Protest Against Removals to the Congo

Demo outside the Home Office, Brand Street, Glasgow on 21 February 2007.

Brand Street, Glasgow

Update - 28 February 2007

40 adults and children were put on a charter flight and removed to DR Congo on the evening of Monday 26 February.

Eduard Ngienga and Angelique Lukombo and Ashley and Joshua - all from Glasgow - are still in the UK. They were due to go on the charter flight but their new lawyer managed to apply for a judicial review and they were not taken to the airport. The family are currently in the Yarls Wood detention centre. Five other people were also saved through last minute legal action.
Source: National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns, 28 February 2007.

Campaigners in Leeds have told of their bitter disappointment after the Home Office rejected an appeal to stop a family being deported to the Congo. Refused asylum seeker Aseng Nzoabar, and her children, were last night put on a 9pm flight back to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Source: Leeds Today

A FRANTIC mother last night learned that the father of her two children had been granted a last-minute reprieve from deportation to war-torn Congo.Hayley Parkinson said she was "living in a nightmare" after her partner of five years was forcibly removed from Teesside and placed in a deportation centre. Serge Migambo, 36, is one of about 40 Congolese people from the UK who were arrested as part of a Home Office clampdown on failed asylum seekers. The refused asylum seekers were placed in deportation centres in the South-East and were due to be returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on a flight last night. But as campaigners last night made a final attempt to prevent the enforced removal of the asylum seekers, Ms Parkinson said it was discovered that Serge had tuberculosis. Speaking last night, Ms Parkinson said: "He's in hospital in Oxford and they are not putting him on the flight. We heard from our solicitor at five o'clock today. I am very relieved.
Report from The Northern Echo

A Congolese nurse has won a last-minute reprieve from deportation following a campaign led by five bishops and the actor Colin Firth. The nurse said he feared for his life if he was forcibly returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Refugee Council said: "This shows that if you have got a friend on the outside you have a better chance of avoiding deportation. But a lot of people don't have such a friend."
Source: The Independent

Background

14 children and 13 adults from the DR Congo were detained over a single week and all have removal directions for Monday 26th February on the same charter flight organised specially by the Home Office.

Angelique and Eduard who were detained in Glasgow on Friday afternoon with their two young children, Ashley aged 4 and Ngienga aged 11 months, also have the same removal directions.

On Wednesday 21st February there was a demonstration at the Home Office in Brand Street, Glasgow in support of Angelique and Eduard and all the other families who have been detained in Glasgow.

A number of Bishops have spoken out against the mass expulsion of at least 46 Congolese asylum seekers, including 19 children and 27 adults, by an XL Airways charter flight due to take off at 9.00pm on Moday 26 February.

The Bishops of Winchester, Chichester, Durham and Ripon and Leeds have condemned the forced removals but this seems to have fallen on deaf ears at the Home Office.

Demonstrations against the deportations have taken place across the UK; in Middlesbrough, outside Home Office enforcements units in Leeds and Glasgow, and at XL Airways head office.

Faxes to the Home Office and XL Airways have been sent from towns, cities, and villages all over the UK. XL Airways have complained they cannot cope with the number of faxes and calls they have received, but failed to address any of the issues raised, referring everyone who called/faxed/emailed them to contact the Home Office.

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) reported that the human rights situation in the country continues to deteriorate, as the army and police perpetrate acts of violence against civilians and the number of reported rapes surges.

A monthly assessment of the human rights situation in the DRC released on Wednesday by the UN Mission, known as MONUC, stated that there have been numerous cases in which Congolese soldiers and police have summarily executed and raped civilians, in some cases with apparent impunity.
Source: UN News New York, Feb 21 2007

Brand Street, Glasgow
Brand Street, Glasgow