Many of you may have heard of the case of Mr Ifa Muaza, a Nigerian would-be refugee who has been on hunger strike in an immigration detention centre near London for close to 100 days and whom the Home Secretary nonetheless decided to deport last week, apparently by private chartered jet, which seemingly led to a 20-hour flight and return to England – as the plane was refused landing in Nigeria.
I wrote about Mr Muaza previously at Rights NI (this blog also sets out my own involvement with the detention centres as a caseworker at Bail for Immigration Detainees prior to working as an immigration adviser at Law Centre (NI), a job I held until earlier this year; I was also Chair of the Refugee Action Group in Belfast).
I think it is very important that all people willing and able in Northern Ireland show solidarity with Mr Muaza, whose fate is so very uncertain. If you feel able, then please sign the petition below by sending your first and family name (personal, not organisational) to me (Anna Morvern) at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your signature may be added then to the petition below. I’m afraid, due to other commitments, I may not be able to reply to emails other than signatures to that email address. I will ensure the petition is sent to Teresa May and copied to local politicians.
“In Northern Ireland, the following people would like to show solidarity with Mr Muaza, a courageous man who has experienced the brutality of government border control policies. We deplore both the inhumanity of government border control policies and the inhumanity of these policies in action which have kept Mr Muaza locked up in an immigration detention centre and seen an attempt to deport him to Nigeria during the advanced stages of his hunger strike. We call for Theresa May to resign.”
Seán Ó Muireagáin