29 Nov 2013
Last-ditch legal challenge and appeals for clemency for Isa Muazu failed
Lawyers worked through the night in an attempt to stop hunger striker, Isa Muazu’s, deportation from the UK this morning. In the early hours, an appeal judge also rejected the injunction request. Lawyers have stated that they will consider an out of country appeal.
Isa was due to have been deported on a private jet today at 8am, there has been no confirmation yet that he has taken been forcibly deported from the UK but supporters are unable to get through to him on the phone.
Lord Roberts, who intends to raise the case in the House of Lords next week, said:
“Isa Muazu’s removal from the UK and potential death on a flight or upon arrival in Nigeria is not only a tragedy but an end to the UK’s reputation as a country with humane, civilised, just policies and government. Theresa May must consider her position and her immigration control policies. Looking ‘tough’ on immigration simply must not descend to the low of allowing people to die to score a political point. We urgently need to review the systems of immigration detention, ‘fast track’ and enforced removal.”
Over 120 people attended a vigil for Isa Muazu last night outside the Home Office on hearing the news of Isa’s deportation one of the organisers, Nancy Maller said:
“Whether Isa Muazu dies on British or Nigerian soil, it has been the viciousness and inherent injustice of the UK’s immigration system that will have killed him. After Jimmy Mubenga’s death on a forced deportation flight, many said ‘never again’ but it has happened today in slow motion. This is a precedent setting moment in which the Home Office have failed to listen to pleas of mercy, justice, independent medical experts and legal arguments in order to show that they are tough on immigrants. In flexing their muscles, they have shown how truly cruel and inhumane this government is.”
Toufique Hussain, solicitor from Duncan Lewis said:
“The Home Secretary went to great lengths to remove this seriously ill man from the UK. She didn’t allow him an in country right of appeal against his asylum refusal; at massive expense to tax payers she, hired a private charter plane to remove Mr Muazu to Nigeria today – no other returnee was on the plane; for the out of hours injunction she instructed Queen’s counsel to make submissions. The court was not willing to intervene at such a late stage. We do not know how Mr Muazu is as we lost contact with him late last night. We fear for his safety now on return but we will be looking at pursuing further appeals if we do make contact with him in Nigeria. He should not have been removed from the UK.”
Kate Blagojevic, from Detention Forum said: “We are devastated for Isa and fear for his life on the flight and his return to Nigeria. It is unacceptable that the Home Office have been so resistant to independent medical advice and appeals for clemency from human rights NGOs, academics, lawyers and cross party politicians. This is just one example of the inhumanity of the UK’s immigration system; there are many more. We call on the government urgently to find alternatives to detaining migrants indefinitely that ruins lives.”
Photos from vigil are here http://guy-smallman-photos.photoshelter.com/gallery/Isa-Muazu-Vigil-28-11-13/G0000B9wKczPxM3U