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(en) UK, Vigil, Stop Hounding Asylum Seekers-No more Deaths in Detention

From John O <ncadc@ncadc.demon.co.uk>
Date Wed, 2 Feb 2000 13:57:32 -0500


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National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns (NCADC)
110 Hamstead  Road
Birmingham B20 2QS
Phone: 0121-554-6947  Fax:  0870-055-4570
E-mail ncadc@ncadc.demon.co.uk
Web site:  http://www.ncadc.demon.co.uk/

Coalition for Asylum and Immigration Rights CAIR

Stop Hounding Asylum Seekers

No more Deaths in Detention

Vigil and protest at the Home Office

5.30pm-7.00pm
Thursday 10th February
50 Queen Anne's Gate, SW1
(St James Park tube)

On Monday 24th January, Robratas Grabys, a 49 year old Lithuanian 
asylum seeker was found hanged at Harmondsworth Detention Centre.

We cannot pretend that it was a coincidence that Robratas took his 
own life two days after a failed attempt by the Home Office to deport 
him.

The death did not become public until NCADC sent out a press release 
the Home Office have still not issued  a statement.

Robratas death is the latest in a number of suicides of asylum 
seekers in detention.

Detention is cruel and inhumane and should be ended.

This vigil and protest is called to ensure that the death of this 
asylum seeker is not treated as a problem to be brushed away but to 
remind the Home Office that a human life - that was in its care -- 
has been lost.

The Home Office boasted that the death of Robratas Grabys was the 
first death in a detention centre  for 10 years but neglected to 
mention the deaths that took place in prisons and homes in the last 
ten years of those seeking sanctuary in the UK.

Neglected to mention the number of attempted suicides in detention 
centres and detention/prisons. Just days before Robratas died three 
Roma asylum seekers in Haslar detention/prison attempted suicide 
together by drinking poison.

In January 1999 Dorcas Wanjira  arrived in the UK, applied for asylum 
on landing and was immediately put into detention. After nine months 
in detention life became unbearable and she drank a bottle of bleach, 
for this she was put in Holloway prison one of the worst in the UK, 
Dorcas  has now been deported.

Kolawole Anthony Ola  from Nigeria was arrested on a criminal charge 
and detained in Belmarsh, at the trial he was completely exonerated 
but he was kept in Belmarsh awaiting deportation. Anthony tried to 
hang himself, he too has now been deported.

Robratas death has aroused  widespread indignation with people from 
all around the world, faxing protest letters to the UK Home Office.

Detention is cruel, inhumane and an offence to a civilised, democratic society.

Britain's racist Immigration laws must be scrapped immediately.

The Vigil will be to remember Robratas Grabys  and all those asylum 
seekers and immigrants who have suffered untimely death through 
Britain's racist immigration laws.

Kimpua Nsimba
Zairean Asylum Seeker
Age: 24
Date of Death: 15.06.90
Place of Death: Harmondsworth Detention Centre
Cause of Death: Suicide

James Segawa
HIV+ Asylum Seeker
Age: 28
Date of Death: 28.08.92
Place of Death: Belmarsh Prison
Cause of Death:
Officials refused to believe he was ill

Turan Pekoz
Age: 43
Date of Death: 16.03.93
Place of Death: Quest House Immigration Centre Croydon
Cause of Death: Suicide by immolation

Joy Gardner
Age: 40
Date of Death: 01.08.93
Place of Death:
Her Home, in front of her son
Cause of Death: Asphyxiated by the Extradition Unit of the Metropolitan Police

Kwanele Siziba
Age: 27
Date of Death: 27.04.94
Place of Death:
Her Home
Cause of Death:
Fell from the balcony of her home fleeing what she believed to be 
immigration officials

Joseph Nnalue
Age: 31
Date of Death: 23.10.94
Place of Death London
His Home
Cause of Death:
Fell from balcony of his home fleeing immigration officials

Noorjahan Begum
Age: 35
Date of Death: 15.03.96
Place of Death:
Her Home
Cause of Death:
Fell to her death from balcony of her home fleeing immigration officers

Herbert Gabbidon
Age: 68
Date of Death: 10.01.97
Place of Death:
In custody of Walsall Police while they were trying to deport him 
back to Jamaica

Robratas Grabys
Lithuania
Age: 49
Date of Death: 24.01.2000
Place of Death: Harmondsworth Detention Centre
Cause of Death: Suicide

Lin Yan-Guang Chinese asylum-seeker
Date of Death:
December 1998
Place of Death: Warley Hospital, Brentwood, Essex.
Cause of Death:
Suicide

Vigil called by: Coalition for Asylum and Immigration Rights CAIR:
A joint venture by the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation 
Campaigns (NCADC) and the National Assembly Against Racism (NAAR)

For further information contact:
Zrinka Bralo NCADC 0171-701-5197
Jude Woodward NAAR 0171-247-9907

CAIR can be contacted via E-mail:

cair@ncadc.demon.co.uk



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