Monday, 21 May 2012

Stop the Deportation of Bernard Mboueyeu

Information and text c/o the National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns: 

Bernard Mboueyeu is a national of Cameroon and a resident of Sheffield where he lives with his family. He is currently in immigration detention and due to be forcibly removed from the UK on Kenya Airways flight KQ101 from Heathrow at 20:00 hrs today Monday 21st May. Please help us fight to stop his deportation.

Bernard fled Cameroon in 2007 after he was set upon by President Biya's security forces, for taking photographs of students being brutally beaten during protests in 2006 - he was working for a newspaper in southern Cameroon at the time. He was arrested, stripped naked, beaten up and detained for forty days. He was further persecuted by the authorities for supporting a political group opposed to the brutal ruling regime.

Bernard came to the UK in 2007 and married Sheffield woman, Sharon, a charity worker, in 2010. Sharon and Bernard have set up home in Wincobank. Whilst in Sheffield, Bernard has played a significant role in the local community as a volunteer with the Royal Society for the Blind, Aspire, Rainbow End charity shop. Bernard has also been involved with raising money for different charities.
Despite their marriage, the Home Office have demanded Bernard return to Cameroon to apply for a spouse's visa.

Bernard has offered to return voluntarily to Cameroon if the Home Office guarantees his safety but the Home Office have refused to make that guarantee. If Bernard returns to Cameroon he could be detained, face torture, or locked up indefinitely and may never return to his wife Sharon in Sheffield.

Cameroon does not have a particularly rosy history of human rights:

"Human rights abuses included security force killings; security force torture, beatings, and other abuses, particularly of detainees and prisoners; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; and arbitrary arrest and detention of citizens advocating secession, local human rights monitors and activists, persons not carrying government-issued identity cards, and others. There were incidents of prolonged and sometimes incommunicado pretrial detention and of infringement on privacy rights. The government harassed and imprisoned journalists, restricted freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and association, and impeded freedom of movement. Official corruption was pervasive at all levels. Societal violence and discrimination against women, female genital mutilation (FGM), trafficking in persons (primarily children), and discrimination against pygmies and gays and lesbians occurred. The government restricted worker rights and the activities of independent labor organizations. Child labor, hereditary servitude, and forced labor, including forced child labor, were problems."
Source: USA Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

Equally, Tawanda Hondora, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for Africa said: Cameroon has a horrendous record of gross human rights violations, including torture and killings, against dissidents and members of opposition. Political opposition is not tolerated in Cameroon. Any dissent is suppressed through either violence or abuse of the legal system to silence critics."

We - family, friends, Sheffield Campaign to Defend Asylum Seekers (CDAS) and other groups of supporters - are campaigning to keep Bernard in the UK. High profile politicians have today come our in support of Bernard's right to stay in the UK. Please help keep Bernard safe in Sheffield. 

What you can do to help
(please let the campaign know of any actions taken, Kath Grant:

1) Email/Fax/Phone Kenya Airways
Urge him not to carry out the forced removal of Bernard Mboueyeu. Due to be forcibly removed from the UK on Kenya Airways flight KQ101 from Heathrow at 20:00 hrs today Monday 21st May. Either use the model letter provided, or write your own.
Put as much pressure on this airline as you can, to make them consider if it's worth the damage to their reputation to continue as one of UKBA's deportation airlines. E-mail: contact@kenya-airways.comFax: 020 8745 5027  (Or from outside the UK + 44 20 8745 5027)Phone: 020 8759 7366  (Or from outside the UK + 44 20 8759 7366)

2) Email/Faxing Theresa May, Home SecretaryAsk her to exercise her discretionary powers to stay the removal and release Bernard Mboueyeu from detention and to grant him protection in the UK.  Either use the model letter provided, or write your own. Please remember to quote Bernard's Home Office Reference number D1142549 in any correspondence.
Rt. Hon Theresa May MP
Secretary of State for the Home Office,
2 Marsham St
Fax: 020 7035 4745

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