The company chartering the mass deportation to Jamaica of March 8th was Meridiana fly S.p.A., a privately owned Italian airline. 49% of its shares are owned by Qatar Airlines.
Fearing for his life upon deportation, one man in Brook House climbed out of his window in the detention centre with a broken arm, under threat of further violence from the guards in their attempts to remove him. As of 12.15am, the guards were pepper spraying him. Full Report here,
“These charter flights are modern slavery”
Detainees are speaking out against the upcoming charter flight, part of the regular Home Office practice of forcibly removing people en masse on privately chartered ghost flights that leave from an undisclosed location in the middle of the night.
• Some of the people removed have lived in the UK for nearly their whole life.
• Many will leave children, partners and wider families behind.
• Some have asylum claims and fear for their lives on removal.
• Many have legal cases pending. Deportation will stop them from accessing their rights.
• Many cannot afford to pay the huge legal fees to regularise their stay.
The Unity Centre received a distressing call from one person who said that their 88 year-old mother in Jamaica had been visited by representatives of the British High Commission, who demanded that she was interviewed in order to ascertain the information needed to secure travel documents for her son to be deported – part of the Home Office’s wider underhand strategies to increase deportations.
Sophia has been in Yarl’s Wood since October and has been given a ticket by the Home Office for the charter to Jamaica. She has been in the UK for over 25 years with indefinite leave to remain and 3 kids – aged 23, 16 and 13.
“As a mother, no words can describe how I feel being stuck in this prison as my kids need me more than ever”
Sophia has been told by the Home Office that she can either bring her kids – who have lived their whole lives in the UK and have British citizenship – to Jamaica, or that she can communicate with them from Jamaica via Skype.
“I feel like I’ve been kidnapped. The stress and pressure of every day alone with no one to talk to is going to kill me”
This is the second charter flight to Jamaica since 2014. In September 2016, 42 people were deported from the UK to Jamaica into destitution and isolation, many who had grown up in the UK and who had children and partners they were forced to leave.
The charter flight raises questions of collective expulsion, as the Home Office unlawfully targets specific nationalities in order to fill up seats on the charter flight. The last charter to Jamaica saw many people taken from their homes in the week leading up to the flight, regardless of the differing stages they were at within their individual cases.
Please share this information and help to raise awareness about the scheduled deportation of people en masse to Jamaica on the 8th March. Whilst many are in detention, it is also likely that some people may not yet know they have been issued a ticket for the charter flight by the Home Office, and could face being taken from their home or workplace by immigration officials.
We must come together to collectively resist the racist and violent deportations of the Home Office – fight an immigration raid, donate to help people with legal fees before and after deportation, raise awareness, boycott airlines and companies involved.
Media from UK:
Media from Jamaica:
ARTICLES & RESOURCES
- Over 50 people booked onto secret charter flight to Jamaica – almost everyone deported had come to the UK as a child & had partners & children in the UK. Told by the Home Office they can “parent via Skype”. Highlights racist double punishment of people with criminal deportation cases. (09/2016)
- Denied legal opportunities to challenge the deportation (09/2016)
- Public outcry & protest over charter flight to Jamaica (09/2016)
- The majority of people deported are unable to exercise their “right” to an out of country appeal (09/2016)
- Crowdfunder launched by Roots to Return to help deportees pay the £140 fee to lodge their appeals from Jamaica (09/2016)
- Jamaican NGOs & the British High Comission publish a booklet on ‘Coming Home’ to deportees, the majority who arrived to the UK as children and identify as British. A Freedom of Information request to prove that a deportee said “Deportation is not a sentence or punishment but a second chance to build a new life and make a meaningful contribution to build the nation”, as is claimed in the booklet, is denied.
Photos of mass deportation flight of March 8th 2017 to Jamaica.