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Another flight leaves without an unwilling passenger!

Another deportation flight leaves without one of it's unwilling passengers!

Despite the Home Office’s desire to deport Jean Pierre, on Kenya Airways’ notorious flight KQ101, Jean Pierre didn’t fly yesterday. We’re still not sure what caused the deportation to be cancelled. Appeals to Kenya Airlines to refuse to carry him appeared to fall on deaf ears. Likewise the Home Office, though they actually gave a response, it was hardly illuminating:

You will appreciate the information contained in applications made to the UK Border Agency is treated as strictly confidential and cannot be disclosed to other persons. This reflects the Agency’s legal obligations under Common Law, Human Rights and Data Protection legislation, and the treatment of private personal information under the code of practice on Access to information. It is therefore regrettable that we are unable to comment on the particular details of this case.

Early in the morning we received a phone call from Jean Pierre saying that he’d been told by a guard on his wing that he wouldn’t be flying because they didn’t have enough escorts for him. He also sent the following email out to all his supporters:

Just to let know that the officer in my wing tall me this morning that my flight has been cancel because there was no escort vehicle available for me for today and another one will be booked as soon as possible.

So please watch this space, I will soon need your help again

When we heard this news we were obviously elated, but also dubious about whether the guard was in fact telling the truth. In many cases refugee prisoners in detention centres have been fed false information in order to confuse both them and their supporters. But as the day drew on, and Jean Pierre still hadn’t been taken, it became more apparent that he would indeed be staying.

At 8.30pm half an hour after his plane had flown, we received another phone call from Jean Pierre. He said that the guards had told him that they were taking him to the airport. Jean Pierre refused to go with the guards until they told him where they were taking him. After quite some time he was told that he was going to be moved to Dover detention prison.

Tactics like this, ‘ghosting‘ people around the country at night, out of the eye of the public, are a common reality for those who have to endure time in one of the UK’s ten detention prisons (‘Immigration Removal Centres’). They cut people off from their supporters, and make it more difficult for them to keep in contact with legal representatives. But Jean Pierre refused to go, and following a number of phone calls to their superiors, the guards informed him that he wouldn’t be moving to Dover IRC after all.

Jean Pierre is still in Campsfield IRC but hasn’t received new removal directions yet. We are still looking for ways to get him out and back to Cardiff where he belongs! Thanks to everyone who sent faxes, emails, letters and made phone calls to the airline and the Home Office! As Jean Pierre said in his email, watch this space he may soon need your help to stop his deportation once again.


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