Sunday, 17 March 2013

Said Kasim - free after hunger strike

Great news from Hands off Somalia!

Said Kasim – FREE! A victory for all against racist UKBA

Said Kasim Mohamed has been freed after a prolonged 23 day hunger strike inside Colnbrook IRC and a battle with UKBA and SERCO.


Campaigners hailed this not only a massive victory for Said, but the campaign, and all those both inside and outside immigration detention who have supported Said and his fight for justice.

Once Said finally left Colnbrook IRC, he was incredibly happy and thanked all his supporters for their courage and efforts against his oppressors in UKBA and SERCO. Said was also temporarily released with Selim, an Afghan man also on hunger strike for over 15 days.
Colnbrook IRC is a high level security prison used to detain immigrants, constructed under the previous Labour government.

Said was freed on Friday under temporary measures set out by UKBA, after  doctors inside the centre became outraged and disgusted at his ongoing treatment in the immigration prison. Said will have to sign on at a reporting centre on 22 March, another chance for UKBA to snatch him as he still does not have proper bail or any temporary citizenship whilst he seeks justice.
UKBA retreated and signed Said out after tens of supporters continuously rang and faxed Colnbrook IRC and UKBA to complain about Said’s treatment,

Many campaigners from groups including Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!, No Borders, Prisoners Advice Service, Medical Justice, and BID mobilised to help Said as well as countless individuals from Britain and abroad who heard about his case via mailing lists and online tools like Twitter. John Mcdonnell MP also contacted the immigration minister about Said’s case.

Said was then sent to local Hillingdon Hospital for a check up, the hospital which has a history with below par treatment for immigrant prisoners from the local Colnbrook and Harmondsworth detention centres.

Doctors at Hillingdon put Said on a drip but offered him no advice on how to begin eating again after a hunger strike.

Instead the hospital gave Said a sandwich to eat, a dangerous move as eating the wrong things could be deadly for the body after such a prolonged period without eating. Guides recommend hunger strikers eat liquid foods and juice in small portions until 2 weeks or so have elapsed. This is not the first time Said has been neglected by doctors and medical staff in and surrounding Colnbrook IRC.
Hands off Somalia supporters went to the hospital to help Said with his bags and to move out of the area.

UKBA told Said he would get a train ticket to his friends house out of London, but UKBA never produced the ticket. Said had to rush to the train station to buy his own ticket before the last trains at midnight.

Going forward the campaigns and supporters involved are re-energised to support Said, fight deportations and stop the criminalisation of immigrants in Britain.
Together we are stronger and a victory for one is a victory for all.

Shut down Colnbrook IRC!
Hands off Somalia! Hands off immigrants!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Said in Critical Condition due to hunger strike - you can help!!

 An urgent update from Hands Of Somalia. Please phone and email as detailed below.  

Said Kasim in CRITICAL condition due to hunger strike – please help him!! 

Said Kasim Mohamed

Dear Everyone,

Said Kasim seriously needs some help – just 5 minutes of your time – anything you can do to raise alarm will be appreciated by Said.

Said has been on hunger strike 22 days but ignored by SERCO and UKBA. He had not been seen by a doctor until last night when he was moved to the healthcare unit. Said now has signs of kidney and liver failure, SERCO are refusing responsibility. Said is still refusing to go to a hospital until UKBA release him or make an intervention to such effect.
Text message received just now from Said:

“Doctor came im room with UKBA doctor told me found out my one kidney it doesin’t working and liver problem, so told me to take me to hospital i refuse to go i told them i need a letter release then i’ll go, then doctor asked me some quetion about treatment from them, drid tablets and some food but i refuse all then doctor give to me a form to sign then doctor said from now finished dealing with me but now anything wrong happen to ukba only but not healthcare department because they are already give to ukba my result. Anthony i am in very hard situation even my urine blood inside”

Said Kasim Mohamed

Said was not taken off his cocktail of medicines for hypertension and depression by SERCO staff despite eating no food for 22 days. Likely this is the cause of his now severe condition.
As you can see SERCO are now backing down and blaming UKBA – now is the time to strike Colnbrook IRC – UKBA – the lot of them.

Said is demanding to be released out of the detention centre which is killing him. Bail, UKBA release, whatever – just out of the prison (i.e. Said told us he doesn’t want to go to the hospital then back to the prison again – we know UKBA do that).

Said has not committed any crimes and never absconded or broken terms laid down by UKBA.
We know 2 Algerian men just got out of Colnbrook IRC after 15 days of hunger strike and have not come back to Colnbrook.

We recommend you ring Colnbrook healthcare now and we have provided some questions you can ask below

Name: Said Kasim Mohamed (referred to as ‘Eddy Issa’ by UKBA, incase they ask or deny knowing who Said is)
HO Ref: M1382343
CID: 7236534
Ring 0208 607 5200 then press OPTION 1 THEN PRESS 310 (or Fax: 0208 759 7996 attn: UKBA centre manager and SERCO healthcare unit) to demand Said’s immediate release and ask the following questions:
  • Ask why SERCO staff only put Said in the healthcare unit last night after literally ignoring him for 20 days and not letting him be seen by a doctor once. They are responsible for his health
  • Ask why Said is on hunger strike – why would someone have to take this measure?
  • Ask why UKBA refuse to give Said a proper interview with the Tanzanian embassy to ‘prove’ he has a connection with that country?
  • Ask why UKBA were still feeding Said a cocktail of medicines for hypertension and depression despite the fact that he has not had food in 20 days?
  • Ask why SERCO nurses kept hiding Said’s blood sugar level readings from him
  • Ask why UKBA are holding Said in detention prison when they are not deporting him
  • Ask why Said’s judicial review was thrown out in 10 minutes despite him not having access to a proper translator (they got a Swahili one when he speaks Kibajuni – a Somali dialect).

Other things you can do:

Call UKBA switchboard (9am-445pm)
Telephone: 0870 606 7766
Call the Ministry of Justice (in charge of prisons etc)
Telephone: 020 3334 3555 (open 9am-430pm)
Call Colnbrook IRC directly to complain
Tel: 020 8607 5200 – we recommend PRESS OPTION 1 THEN PRESS 303
Ring the Home Office (immigration) to report a hunger strike protest and ask the above questions:
Telephone: 020 7035 4848
Fax: 020 7035 4745
Contact local MP John Mcdonnell to inform him about Said’s hunger strike and critical condition (he has intervened before)

Alert journalists
Zoe Williams, Twitter – @zoesqwilliams. She is a journalist for the Guardian who has written recently about asylum seekers on section 4.
The Independent
Phone: 020 7005 2000
The Guardian
Phone: 020 3353 2000
The Telegraph
Phone: 020 7931 2000
Phone: 020 3615 0600

 In Said’s own words:

“I better off die than to be locked inside like this… I am not a terrorist and I’m not a danger to the public. In short, I’m not going to stop my hunger strike until I die”
UKBA wrongly accuse Said of being from Tanzania, a country he has no connection with and they have not proven his identity other than a flawed SPRAKAB test – a corrupt testing system UKBA dropped because it was not reliable enough. Said is from the persecuted Bajuni ethnic minority, from the island of Koyama (Bajuni Islands) in Somalia.
Said was beaten up by UKBA contracted Reliance security staff during his removal in September 2012 and despite recently applying for judicial review against the government (representing himself in court due to no legal aid available) has not had any luck getting justice.



Sunday, 10 March 2013

Update Hassanat Aliyu: waiting to hear if the family have been deported

Hassanat and her daughters were taken to Heathrow Airport yesterday but UKBA took her mobile phone off her so we were unable to contact her. We do not know if the family were on the flight and deported to Nigeria last night. We have spoken to Cedars immigration prison but they will not give us any information. We are still trying to find out and will update the blog as soon as we know.

TCAR would like to thank everyone who has supported the campaign so far.

Together we are stronger!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Hassanat's situation gathering increasing support - we still need your help!

Hassanat's case has been reported by the local media: the front page of the Evening Chronicle included a picture and the headline 'Race to Save Family'. Capital FM also publicised the families plight on their show.

Urgent action is still needed - please continue to phone, tweet and email to let the Home Office and the airline (details below) know that Hassanat and her family have wide support.Supporters took to the streets again today to urge people to take action, and to speak out more widely against racism and deportation.

Mum and Tyneside-born children set to be deported to Nigeria

TWO Tyneside-born children and their mum and sister are to be deported to Nigeria today after their asylum application was refused.

Hassanat Omeneke Aliyu fled her homeland in July 2006 when her eldest daughter Teniola was barely one.
She said she was scared for her and her daughter’s lives due to civil unrest in the country she had been brought up in.
The 30-year-old was trafficked into the UK and lived in London for four years before moving to Tyneside in the summer of 2010.
Since then she has made a life for her and her three daughters, two of whom were born in the UK, in the Byker community.
But on Wednesday morning, immigration police arrived at her door and took her and her daughters to Cedars, a family detention centre.
Speaking from the pre-departure centre near Gatwick airport, Hassanat said she feared for what awaited her and her daughters if she returned to Nigeria.
“I am not OK, I am scared and I cannot sleep,” she said.
“I am nervous and I fear for my children. I do not know what is going to happen. I do not want them to go through what I did in life.
“My eldest daughter was one when she came here and my other two were born here in the UK, they do not know Nigeria,” she said.
Hassanat said she did not have contact with the father of her children and had moved to Tyneside for a fresh start. Her youngest daughters Adunola, five, and three-year-old Sheniola, were both born in the UK.
“I did feel like it was a fresh start coming to Newcastle. I wanted to go to school and do something with myself,” she said.
“I would have liked to read pharmacy and I wanted to do it at Sunderland University.
“I wanted to start fresh and move on with my life, I really wanted to make a life for myself here,” she said.
Hassanat first applied for asylum on June 11, 2010 and soon after added her three children to the claim.
But this was refused on July 29 the same year.
She lodged an appeal against the refusal but that was rejected in October 2011. She was then given a removal date of March 9 this year but kept fighting the decision.
She added: “I hope something changes because I want to continue my life in the North East.
“I just want to say thank you to those who have supported me, I cannot thank them enough I really appreciate it.
“I got a lot of letters of support and it was really nice.”
Yesterday, Hassanat’s friends at Tyneside Community Action Against Racism held a protest at Newcastle’s Monument urging people to help stop the deportation today.
Mark Pearson, a member of the group who has been working closely with Hassanat, said she had been an active member of the Byker community.
“She attended the local mosque and the children went to Byker Primary School.
“She was also involved in a local African community group, ACANE,” he said.
“She volunteered for them and was always there to help people.
“She’s a dedicated mother with three young children and she is really good with them.
“She always seemed happy and she wanted to help other people,” he said.
Mark had been friends with Hassanat for between six months and a year and has been helping with the appeal to keep her in the UK.
“She has a lot of friends in the community and other people have written letters of support for her to stay,” he said.
“She made a life for herself here and so had the kids,” he added.
A UKBA spokesperson said: “Every asylum application is carefully considered on a case by case basis. The UK only returns individuals if both the UKBA and the courts are satisfied they do not need our protection and have no legal basis to remain in the country.
“We encourage these people to leave voluntarily and offer assistance to those who choose to do so.”
Family supported
THE family have received support from groups across the Tyneside community who are helping to appeal their deportation.
Newcastle East MP Nick Brown has been working with Hassanat and has made representations to the Home Office against her imminent removal from the country.
He said: "I have made representation again this week to the Home Office asking that deportation be suspended until the new representations have been properly considered. And I have also asked that the case be considered compassionately because of the young children, including two that were born in the UK."
The family have also been working closely with the Tyneside Community Action Against Racism group, who organised yesterday’s protest, and other groups have written letters of support on the family’s behalf.
African Community Advice North East (ACANE) wrote a letter in support of the family remaining in Tyneside, as did Byker Primary School, where Hassanat’s daughters Adunola and Teniola had been pupils since April 2011

Read More


Friday, 8 March 2013

Help needed to put pressure on national press to cover Hassanat's anti-deportation campaign

The local press came to cover the protest in solidarity with Hassanat today so there will be an article in the Chronicle on Saturday 9th March about the campaign. We really need to get the national press to cover this now to have a better chance of stopping the deportation. Please take a couple of minutes to phone, email and tweet the following newspapers and journalists and ask them to report on it. For more information see the campaign tab at the top of the blog.

Zoe Williams, Twitter -@zoesqwilliams. She is a journalist for the Guardian who has written recently about asylum seekers on section 4.

Maggie O'Kane, Twitter - @maggiebi3. She is a journalist for the Guardian who moderated a meeting held by Forward against FGC.

The Independent
Phone:         020 7005 2000

The Guardian
Phone:         020 3353 2000
    Email: ,,

The Telegraph
Phone:         020 7931 2000

The Observer
Phone:        (same as for The Guardian)

The Daily Mirror
Phone:         0800 282 591

Phone:         020 3615 0600

Supporters of Hassanat Aliyu and her three daughters Teniola, Adunola and Shaniola, take up Theresa May’s call to ‘speak out, stand up against violence against women and girls’ by gathering on International Women’s Day to demand that the imminent deportation of these four women is stopped.

Supporters of Hassanat Aliyu and her three daughters Teniola, Adunola and Shaniola, take up Theresa May’s call to ‘speak out, stand up against violence against women and girls’ by gathering on International Women’s Day to demand that the imminent deportation of these four women is stopped.

On Friday 9th September Tyneside Community Action against Racism (TCAR) and supporters of Hassanat held a demonstration at Grey’s Monument, Newcastle. Despite it being International Women’s Day the family are being held in Cedars immigration prison against their will and the Home Office intends to deport them this Saturday 9th March.

Home Secretary Theresa May today spoke in favour of International Women’s Day:

"I'm very pleased to be recognising International Women’s Day, a day that celebrates the achievements of women across the world. But as we celebrate women's achievements, we must also think of the problems that women sadly face all too often in the UK and in other countries across the world... Government will do its bit but I want you all to do your bit too. So speak out, stand up against violence against women and girls and that's the way we can eradicate it."

This statement flies in the face of what the Home Office and Theresa May are doing to Hassanat and her girls. They were snatched in a dawn raid at 7am on Wednesday 9th March and locked in a detention centre, despite the government’s commitments to end child detention, and they are to be deported to Nigeria where the sisters Teniola 7 and half, Adunola 5 and Shaniola 3 years old, are under serious threat of Female Genital Cutting, again something the government has made big claims on tackling. Hassanat fled this situation in 2006 with Teniola who was one years old at the time, and has spent the last 6 and half years living in Britain building a life for her family, Adunola and Shaniola were born here.

We urge Theresa May to ‘speak out, stand up against violence against women and girls’ and stop the deportation and give the family the right to remain in Britain.

Contact Theresa May to urge her to use her powers as Home Secretary to stop the deportation (make sure to quote Hassanat’s Home Office Reference Number: A1432864/5):

Constituency phone number: 0118 934 5433

Twitter: @ukhomeoffice

Fax: 0207 0354745

Contact Virgin Atlantic and Tweet @richardbranson to urge them not to take the family on flight VS651, Saturday 9th March, 10pm

Virgin Headquarters: 0844 8110 000