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 firstname.lastname@example.org and UKres@kenya-airways.com 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] gmail.com.
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 (https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/let-kabran-stay), 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.