Important Update on Sudanese Detainees

Of the three from Nottingham detained last week; Abdulhadi, Mustafa, Alcir …:

Important Update on Sudanese Detainees

IMPORTANT UPDATE: 3 April 07 – Late last night, UK immigration authorities halted the removal of Darfuri African survivor Mohammed Abdulhadi Ali. Read more …

Of the three from Nottingham detained last week; Abdul Hadi, Mustafa, Alcir …:

Abdul Hadi has a removal notice set for next Tuesday. His solcitors seem confident on many aspects at the moment and are working on the bits that they are not yet confident about. Abdul Hadi is now famous having been featured in the Independent on Tuesday 27th March. We are staying in touch with him and his friends everyday. IMPORTANT UPDATE: 3 April 07 – Late last night, UK immigration authorities halted the removal of Darfuri African survivor Mohammed Abdulhadi Ali. The decision to halt Mohammed Abdulhadi’s removal comes ahead of judgement in HGMO, a country guidance case on Sudan, to be handed down at 10.00am tomorrow. The judgement is widely expected to go against the Home Office’s argument that internal flight from Darfur to Khartoum is a viable option for Africans fleeing ethnic cleansing in Darfur, making it much more difficult to remove Darfuris from the UK to Sudan citing sufficient safety in Khartoum.

Mustafa had a removal date set for Tuesday 27th March at 10 p.m. An application for Judicial Review was denied on several grounds even though the Judge admitted having some sympathy for his situation. His solicitor in London pulled out on Monday morning when Legal Aid Funding could not be obtained. I had already asked another to represent him in the event that this happened so that flowed quite smoothly. However, legal aid was still a problem. The solcitors were prepared to submit an application for JR anyway as long as it met standards for their own work. However, we came to an arrangement whereby we would assist him to submit his own emergency application in the event that they could not. It was quite complex and all very last minute. We needed to find someone who could attest to his ethnicity and no matter how far we looked it was difficult. Someone in Nottingham declined to do this but has since agreed. Despite submitting photographs of him at demonstrations the Judge held that there was no evidence that he was a Black African – which just made many Sudanese incredulous. We heard very late that the Judge had refused. We had already drawn up a letter to circulate to people who could fax the airline and circulated that with little time to spare and hoped that everyone would be able to redirect it to their contacts. We used several campaign and interest group lists to do that throughout the UK.
In the event we faxed approx thirty faxes from our offices, with members of the Community coming in right up until the last minute with signed letters to fax. We also had people telephoning the airlines and speaking to them in a number of languages to plead with them not to carry Mustafa. We were talking to Mustafa right up until his phone was switched off. However, the preparation work was done and quiet, gentle Mustafa was ready. When he was fetched to be put on the plane he said “No”. He refused and he was taken back to the holding centre.
In the office we were apprehensive and talked about trying another fax off to Bahrain where he was changing planes and tried to sort out the pros and cons of doing so, including talking with friends in Sudan for advice. I got home at 3 and decided to just try his phone one more time in case he was in Bahrain changing planes. I was astonished when he answered and we had a chat, and then I arranged for someone else to call him back speaking in Arabic. He was taken to Oakington in Cambridge and arrived just as I called. Yesterday he was given new removal directions for 4th April which I faxed on to his solicitors. We are now hunting for the experts to testify re his ethnicity amongst other things.

Alcir is still here also. We stayed in touch up until an hour before he was due to board the plane. He had been moved from Manchester at 4 a.m. to Heathrow and was out of touch until we found him again at about 7.30 a.m. The solicitors had applied for cancellation of removal directions on the basis of an emergency application for JR. However, the fear was that the application woud be heard before the flight was due to take off and that the removal directions would be re instated.

Information from Sudanese detainee support in Nottingham.