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Despite the best efforts of a handful of friends and family who blockaded Cedars detention centre and held up the coach for 5 hours, Mrs Saleh and her children were taken to an airport on Wednesday morning and deported to Egypt. However, the appeal against this course of action is building serious momentum as there have been a huge number of irregularities, illegalities and clear cases of abuse surrounding these events. Watch this space – we will be posting a detailed update really soon.
DEMONSTRATE! In Support of the Saleh Family
11.30am, Saturday 27th October
Aneurin Bevan Statue, Queen St, Cardiff.
Bring banners, signs, messages of support, and of course everyone you know!
Along with other groups who have been calling for the end of detention for children through two campaigns “Outcry! – End Child Detention” and “End Child Detention Now” No Borders South Wales also feels it is long overdue to put an end to such a practice.
The damaging effects on physical and mental health were clearly outlined and backed by evidence from studies as detailed in the joint statement “Significant Harm” by the British Paediatric Mental Health Group (2009).
But although children are particularly vulnerable when detained, it must not be overlooked that all people detained are experiencing the same horrific conditions whatever their age.
The UK is unique in Europe for Read the rest of this entry »
A House of Lords report demonstrates frequent abuse of Asylum Seekers by Private Security Companies such as G4S employed by UK Border Agency. The report found serious injuries suffered by detainees who had been handcuffed or physically restrained and follows an investigation into allegations of abuse involving private firms employed by the Government to forcibly remove failed asylum-seekers from the UK.
Amongst the victims of these companies was Suren Khachatryan, who lives in Cardiff. After a removal was abandoned Mr Khachatryan was attacked by staff employed by GSL UK Ltd (part of the G4S group). He was thrown into a security van where he was handcuffed, verbally abused, stamped on and kicked several times and then left in an immigration holding bay without medical support for hours. He suffered a punctured lung.
Complaints about this serious assault were Read the rest of this entry »
The hunger strike at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre has reached a fifth week. Solidarity demonstrations have taken place, outside the IRC itself, at Holloway Prison and around the country, now a legal challenge is being mounted. The hunger strike tactic has also spread to Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre.
There will be a protest in support of the hunger strikers this Saturday 13th March in Castle Square in Swansea City Centre from 12noon until 5pm. As well as higlighting the stuggle of Read the rest of this entry »
Mashal Jabari has been released, the emergency campaign spearheaded by the Welsh Refugee Council has managed to release a 14-year-old Afghan orphan from detention.
Staff at the Cardiff office of the UK Border Agency had insisted that he was 18 and held him in adult detention ahead of deportation next week. He was released from Campsfield House IRC early yesterday evening following a Judicial Review where the Judge ruled that at present – until another full age assessment is completed – Mashal is to be considered 14 years of age and placed with Read the rest of this entry »
The Welsh Refugee Council is calling on the UK Border Agency to release Mashal Jabari, 14 years of age, from Campsfield detention prison, and to suspend removal directions until a full assessment of his age can be made. It is very unusual for the Welsh Refugee Council to comment on individual cases, which adds extra urgency to the compelling compassionate grounds for why this boy should be allowed to remain.
Zaki Jabar, aged 15, arrived in the UK alone and extremely traumatised in November 2008. He came from Afghanistan and when he left his father was missing presumed dead and his mother was sick. His family had been attacked after his father had given assistance to the American forces, and Zaki had seen his sister killed. He was placed in foster care in Leicester by Rutland Social Services and given Refugee Status. He is currently sitting his GCSEs. He was anxious to trace his younger brother Mashal.
Mashal Jabari arrived in the UK in October last year, and claimed asylum on arrival. By then he knew that both his parents were dead. He was assessed as being over 18 even though he said he was 14. He was sent to Cardiff where he was Read the rest of this entry »
On Thursday we’ll be showing the premiere of a documentary film about the situation for migrants in Calais made by one of our group: Passengers is the personal account of a few people stuck in a place they don’t want to be, a collection of interviews with people seeking sanctuary. It’s No Borders South Wales meets Calais Migrant Solidarity. It’s on from 7.30pm in room 0.53 of the Bute Building, Cardiff University (map). It’s free entry and we’ll also be showing some other films about the situation in Calais and have a report back from some of the group who have just returned.
Here’s some stills from the film:
The appearance of Louise Perrett in front of the Home Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday has led to Read the rest of this entry »
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As part of the oral session of the internal inquiry into the UK Border Agency, former UKBA employee Louise Perrett appeared before the Home Affairs Select Committee in the House of Commons today and gave evidence of her experience of working in the agency’s Cardiff office.
Friday’s protest outside the UK Border Agency in Cardiff was the largest one to date with over 200 people, mostly refugees. The demonstration lasted three hours and featured speeches, chanting, dancing and a lot of energy. The demonstration was organised by Refugee Voice Wales with prominent members of Zimbabwean, Congolese, Kurdish and other community groups taking a leading role.
In this media age there was unsurprisingly a number of people tweeting short reports, uploading photos and providing live audio direct from the demonstration. Further full reports have already appeared on local radical blogs Everyone’s Favourite Comrade, Cryptonomicon and Welsh Green Dragon, which includes Read the rest of this entry »
The protest outside the UK Border agency in Cardiff this Friday called by Refugee Voice Wales has been gaining attention.
The BBC world service also recently aired an episode of Assignment: “Unlawful Detention” (Listen or Download) investigating claims that the government is routinely breaching its own guidelines and detaining vulnerable Read the rest of this entry »
Over twenty women have been on hunger strike at Yarls Wood Immigration Prison near Bedford since Friday 5th February, calling for their immediate release and are now reaching the “critical phase” of health risk. This is the latest chapter in the history of resistance in UK detention centres, there have been many solidarity protests with Read the rest of this entry »
Reactions to the whistle-blowing of Louise Perrett have continued, the Cross Party Group on Human Rights at the Welsh Assembly recently had Louise give a talk on her experiences. This has led to Bethan Jenkins AM to call for an investigation into UKBA racism whilst demanding:
“a halt to any deportations planned as a consequence of the casework completed at the Cardiff office”.
Now Refugee Voice Wales has called a demonstration outside the UK Border Agency offices, 31-33 Newport Road, Cardiff on Friday 26th February between 1pm and 3pm.
In the call out they state:
“We are calling for an immediate stop to consistent racial abuse and harassment of asylum seekers by the UKBA staff. We demand:
- that all cases dealt by unscrupulous officers be reviewed
- immediate suspension of all removals / deportations
- the suspension of all corrupt staff and their supervisors
- an instant independent overhaul of the whole system at Cardiff UKBA
- An independent inquiry into all UKBA offices to uphold the Refugee Convention
Tell everyone you know to come! Come play your part to create freedom. If you have BLACK GLOVES please wear them on the day for the freedom salute! Come let’s have a mass toyi-toyi (African War dance for freedom and equality). This is a mockery to the inclusion and integration policies so encouraged by the Welsh Assembly.”
Despite not agreeing with the implication that the problem is “unscrupulous officers” and “corrupt staff”, we fully support this call out. The role of Read the rest of this entry »
Over forty people braved the wind and rain outside the UK Border Agency on Newport Road on Wednesday to protest against the first Joint EU Charter deportation flight, which went to Nigeria. We gave out 150 copies of a leaflet by Stop Deportations to Nigeria, which were well received by everyone we spoke to.
At the same time as we were holding our demonstration in Cardiff there was a protest outside the Nigeria Embassy in London called by the Campaign Against Immigration Controls and No One Is Illegal. It was good to see plenty of people from other political groups coming together to condemn the UKBA and call for freedom of movement for all. We welcome the involvement of everyone who has a problem with the highly bigoted and discriminatory practises of the border regime.
The profile of the protest was significantly raised by the revelations of former UKBA employee Louise Perrett who’s experiences show the agency to be institutionally racist. Louse will be speaking about her Read the rest of this entry »
An article in today’s Guardian, has added extra meaning to our protest outside the UKBA this afternoon. Louise Perrett worked as a case owner at the UK Border Agency office in Cardiff for three and a half months last summer. Due to her experiences of her time in the agency she has risked breaching the Official Secrets Act to go public with evidence of anti-immigration views and abuse of power by UK Border Agency staff.
“I witnessed general hostility, rudeness and indifference towards clients. It was completely horrific. I highlighted my concerns to senior managers but I was just laughed at. I decided to speak out because nobody else was saying anything and major changes are needed at senior management level.”
Her revelations reveal a culture of bigotry and prejudice in the Cardiff office, where members of staff took pride in refusing applications.
- One manager said of the asylum-seeker clients: “If it was up to me I’d take them all outside and shoot them.”
- If a case was difficult, she was simply advised to refuse it and “let a tribunal sort it out”.
- Any officer who approved an asylum application had a stuffed toy “grant monkey” placed on their desk by other members of staff as a badge of shame.
- One official tested the claims of boys Read the rest of this entry »
On Wednesday, 3rd February at 5.30pm, there will be a specially chartered deportation flight to Nigeria. At 4.30pm we will be holding a protest against this outside the UK Border Agency, General Buildings, 31-33 Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 0AB (map).
There have been previous deportation flights to Nigeria from the UK, (we’ve protested against them before) but ‘Flight PVT-JEUC’ will be the first Joint European Union Charter, a new scheme agreed at the EU summit in Brussels last year. It will be operated by Frontex and funded by the EU, as opposed to individual member states. In December BMI organised a flight to Afghanistan and Read the rest of this entry »