Link to Zimbabwe Community Appeal Online Petition

Legal Challenge to Stop Mass Deportations by the Home Office

The general publicImmigration support networksHuman Rights DefendersBlack Lives MatterZimbabwean Lives MatterJamician Lives MatterUK Home OfficeZimbabwe High CommissionJamician High CommissionDuncan LewisZimbabwean LawyersBail for Immigration DetaineesRestoration of Human Rights ZimbabweZimbabwe Human Rights OrganisationDiane AbbottZarah SultanaGlobal African CongressStatus NowSOAS Detainee SupportLord Peter HainBaroness Kate HoeyTendai BitiRight To RemainFreeMovement.OrgJoint Council for the Welfare of ImmigrantsActors For Human RightsRAPAR

Home Office Policy Change is Apparent

It has come to our attention that since the week commencing 5th July 2021, the UK Home Office "Enforcement Unit" has been detaining large numbers of Zimbabweans for the purpose of deporting [for those with a criminal conviction] or forcibly removing [those within the asylum system] on [expensive] chartered flights the first of which departed on Wednesday 21st July 2021. Those being "targeted" are mainly those without leave to remain and / or have no 'live' leave-to-remain applications filed with the Home Office. The Home Office are claiming that most are "hardened criminals" - but this is a gross distortion of the facts - simply pandering to bigotry.

It is our considered view that many of the deportees face imminent danger if they are forcibly returned to Zimbabwe.

The first flight left Stansted Airport at 11:30 pm on Wednesday the 21st July 2021 with merely 14 deportees on-board an Airbus A380. Many potential forced-removals being removed from the flight due to Legal interventions appertaining to individual cases. Those that did go, were not "activists"

The problem we have with the Home Office is that this "TARGET DRIVEN" policy is indiscriminate and fails to offer any real protection for those who have fled Zimbabwe due to persecution from the ruling Zanu PF Party.

Statement: Zimbabwe Community Appeal

Zimbabwe Community Appeal [ZCA] Group position on the current immigration situation of Zimbabweans in the UK.

For many Zimbabweans this is the current situation that Zimbabweans in the UK find themselves in once more at the hands of the Zanu PF propaganda machine. Zimbabweans in the UK, have concerns for the many pending removals which are scheduled as identified in the leaked communique between the British Embassy in Harare and the Zanu PF Government. This identifies a target of 100 removals a month.

How will these be identified and where will they come from?

ZCA members, MDCA, ZHRO, ROHR and ZAPU are not inclined to support any murderers, rapists, and other ‘criminals’, rather they worked together to avail the needed support for those that were detained without notice, so that each one of them gets due process before any permanent outcome is decided.

We understand Ms Priti Patel’s assertion that criminals should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But the current deportees have already served their sentences or are within their sentence in respect of the very few Zimbabwean murderers affected by this Home Office Policy change.

Whilst not condoning murderers, rapists, and Child molesters, many covered by the "criminal" blanket description have committed minor crimes, and many committed some kind of fraud to be able to work in the UK. The UK Asylum system is deliberately complex, convoluted, and expensive to navigate. Many of these so-called criminals have fallen foul of the discrimination in the UK's HO.

In addition, let us not forget how dangerous Zimbabwe is for those deemed as "against Zanu PF.”Or unable [by CIO evidence] to be able to swear allegiance to Zanu PF

It’s very simple.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and their apparent communications to the Home Office do not have sufficient, nor up-to-date information to support a ‘broad-brush’ policy to deport or remove up to 100 Zimbabweans per month. A "deal" aparently made between the British Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe and the ruling Zanu PF "Government".

Irrespective of flights with 50 or less Zimbabweans on board plus the attendant “Support Staff” [Guards] Zimbabwe has become a very dangerous place for anybody connected with any opposition party, any human rights activist, journalists etc. Even now the Zimbabwean Government is pressuring NGO’s not to speak out concerning anything [to do with the Zanu PF Government]

If the Foreign Office would spend time talking with the MDC-A Opposition Party – in particular Tendia Biti, [Vice President] a gifted and committed Zimbabwean Politician, who ably steered the Finances of Zimbabwe during the “Unity Government”.

We have contact details if needed!

UK Government’s Latest Position: Sanctions

1st February 2021: In respect of Human Rights Abuses in Zimbabwe as stated on the UK Government Website; New Sanctions imposed.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-announces-sanctions-against-zimbabwe-security-chiefs

Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab said:

"These sanctions send a clear message that we will hold to account those responsible for the most egregious human rights violations, including the deaths of innocent Zimbabweans."

"These sanctions target senior individuals in the Government, and not ordinary Zimbabweans. We will continue to press for the necessary political and economic reforms that will benefit all Zimbabweans."

These sanctions are in addition to our work to hold the Government of Zimbabwe to account in implementing genuine political and economic reforms that benefit all Zimbabweans.

LIFT THE BAN UPDATES - THE BIG NEWS

Refugee Action has initiated a campaign to allow those 'stuck' in the Asylum Process to work - and not just in the limited the "Shortage Occupation List" instigated by the Home Office

The BIG news from Refugee Action;

"I’m writing with some very exciting news. Having announced that we were at on our way to 100,000 signatures when we met in March earlier this year, I am delighted to announce that we have not only met that figure but actually reached 150,000 Lift the Ban petition signatures! This is an absolutely incredible achievement and is the result of the hard work you have all done up and down the country. Thank you for all the time and effort you have dedicated to this. Achieving 100,000 signatures felt like a “moon-shot” ambition in 2018 but now we have surpassed that in spades. As you know, we plan to hand-in the petition in the autumn (around mid-October) and we will share plans for this in due course."

"To mark this moment, we have developed a GIF that you can download here to share through social media platforms (a draft tweet to promote the GIF is below). If more convenient, you can also retweet the GIF via Refugee Action here or Asylum Matters here:"

· "BIG news! 150,000 people have signed the petition to #LiftTheBan and give people seeking asylum the right to work. Join them by signing the petition today:"

https://act.refugee-action.org.uk/page/29178/petition/1

[insert GIF from here

https://twitter.com/VOICESNetworkUK/status/1304353490601422848?s=20

See the BBC article from the 31st August 2020

Guilty until Proven Innocent – my detention experience

A loud bang on the door during a raid ….a sudden deprivation of liberty at a reporting centre…..DETENTION.

Unless you’ve experienced this, you’ll never really know the true face of UK Immigration.

For me, detention presented confusion, fear and anxiety. It opened a psychological wound which will take a long time to heal.