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Mashal Jabari (right) with his older brother who has already gained refugee status

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 »

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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 »

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Titi Nzamba Bolele and her three children were snatched from their home in Adamsdown, Cardiff early in the morning of 26th January by seven immigration officers and taken to Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre, Bedfordshire, where they were detained for 18 days whilst there were unsuccessful attempts to deport them to the Democratic Republic of Congo, a war-zone, before being returned home.

“It was a very painful experience in the prison. We found ourselves in a place where, wherever you come out, they open the door, they lock after you, they open the door, they lock after you. And the children were not okay. They were asking me, ‘We want to go to school’. There were no schools. They were not eating good food. They couldn’t really play. They are being really stressed.”

According to Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID), in “Briefing Paper on Children and Immigration Detention“, every year around 2,000 children (the UK government refuses to release the exact numbers) are detained for the purposes of ‘immigration control’, under exactly the same conditions as adults. The UK government removed its immigration opt-out to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in September 2008. The Convention stipulates that detention shall only be used Read the rest of this entry »

033A “Let them Work”  demo took place on Saturday in Cardiff city centre, organised by STAR (Student Action for Refugees). This was part of a national day of action by STAR around the issue of the right to work for people seeking asylum, there was singing from the Red Choir and several speakers including the CEO of the Welsh Refugee Council Mike Lewis, Labour MP Julie Morgan, Liberal Democrat AM Jenny Randerson and Harris Nyatsanza from Oxfam. The campaign is also supported by Refugee Council, TUC and Brighter Futures.

No Borders South Wales activists were in attendance and we fully support the demonstration’s demand for the Right to Work. The way in which asylum seekers are forbidden Read the rest of this entry »

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