Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Bristol West constituent and resident Kabran due to be deported to life threatening situation in less about 6 hours.

Great news an injunction to stop Kabran Eric's Flight has been granted! This means he won't fly today, but he will remain in detention. Thank you all so much for your help. Let's keep on fight this unjust system! Kabran may be save today, but the system is broken 
Tweet: Kabran's deportation cancelled less than 4 hours before the flight, system not right #‎STOPdeportations‬ @DignityBristol
Kabran's deportation cancelled less than 4 hours before the flight, system not right #‎STOPdeportations‬ @DignityBristol 

Kabran Eric is part of our Dignity group family.
Sadly despite our efforts, Kabran Eric told us he is being moved ready for deportation and doesn't think he will have access to his phone. As you can imagine we are really upset about this and extremely worried about him. He faces real danger in the Ivory Coast, due to his involvement in the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), with his brother and friends having been killed.

We are still fighting, just this morning his solicitor has made extra submissions and lodged an injunction application at the High Court and his MP Stephen Williams' office has written to the home office and over 500 people have signed his petition online and on paper in support of Kabran Didier-Eric Yao and many people have been phoning and e-mailing Kenyan Airlines. We have 6 hours left to make a fuss about this injustice. 

Please share your outrage on Twitter and Facebook and write to his MP Stephen Williams, whose office is being very supportive of Kabran. We need to share how frustrating this system is and how it needs to change.

Kabran has new evidence which hasn't been looked at yet. It does not make sense for him to be deported without even looking at this fresh evidence supporting his claim.

Talking to Kabran on the phone last week during our
Dignity Group Iftar Dinner, which he had planned to cook.
Kabran was detained on 2 weeks ago on 16th July, since then we have been campaigning and supporting him. He was given removal directions just one week ago. We believe this rushed process intentionally prevents Kabran and many others from having their case fully examined and considered.

Kabran's asylum case was refused a few months ago and since then new evidence has come to light. New material was published which added to his case and additional evidence was received. Prior his detention Kabran wanted to put in a new case, but he was not able to access legal aid and was unable to find any legal representation. Even after he was detained we spent a lot of time trying to find a solicitor willing to represent him, many were too busy or unable to take on a client in detention and eventually a friend of his found and paid for a solicitor for him.

Rushing into deporting people, whilst denying them access to legal aid and not exploring their evidence is wrong and is a sign of an asylum system which prizes removals of people over protecting those at risk from political and other forms of persecution as the UK has agreed to through the Refugee Convention and Protocol

Monday, 28 July 2014

Kabran update - can you contact Kenya Airlines to stop a deportation?

Kabran’s removal is scheduled for Wednesday, and we won’t find out until the last minute whether efforts from his solicitor and MP have been successful. If they are unable to cancel the deportation, the next opportunity to win time for Kabran’s fresh claim is through the airline itself - Kenya Airlines.

Many campaigns have been successful in persuading airline companies to refuse carriage, thus effectively preventing a removal. Kenya Airlines has responded to positively to public pressure in the past.

If you can, please telephone Kenya Airlines on +44 20 82831800 (London office) or +44 020 8759 7366 (Airport office, listed as Emergencies only) and ask them not to participate in the unjust deportation of Kabran Didier-Eric Yao

Please write to them at and and/or fax their London office on +44 020 8283 1880

To help you, we have drafted the letter below. Please feel free to use it as it is or to make any changes you see fit - unique, personalised messages are probably even more effective, but sheer volume of response is also persuasive.

If you get a response, please let us know on asylumisnotacrime [at]

Thank you!

The Kabran support team

Dear Kenya Airways

I am concerned about the safety of a passenger booked on your flight KQ101 to Nairobi at 20:00 on 30.07.14, and KQ520 to Abidjan 09:05 31.07.14.

His full name is Kabran Didier-Eric Yao (HO ref A1827716). He is scheduled to be deported against his will, by the Home Office, despite having a strong prima facie case for humanitarian asylum and fresh evidence to submit a new claim.

Kabran fled from Ivory Coast, where his life was in danger due to his involvement in the Ivorean Popular Front (FPI). When the FPI lost power after a disputed election in 2010 more than 3,000 FPI supporters were killed, among them Kabran’s brother.

I believe this is as strong as evidence for a direct personal threat to life is ever likely to get, and that the Home Office is acting unlawfully and against its moral duties and international legal obligations.

Kabran will no doubt be escorted onto the plane by security guards, but he is likely to be fearful and distressed - he is anticipating a life-threatening situation when he arrives, and it is only just over a year since he fled, so it is likely the situation is still very dangerous for former FPI supporters.

His very understandable fear and distress is likely to show and be distressing to other passengers, and create a very negative impression of the airline, for accepting the contract with the Home Office to remove someone so unjustly.

A petition from Bristol friends, who know Kabran from the Refugee Welcome Centre (, has received over 400 signatures and is being presented to our MP today, in the hope of cancelling the deportation instruction to gain time for Kabran to present fresh evidence to support his application for humanitarian refugee status.

Please consider his safety on and after the flight, the likely distress to other passengers, and the reputational risk to your company.

It is also not only the Home Office's legal and moral responsibility to uphold international humanitarian law, it is every individual and organisation's responsibility. Complying with the order from the Home Office is no excuse, it is not "just doing a job", it is sending someone back into serious personal danger against their will, and retrospectively it might be judged unlawful.

Please refuse to transport Kabran against his will, to help make sure Kabran has a fair chance and a proper hearing for his humanitarian asylum claim.

Yours sincerely

Sign here

Friday, 25 July 2014

Share our support for Kabran

Many thanks to all those who have already signed the petition to free Kabran Eric at we have over 200 signatures, lots of retweets and facebook shares and some actions which is great!

Lake District Arts Projects sends a message of support for Eric
Please send any photos of support or action to
Please keep spreading the word, get your friends involved and share by email, Click to share on Facebook and Click to share on Twitter, or good old fashioned word of mouth. We don't have much time as Kabran has removal directions for 30th July, so we need to act now!

The last few days have involved lots of phoning solicitors to try and get legal representation for Kabran. It has really brought home to us the volume of people in detention who are in need of legal support, and the need for more availability of legal aid to fund immigration cases. The Home Office has created a completely unjust situation in which hundreds of vulnerable people are denied access to the help and support they need simply by bureaucracy.

In the next few days, we will be increasing the pressure on local MP Stephen Williams to intervene on behalf of Kabran, using the petition (online at and some signatures we have collected on paper). Watch this space for updates on our plans to deliver the petition to Stephen Williams early next week.

No-one is free until we are all free.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Freedom for Kabran

We were just recovering from the emotional rollercoaster of Hussein's detention, deportation orders and subsequent release when another friend of ours, Kabran Didier-Eric Yao, was also detained at Trinity Police Station, Bristol, and is now at being held at Campsfield. Kabran is from Ivory Coast and has been in Bristol for just over a year.

Kabran's asylum claim was rejected, but he now has evidence to make a fresh claim. However, he has been given removal directions for July 30. He has so far been unable to see a solicitor in detention and needs more time to prepare his case. Please join us in calling on Stephen Williams, local MP for Bristol West, to ask the Home Office to revoke Kabran's removal directions; release him from detention; and give him more time to prepare a fresh claim for asylum in the UK.

You can read more about Kabran's situation, and sign a petition for his realease, at

Watch this space for more things you can do to support Kabran. Everyone deserves the right to freedom and safety.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Hussein out of Campsfield - letting the fruit grow

Dear all the supporters,
Thank you very much for being shade over my head protecting me from the heat.
Thank you for for this amazing support, including donations. You have been so amazing by helping everyone who needs your help. Specially to us asylum seekers. You are the rain to the earth, if there was no rain, no fruit will grow (we asylum seekers). You all stood up as one fighting against the injustice. This is solidarity. This is integration. Thank you and again.I hope I will stand beside everyone who needs me, as you people helped me.
piggy back celebration!
Last Friday Hussein walked free from Campsfield immigration prison and we had a very very happy celebratory reunion – dancing, tree climbing, singing, smiling. 

Thank you to all of you who contributed to ensure his freedom and to challenge the Home Office's unjust decision making. Our campaigning inspired and motivated the barristers and solicitors who represented Hussein and it created some accountability in the Home Office and the bail Judge's decision making.

This week the Home Office tried to deport Amar to Italy.

Amar, along with five other refugees, is part of an important test case at the Supreme Court. Their lawyers are currently preparing a crucial appeal based on UN evidence. This appeal could overturn a previous ruling allowing Italy deportations. The Home Office seems to be trying to get Amar out of the country before it can come to court. This battle is not just f or Amar, but for hundreds of refugees...[including Hussein]

Effective public campaigning and legal work has just stopped this deportation! We hope to join these campaigns together to try to stop all deportations to Italy, until there is a fair and just asylum process there. If you would like to be involved in this fight, and/or the work of the Dignity group, please sign up for the relevant updates here:

Hussein is currently bailed to the Cardiff regional asylum dispersal centre. We are lobbying the Home Office to ensure he is 'dispersed' to Bristol, so he can rejoin his community and be active again in Bristol Refugee Rights, FoodCycle and Dignity Group.

The Bristol Refugee Rights Advice and Advocacy service (AID) will continue to support him through the ongoing legal process. However, BRR is facing severe funding cuts and are fundraising so they can keep the AID service open for all asylum seekers. If you can commit to give just £2 a month to the aid team you can help support Hussein and others get ongoing advice and advocacy from BRR AID team.

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Thank you again for standing with Hussein and standing up for a fair and just asylum system.