuffed them and strong-armed them out of the bus onto the plane. They were treated like prisoners: it was like watching the footage from Guantanamo“
Violence and bloodshed continue in Iraq, which saw 1,891 civilian deaths in the first six months of this year. There are also widespread food shortages and lack of access to clean drinking water in many areas of Iraq.
Prior to such charter flights, deportees and any legal representatives are not told the date or flight on which they are being deported. This frustrates migrants’ opportunities for legally challenging a deportation and makes it Read the rest of this entry »
The picket was held in response to a call out for protests outside UKBA offices in solidarity with activists and migrants in Calais, where French authorities have been attempting to make the port town a “migrant free zone” by subjecting migrants there to intimidation and violence and by destroying their living spaces and belongings.
Solidarity actions were also Read the rest of this entry »
One of the more recent targeting of ‘undesirable foreigners’by the UK Border Agency has hit the Celtic Crusaders rugby league club. The UKBA has ordered six players and their families out of the country by 7th September and banned them from the UK for 10 years.
The players in question; team captain Jace Van Dijk, club record try scorer Tony Duggan, last year’s League One Player of the Year Damien Quinn, ex-Queensland State of Origin player Josh Hannay, as well as Darren Mapp and Mark Dalle Cort, are guilty of playing rugby football without the right paperwork.
It’s been alleged that the six players did not reveal their intention to play professional or semi-professional sport when applying for working holiday and student visas. This is hardly surprising given that Read the rest of this entry »
Despite the widespread recognition that the expulsion of Shirley Edwards and Evelyn Calcabrini, two Welsh-Argentines attempting to visit Wales, by the UK Border Agency at Heathrow must have been some sort of mistake, both have once again been refused entry by the UKBA.
When this story first appeared in the press it was reported as an act of ignorance by a clueless UK Border Agent, unaware of the Welsh speaking region of Patagonia. With questions in the House of Commons, protests at Whitehall, (giving out leaflet calling for the resignation of Phil Woolas) a campaign from Plaid Cymru, a petition and even a strongly worded editorial in the Daily Telegraph(!) it seemed the entire event was about to be glossed over and written off as a cock up. Following a benefit gig in Gwynedd raising enough money for two return flights, Shirly and Eveyln applied for visas to enter the UK as students. They were refused.
There are reports that these cases are not unique and that other Patagonian travellers to Wales have also been through the highly stressful experience of being turned away by the Border Agency. It appears that rather than Read the rest of this entry »
We’ve been very quiet on the blogging front since the end of the No Border Camp in Calais. The events on the ground in the region have got more intense, with French Authorities attempting to remove all migrant camps, however activists have been staying in the area doing Calais Migrant Solidarity. Some of us intend to return to Calais in the near future, if anyone is able to travel to Northern France to give support, get in touch.
Back here in Wales, the UK Border Agency have been very busy trying to (and often succeeding) ruin people’s lives. As usual the defence of their intrusive activities would be funny if it were not so tragic. The forcing apart of a married couple, was, in the words of their spokesperson “to protect young people” and to made sure they “receive the help and support they need”. At present the couple are legally entitled to live together anywhere in the EU, except the UK.
UK Border Agency staff routinely and systematically brand people liars when Read the rest of this entry »
On Wednesday 27th May a group of No Borders activists braved the lousy weather to picket the Border Agency offices on 31-33 Newport Road. We distributed leaflets to those passing by and entering the building, which were well received. Despite the weather, the police deemed a presence necessary at this peaceful protest, as those who arrived were suprised to be awaited by two CSPO’s standing in the rain!
The next picket of the UKBA at 31-33 Newport Road will be held on 17th June 2009, 12 noon. We will be Read the rest of this entry »
At midday this Wednesday 27th May, we will be holding a picket outside the UK Borders Agency at 31-33 Newport Road, Cardiff (map) to protest against the systematic de-humanisation of migrants in the UK via enforced destitution, detention and deportation. The picket will also be in solidarity with the repressed migrants in Calais, looking toward the Calais No Border Camp in a month’s time. The demonstration will be from 12noon until 1pm, so come and join us, we will have a selection of banners and placards, but feel free to bring your own too!
The situation for migrants in Calais is nothing short of a major humanitarian crisis, which has been created by Read the rest of this entry »
In the UK, on average, 50 people a day are forcibly removed from their homes and deported. In Cardiff, snatch squads leave from the UK Border Agency on 31-33 Newport Road in order to smash in peoples’ doors and drag them out of bed.
On Monday morning, UK Border Agency ‘Officers’ were at work early, busy at an address on Newport Road. The UKBA used dark blue anonymous unmarked vans, with blacked Read the rest of this entry »
There has been news of an ‘Ethnic Charter Flight’ to Nigeria on 29th April 2009 via Ireland. Immigration detainees have received removal directions on flight PVT007 to Dublin at 18:00 connecting with PVT008 to Lagos at 21:00.
Please join us to demonstrate against this mass forced deportation of Nigerian people:
Wednesday 29th April at 5:30pm at the Aneurin Bevan statue (Castle end of Queen Street), Cardiff.
All welcome. Bring placards and banners if you can.
‘Ethnic charter flights’ are planes booked by the UK Border Agency specifically to deport large groups of people of a particular nationality. The exact details of the flights, including where Read the rest of this entry »
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) scheme of “e-Borders“ is set to come into effect this year. Over half the £1.2 billion contract was awarded to the ‘Trusted Borders’ consortium (which includes Raytheon, Serco, Accenture, and Qinetiq) in 2007, who pocketed £650 million of public money to develop certain aspects of the scheme. E-Borders is yet another intrusive plan that represents another step towards an ever increasing surveillance society, and threatens everyone’s privacy and freedom.
According to the UKBA the plan is to Read the rest of this entry »
With the IFIR demonstration in Geneva scheduled for two days, as well as our protest outside the UK Border Agency on Friday, which has the support of Cardiff Stop the War, there will also be a demonstration in London on Thursday. We encourage everyone who is able to attend any one of these to do so.
With over 3 million Iraqis having been forced to flee their homes since the British and American military invasion in 2003, this displacement of people is Read the rest of this entry »
On Thursday at midday, a group of 15 people picketed the Cardiff branch of the UK Border Agency, protesting against the dehumanising migration controls enacted by the government. The offices on Newport Road are housed within a non-descript building and one of the aims of the picket is to highlight what goes on here. This includes the fact that this is where asylum applicants are required to sign on a regular basis, risking being grabbed and detained in the process, and is also from where ‘snatch squads’ of immigration officers leave from to conduct dawn raids on unsuspecting families to take them into detention prior to forced deportation.
Unusually for one of our regular pickets, there was Read the rest of this entry »