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

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