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An Egyptian family were deported yesterday from Cedars detention centre in Pease Pottage, Sussex, amid desperate attempts from friends, family and campaigners to block their removal to Egypt where they are likely to suffer violence and risk death.
On the morning of the 24th, as the family were due to be taken from Pease Pottage to Gatwick airport at 1.30am, protesters descended on the centre to try and stop the bus transporting the family. The vehicle was stalled for five hours. Two people locked on underneath the vehicle, one when it was on it's way into the centre car park and one protester who jumped the fence to lock on inside. One was arrested and the other was hospitalised. The police had been prepared for resistance and pulled out dozens of police and dogs to enable the family's deportation.
While anti-deportation campaigns are not unusual, the case of the Saleh family – Fariman Saleh and two of her children – prompted a huge response from the local community, and support even from the local MP, along with an internet campaign and a rapid response from anti-deportation activists, due to the blatant injustice of the UKBA and the strength of the arguments for them to remain safe in the UK. The series of events leading up to their removal on a charter flight yesterday morning are harrowing, and the police response to the activists attempting to block the journey to the airport yesterday was brutal.
The family have been living in Cardiff for five years, after legally arriving in the UK and asking for asylum status. Mrs Saleh had fled Egypt with her children after suffering 15 years of extreme domestic violence that threatened their lives at the hands of her husband, who escaped prosecution in Egypt due to his status and links with the police and judiciary. On return to Egypt they are at real risk of violence and 'honour'-based persecution. Mrs Saleh's eldest daughter, who is 20, remains in the UK because she lodged a separate asylum claim.
The family had been taken into prison last Thursday (18th) after a dawn raid at their home. A judicial review of their case was due to take place on 11th November. Immediately after the raid lawyers secured an injunction to postpone their forced deportation, but the last ditch attempt to save the family was overturned 30 minutes later when the judge rang their solicitors informing them he had been contacted by the UKBA and told they had booked a charter flight at a cost of £60,000. Because, you know, sending people to their death is preferable to the UKBA losing money. The actions of the UKBA were unlawful as they should have lodged a formal appeal process.
The morning before the deportation Mrs Saleh had injured herself in prison, slitting her wrist. She had written on the wall in her own blood: “I only wanted to save my children”. This act of desperation didn't make the UKBAstards to reflect on the situation, they also refused to pass details about the incident on to the family's solicitors. Now the family is in Egypt, but there is no information available about their whereabouts or safety. It is thought they were victims of violence during the deportation as they tried to resist.
Russian anti-fascist unfairly imprisoned under Putin's new house rules.
More updates from Calais No Borders Network
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In solidarity with 235 Sussex University workers whose jobs are threatened with privatisation, protesters from around the country converge on Sussex University's campus (alread site of an ongoing occupation), invade management HQ and make a bonfire out of corporate files.
It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since the US-UK coalition invaded Iraq. 10 years since that fatal day on the 19th of March 2003 when the neoconservative “Crazies in the White House” bought their own propaganda and believed they could reshape the Middle-East with a blitzkrieg military campaign of “Shock and Awe”.
If the “world leaders” heading to Enniskillen in June were hoping for an easy protest-free ride they were sadly mistaken
National Front demonstration has a poor turn out in Swansea, followed by a Blood & Honour gig in the valleys.