Home Office said refugees’ fear of persecution was ‘well-founded’, undermining Rishi Sunak’s claims about East African country
Four Rwandans were granted refugee status in the UK over “well-founded” fears of persecution at the same time as the government was arguing in court and parliament that the east African country was a safe place to send asylum seekers.
This post follows on from the initial post which became very long, but can be found here Here we update the post with reports of atrocities around the army camp accommodation and hotels, and other Home Office plans to accommodate people in new sites. These are the consequences of the hostile system that leaves people languishing without a decision for long periods of time.
Revelation comes weeks after death of Leonard Farruku on board the controversial asylum barge
Vulnerable people including victims of torture are being housed on the Bibby Stockholm in a potential breach of the government’s own guidelines, those on board have told openDemocracy.
The allegations come just weeks after the death of a man on board. Leonard Farruku, an Albanian man, is thought to have killed himself in December. Speaking to us, his former roommate warned Farruku’s death was “just the beginning”.
Current residents of the barge spoke on condition of anonymity and included a man from the Horn of Africa, who told openDemocracy that he was a victim of torture. The man, who had previously been housed in a hotel and receiving psychological support, has been on the barge in a shared room since November 2023. Members of local residents’ organisation Portland Global Friendship Group, which offers informal pastoral support and activities for dozens of people on the Bibby Stockholm, told openDemocracy that they knew of at least two other victims of torture – one from Russia, another from Iran – who were also on board.
Profiting from Misery: Disability and Migrant justice campaigners protest at the companies profiting from depriving people of essential needs.
At 4pm on December 1st (two days before international day of disabled people) a coalition of disability and migrant justice organisations, including a group of disabled refugees will meet outside the Home Office to call for a stop to the obscene profits made by private corporations depriving people of human needs. Clearsprings and Serco are among the private corporations profiting from the government’s outsourcing of asylum accommodation to private corporations.
Opposition to the new detention centre is growing locally, as more people recognise the tremendous danger, misery, and harm caused by immigration detention. We aim to gather as many voices as possible to show the government that we will not tolerate their dangerous mistreatment of vulnerable asylum seekers and survivors of torture and trafficking.
15 June 2023: North African migrant solidarity organisations convene in Morocco to mark the anniversary of the Melillia-Nador massacre
Civil society action in solidarity with migrants in the Maghreb (North Africa) region has increased over the last year, with activity in Tunisia and Morocco in particular strengthening in response to negative developments on the part of the respective national governments.
The development of this work will take a big step forward over the coming week as representatives of migrant and North African diaspora associations convene in the Moroccan city of Nador for the fifth Maghreb Social Forum on Migration. Gathering under the slogan: “Never again “Bario Chino”, the Forum will coincide with the first anniversary of the massacre at the border crossing between Morocco and Spanish enclave city of Melilla in which at least 37 migrants died in a crush resulting from an attach of the Moroccan police.
Calling for a Maghreb “free of hatred, xenophobia and racism” this Forum follows similar events mobilising migrant and antiracist activists in North Africa and across the European diaspora. Previous sessions took place in Brussels (2010), Oujda (2012), Monastir (2014) and Tangiers (2016).
Three main themes have been selected for the Forum. These are:
What you can do: United Nations International Migrants Day (IMD)will be marked once again this year on 18 December.
This year, IMD will be happening when the attention of millions of people across the world will be focused on the final of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
It is appropriate to remember that the month-long festival of the world’s most popular support on this occasion would not have been possible without the labour of a large migrant workforce.
Qatar has a population of 3 million people, two-thirds of who are migrants. They make up 95% of the country’s workforce. During the 12 years it has taken to prepare the country for the World Cup migrant labour has been essential to the construction of new football stadia, hotels, metro, airport, and other infrastructure related to the competition.
Pictures showed scores of people taking to the city centre as part of the campaign’s day of national action
Thousands of people gathered in Manchester city centre this afternoon to protest against soaring energy prices and the cost of living crisis as part of a day of national action for an anti-poverty campaign.
Enough is Enough, a national campaign created by trade unions and community organisations to help battle the cost of living crisis, launched in Manchester at an event in the Cathedral on August 30, where organisers say over 5,000 people attended to hear from mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and RMT member Eddie Dempsey.
The event officially launched the campaign in the city region, with over 500,000 people across the country signed up to support the organisation’s five demands within the first month. The group is pushing for: a real pay rise, lower energy bills, an end to food poverty, decent homes for everyone, and more taxation on the top five per cent of earners and big businesses.
Whilst some of the group’s demands have been partially met, including a reversal of the recent National Insurance payment increase from 12 per cent up to 13.5 per cent and a temporary cap to energy bill prices, a national day of action today, Saturday, October 1, saw demonstrations held in dozens of cities across the UK, including London, Liverpool, Glasgow, and Birmingham.
March to Brussels 2022: Over two hundred people representing migrant and refugee rights organisations met in Brussels over the weekend September 30 – 2nd October to reinvigorate their collaboration across European networks.
The years of the Covid pandemic have had their impact on human rights activism in this area, which depends on people meeting face-to-face and finding ways to get beyond the national differences that distort transnational solidarity. But as the gathering got underway it was clear that participants were able to report on an upturn in their work, from across Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Greece as well as the UK, who all at strong representation in the discussion.
Conclusion Social protection is intended to protect people against particular economic and social exclusion, including homelessness, that can be the result of life changing events, such as unemployment or reduced ability to work due to health reasons (including work-related injuries) or changes in families and households, such as birth of a child or death of a partner or parent. It is intended to ensure that all people maintain a minimum level of income to meet their basic needs, and that older people can retire and maintain a decent quality of life. Some of these life changes are inevitable for everyone to go through, while others only impact some people – but in any case, can happen to anyone.
As the government pushes ahead with ever more draconian punishment for people fleeing war, tyranny and persecution, many of us feel compelled to act. While there are countless incredible people working at a grassroots level to support refugees and people seeking asylum, it’s also a field ripe for exploitation. Donating your hard-earned cash to certain migrant charities might not reach the people you’d hoped to help. Even more concerning, your donations might actually enforce the government’s hostile environment policies.
This article looking at the charity Migrant Help, is the first in a series of reports examining the corporate interests behind organisations working with refugees and people seeking asylum. We interviewed people working with refugees who had frequent contact with the organisation. We found that:
In solidarity with the family of those who have died at the borders of Melilla on June 24 2022 and with those who organized the actions on July 1 in Rabat and in Melilla
This massacre in Melilla of 29 persons on Friday June 24th is the latest most visible instance of the unacceptability of Europe’s border externalization and militarization policy and its outsourcing of its responsibility in immigration and refugee policy to its neighbouring countries.
The United Kingdom’s asylum system has been described by the current Home Secretary as “broken”. There is some truth in that statement. In many ways, the asylum system is now in a parlous state. What the Home Secretary does not say is that it was she who broke it.
[…] The picture the data presents is of a system that has been overwhelmed. Not by new arrivals but by mismanagement. The people arriving to claim asylum are overwhelmingly refugees and they will, eventually, build new lives for themselves in this country. But they must endure bureaucratic purgatory first, seemingly to cleanse them of the supposed sin of irregular arrival. Waiting times for a decision run to years, during which time these refugees are forbidden from work, and forced to endure destitution-level support and temporary accommodation. As well as being bad for the refugees, it is causes an unnecessary charge on the public purse. And then, at the end of the process, despite all the tough posturing by the Home Secretary, almost no-one is removed anyway.
The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (IFIR) has set out a formal complaint against the actions of the UK Border Agency with regard to its treatment of asylum seekers threatened with removal to Rwanda. The Federation has asked that this matter be investigated by the European Court of Human Rights.
At the centre of the complaint is the treatment of Mr Rasti Mohammadi, a 26 year old Kurd with Iraqi nationality who had been informed that the Border Agency intended to deport him on the planned flight to Rwanda despite having made an application for protection as a refugee in the UK.