Press release from Rev. Lord Roberts of Llandudno – “Botched deportation” of Isa Muazu is “inhumane”

 

Rev. Lord Roberts of Llandudno has kindly permitted Detention Forum to publish a press release from his office. Lord Roberts has been selected to ask questions about the deportation of Isa Muazu in the House of Lords tomorrow. Please read the statement from his office below.

 

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT peer Rev. Lord Roberts of Llandudno has been selected to ask a question in the House of Lords on Wednesday about the deportation of Isa Muazu, which he says shows “a complete lack of competency at the very top levels of government”.

He will use an oral question in the Chamber asking the Government whether, in light of the case of Mr Muazu, it will clarify its policy in relation to the detention of immigration detainees who are seriously ill and refuse food and fluids.

Mr Muazu, who is Nigerian, is said to be near death following a hunger strike. He is now back in the UK after the Home Office flight deporting him had to turn around.

It is understood the Nigerian authorities did not clear the plane to land.

Lord Roberts, who speaks on asylum issues in the Lords, said tonight: “This botched deportation shows a complete lack of competency at the very top levels of government.

“It was seriously incompetent and inhumane for the Home Secretary and the Immigration Minister to put Isa on a plane considering his life-threatening state.

“It would be an unforgivable, ruthless act to force Isa to repeat such an agonising ordeal. His place is not on a chartered jet to Nigeria – it is in a reputable hospital where he may be cared for by medical professionals.”

Mr Muazu has been held in detention since he claimed asylum in July, saying he faced persecution from the hardline Islamist group Boko Haram.

Lord Roberts added: “There are still questions for Theresa May and Mark Harper to answer. The Government must immediately clarify its policy position in relation to the detention of immigration detainees who are seriously ill and refuse food and fluids.

“We must reject Theresa May’s insistence on creating a ‘hostile environment’ for immigrants. She must not be allowed to score political points when a man’s life hangs in the balance. We need an honest and urgent appraisal of the UK detention system – it must be firm when necessary, but it must also be fair.”

ENDS.

Notes to editors:

Isa (or Ifa) Muazu, a Nigerian man who is said to be “near death” following a hunger strike, is back in the UK after the Home Office flight deporting him had to turn around. Lawyers for Mr Muazu, who has refused food for more than 100 days, say he is back at Harmondsworth detention centre.

Lord Roberts’ topical oral question will be heard in the House of Lords on Wednesday, December 4 2013 at approximately 3pm.

Lord Roberts of Llandudno is a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords. He was educated at John Bright Grammar School in Llandudno, the University College of North Wales and Handsworth Methodist College, Birmingham. In 1957 he became a Methodist minister and was Superintendent Methodist Minister at Llandudno for 20 years. He is currently Vice-Chair or the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Migration and President of Liberal Democrats for Seekers of Sanctuary.

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