On the deportation of Isa Muazu

A friend who organised the vigil for Isa Muazu wrote this on his deportation this morning. Please read:

I feel utterly sick and ashamed.

Today is a precedent setting moment. Never before has a Govt intentionally allowed a death in immigration detention. This Govt have ignored medical opinion. They have ignored the call for an individual act of mercy for Isa and they have made it clear that this is now how it will continue to be for other people in detention.

The Home Office introduced an ‘end of life plan’ policy rather than release Isa for urgent medical help. Lawyers and campaigners agree that this part of a frightening new ultra hardline stance. The Home Office are clearly demonstrating their political will to see desperate hunger strikers die in detention/during deportation - rather than release them into hospitals to receive life saving medical attention (this was previous procedure).

But I don’t get it. Seeming proudly “tough on immigration” in front of voters isn’t dependent on refusing mercy for a suffering dying man. We all understand ‘mercy’ - we are taught this as kids.

Isa Muazu, after 95 days of hunger strike, is a 45 year old man who now cannot see and is too weak to stand. He is 5ft 11 and used to weigh 83 kilos. Now he weighs 50. He is too ill for surgery, and vomits and urinates blood.

This morning at 8am, the Home Office had him stretchered onto a plane and flown back to Nigeria, the country he needed to escape from (two members of his family were murdered by Boko Haram, an Islamist militant group, and he fears the same fate should he return).

Isa applied for asylum after a visa he was in the UK on ran out. His application was turned down in just seven days.

Despite never having been in trouble with the law he had this message for the government: “I need them to forgive me for anything I’ve done wrong. It happened without my intention. I want the government to temper justice with mercy.”

But seeking refuge is not a crime.

Kate Blagojevic from Detention Forum who helped explain how Isa ended up in this situation. “You declare yourself to the immigration authorities and say you want to claim asylum – they immediately lock you up in a centre where you don’t have any money, you might not have any phone credit, you might not have a lawyer and so you’ve lost your freedom and you have absolutely no way of getting out,” she told me. “It’s very difficult for you, while you’re sitting in your cell, to think about the evidence that you might need to claim asylum. The fast-track system allocates a solicitor to you, usually who you meet a few minutes before your interview with the Home Office officials. That’s the meeting when they decide if your asylum claim is credible or not. 99 percent of people on this fast-track system are refused.”

Earlier I said this was the first time the Govt have intentionally let someone die in detention. But it is important to know that people have died in detention and during deportation before. It is just that previously when a person gets so gravely ill, the courts get involved, and find that the individual should be released into hospital for medical help. ‘Our independent judiciary’. But what tends to happen is - if a person is released, the Home Office contacts the Daily Mail, and the judge overseeing the case is targeted in the press as being “soft on immigration” etc.

I’m not kidding. This is actually what happens.

Isa Muazu, despite independent medical assessment, and having not having eaten for ***95 days*** has -we understand -this morning been deported back to the country he had fled from.

He might die during the flight, he might die or be killed on return to Nigeria. We hope we might be able to hear how/where he is in the coming days.

All it would have taken is a simple act of mercy.

Just a little bit of mercy for a suffering, dying man.

We are feeling lost today. Despite efforts from so many (and many of you), they wouldn’t listen.

Please know that (if you feel the same as me) it would actually be really worthwhile thing to express that on social media and by contacting Theresa May/David Cameron/The Home Office/AirCharterScotland/Tailor Made Services by phone/email/tweeting.

Why? Because we have make this cost them politically.

Why? Because others like Isa, are on hunger strike, and they will also suffer and they might also die.

Why? Because it is the right thing to do and I don’t want to live in a country where people are treated like this. It is wrong wrong wrong.
(So many lies about immigration, so much political and media manipulation, fear mongering, scapegoating and racism)

We need to stop this.

There are now 3.500 people rotting in detention, and with another detention centre bring built there will be more. They are run by global multinational companies and run for profit. KERCHiiiiNG! G4S! Serco!Reliance!

Again. We need to stop this.

#ff @FreeIsaMuazuNow