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Update on Benai Family of Kingsway

Update on Benai Family of Kingsway, Glasgow

Update from Positive Action in Housing
Monday 16 October

12 year old Oussama Benai, a pupil at St Brendan's primary school [Glasgow], was deported on Saturday to Algeria along with his mum, 36 year old Leila Benai and 2 year old sister Mayssa.

Oussama's father, Azzedine, remains in the UK since escaping the dawn raid by an immigration squad on 27 September. He is unable to return to Algeria as he fears being beheaded by extremists.

Following their deportation, contact was made with Oussama's mother, she stated that she and her two children was extremely distressed prior to her flight and pleaded not to be put onto the plane. She stated that one immigration official told her 'If you don't shut up we will handcuff you and drag you onto that plane, then you will spend the whole flight with people staring at you, is that what you want?' She stated that she replied that she was scared to go back. The immigration official replied 'well if you cause any problems, I will take you and your children somewhere and leave you there and no one will know where you are.' Mrs Benai said she was terrified and said nothing. She also said she was extremely worried about her son’s health. Because he is diabetic, he needs to keep to a strict routine, but since he was detained his routine has affected his sugar level and on Saturday, he had not eaten. The family have a test kit that tests the amount of sugar in Ousama's blood. A normal reading would be lower than 10, with 10 being considered high. Before he got on the plane however, the reading was 22. Mrs Benai described Ousama has distraught and lifeless and said 'he cannot lift his head up'.

Leila and the two children Oussama and Mayssa were detained in a dawn raid at Kingsway Court on 27 September 2006. Azzedine Benai was not in the house and is still at liberty. Leila and the children were at Yarlswood Detention Centre, Room 141 but have been served with removal directions for today. Oussama suffers from Type 1 diabetes and has to constantly monitor his blood sugar and self inject with insulin. Mayssa has already had one nasal operation to ease a breathing problem and a second operation is scheduled imminently at Glasgow's Sick Children's Hospital.

Removal of Leila and the children (as dependents of Azzedine Benai) on 29 September was halted following an injunction granted to Mr Benai in the High Court in London the same day, conditional on an application for judicial review being submitted by 4pm on Tuesday 3 October.

An application for judicial review was submitted and an applcation for bail for the family was made, the latter being refused yesterday in Glasgow. The basis for the application for judicial review was that the home office had not considered revised representations on behalf of Mr Benai made by a previous solicitor (Wilson Terris) in Scotland. The case is complicated by the fact that the Home Office claim not to have received these representations, but Wilson Terris state that its receipt was acknowledged by the Home Office. However Wilson Terris have not yet been able to produce the relevant papers, despite numerous requests.

Yesterday afternoon Mr Benai's solictor in London, Mr Jamal Trawally of Stuart Karatas, was informed by fax of a High Court decision to refuse the application. This refusal appears to have come following "fast tracking" pressure on the court from the Home Office. Mr Trawally is most concerned that this action by the Home Office and by the Court is unreasonable and is contrary to natural justice. Unfortunately we do not appear to have recourse to any action until Monday.