Stop risking lives: bring in crucial fire safety regs now; make the UK's tower blocks safe
As someone who lives on one of London's many estates, I recognise those who died in Grenfell as extended neighbours. I happen to work right next to Grenfell, and was haunted by the burnt out tower this morning on my way to a meeting. We cannot let this happen again. And yet, this is not the first time. A tragic fire at Lakanal House, Camberwell, on 3rd July 2009 cost us six lives. An inquest was held and its findings given in 2013, but only to a limited few, who have sat on the results all this time. Following the critical findings of the coroner's 2013 report on the earlier Lakanal fire, which highlighted issues that could have prevented Grenfell, we are asking for the immediate implementation of recommendations from that report. Some recommendations from the report's coroner include: use of fire resistant materials regular fire assessments providing residents with full instructions about what to do in the event of a fire At Lakanal, exterior panels that were not fire resistant were found to have caused the blaze to spread far quicker. It is becoming apparent that a similar issue may have caused the Grenfell tragedy. I will never forget the image of that hollowed-out building, now a skeleton on the skyline. Or the wreckage in the nearby children's play area, which I had passed so many times before. Grenfell is a place like so many across London, full of our neighbours, friends and families. We must demand more of the authorities, to protect us, and not let other people's interests, and financial considerations, cost lives.
Get Grenfell Tower victim's parents to the UK
After the horrific inferno fire that engulfed the residents of Grenfell Tower Mohammad Alhajali passed away by choking to death from the smoke. I have started this petition on behalf of Omar Alhajali as I am their family friend and would like to reunite them with their family. Mohammed al-Haj Ali was trapped inside London flat for two hours after being separated from his brother during the inferno. His brother Omar was taken to hospital after escaping and remained in contact with Mohammed, who was still trapped inside the flat. "The smoke is getting in, the smoke is getting in, we are going to die, we are going to die," were Mohammed's last words to his brother. Friends who were close to Mohammed told Middle East Eye that he was in contact with them till 5am. Before dying, Ali asked his friends to tell his family in Damascus that he loves them. After leaving Syria, he had not seen his family for five years and was forced to limit communication to ensure their safety amid the crackdown against the opposition. His parents are currently applying for an emergency visa to visit Omar their son in hospital and attend their son Mohammad's funeral. We need to get their voices heard to the Home Office so that we can persuade an acceptance of the visa. Please help us collect as many signatures as possible to get them to the UK
URGENT: Stop Deportation of Reza Maghsoudi (age 26)
Reza is a shy young man, who at the age of Thirteen (13) escaped the War in Afghanistan, trekked across Iran, Turkey and through Europe to England; where he arrived alone and with nothing but a handful of photographs. He’s built a life here but has been forced into a detention centre and could be deported to Afghanistan at any time. I have come to know Reza through the wide circle of friends he has built in Salisbury who were distressed at his treatment and his threatened deportation. Reza was born in 1990 in Afghanistan, close to the border with Iran. His family were of the Hazara ethnic group - a group that has been systematically oppressed and massacred by the Taliban. From this place of persecution and murder Reza escaped alone for the hope of freedom and life in England. Despite having no family to return to in Afghanistan, and despite having been in the UK since he was a child, and despite being a Hazara Shia Muslim at risk of murder by the Taliban, he has been refused asylum, been placed in detention and could be deported without your help! Now 26 years old, he has friends in England. He went to college, in Croydon, studying Mathematics and English, and was apprenticing voluntarily as a Tailor in Salisbury (Wiltshire) at no cost burden to the state, before he was arrested at a scheduled case meeting for deportation. I met with him this week in Tinsley House (Immigration Removal Centre), and had a really good conversation and took him some personal items; including some books by American author George R. R. Martin, which he had been reading. Due to the hard work of his friends, new solicitors, MPs who have taken up his cause, and signees of this petition, Reza’s deportation flight on Saturday 4th November, was cancelled in lieu of a Judicial Review. He is still at risk and we really need your help, so please keep up the pressure and spread the petition among your family and friends. Please sign this petition to change the decision to deport Reza and have him granted asylum. Reza’s Case ID: 014978534
Home Office: Grant this visa to save a young mum’s life
The girl in the picture above is May Brown. She’s 23 years old, married to a British ex soldier, she’s the mum of two-year old year old Selina May, and she’s spent the last year and a half battling Acute Myeloid Leukaemia.Doctors have said May’s only chance of survival is to receive a stem cell transplant from someone with a matching tissue type to her. Her Nigerian sister Martha is amazingly a 10 out of 10 match - but now the Home Office are refusing to give Martha a visa so she can come to the UK and give her sister the transplant she needs.The whole trip from Nigeria to the UK will be paid for by May but the Home Office are still saying “I am also aware [sic] your sponsor proposes to finance your proposed trip, but I must take into account your personal and economic circumstances in Nigeria when coming to my decision.” The visa refusal letter ends with “Given the above I am not satisfied that you are a genuine visitor and will leave the UK at the end of your visit or that you have sufficient funds available to cover your costs whilst in the UK without working or accessing public funds.” According to immigration rules it appears May’s sister Martha is too poor to visit England, and if she comes here she won’t leave.Martha has no intention of staying in the UK, her whole life is in Nigeria - she has two little kids who will be looked after by their Grandma whilst she is in the UK donating her bone marrow. All she wants to do here is save her sister’s life.I work for a blood cancer charity, the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust, and for the last 9 months we have been working with May. Doctors at May’s hospital have said they are “running out of time” to perform the transplant. Finding a 10 out of 10 stem cell match is incredibly rare, and having her sister come and do the transplant now is her only chance to ever get out of hospital and back home with her daughter.It is heartbreaking to see unfair bureaucratic red tape being put in the way of saving a young mum’s life.In hospital May said to me “Only a six hour journey will help save my life. My two year old daughter Selina needs me... To know my life isn't important to those who have the power to help me is deeply upsetting.”I have seen campaigns, like the one for Andrea Gada and Isaac Aganozor get the Home Office and UK Visa and Immigration to issue visas on compassionate grounds before. I know that with enough public pressure and support for this petition we can convince them to show compassion now.So please sign this petition and help us to get the decision by UK Visa and Immigration overturned. Please help us save May's life.
Please save Bashir, our 19 year old friend, from imminent deportation!
Bashir is a 19 year old boy who was trafficked to the UK at the age of 10 to escape the Taliban in Afghanistan. His father, a police officer, was murdered by the Taliban and his mother sold the family's land to pay traffickers to protect her little boy - it took Bashir a whole year to make the arduous trip to the UK. For the last 9 years, Bashir has lived in Cardiff within a loving foster family, accepted by and part of our UK society. He is fully integrated, westernised, has a loving long term relationship with the lovely Nicole (in the photo with Bashir) and speaks with a Cardiff accent! His Catholic school, Mary Immaculate Cardiff, fully support Bashir. He has no contact with his Afghan family and doesn't even know if they have survived.Bashir is a humble, gentle, kind young man who now attends college and is working hard to contribute fully to our British society. His life is here, his "family" is here, his safety is here. All those who make contact with him are struck by his gentle spirit and generosity to others. To send Bashir back to Afghanistan would be dangerous, callous and irresponsible - we simply fear for his life. As we accept child immigrants from Calais and offer them refuge we are expelling this young boy from our country. This child took refuge in our country nine years ago - please don't refuse him refuge now. He has no one to go to back in Afghanistan. Bashir is a Welsh boy - he is one of our own! Bashir is about to be deported in the next few days - please sign this petition to keep him home in Wales.
Ban Hezbollah in the UK in its entirety
Hezbollah is a Lebanese-based terrorist organisation banned throughout the world, including by the Arab League, United States, France and Israel, but not in the UK. This must change! Britain has only banned its "military" arm but not its "political" wing meaning there is a legal loophole that is currently allowing support for the organisation to grow. However Hezbollah, by its own admission, does not differentiate between its political and military wings. The flag, which features an assault rifle, is used for both. There is no difference! Hezbollah should be banned in the UK entirely. Hezbollah calls for Islamist revolution around the world, has carried out terror attacks for over 30 years, and calls for the “liberation of Jerusalem” and for the destruction of Israel. Backed by Iran, it has tens of thousands of rockets that can reach every city in Israel. Hezbollah is an anti-Israel, anti-West organisation that should NOT be allowed in Britain, yet on Sunday 18 June its supporters marched through central London flying Hezbollah flags. Organisers used the legal loophole to encourage protesters to carry the flag at the Al Quds march, which is an annual day created to call for the destruction of Israel. Enough is enough. If Britain is to genuinely say "no to terror" then all terrorist organisations must be banned without compromise. Following the Arab League and United States in proscribing Hezbollah is one simple step that the UK Government can take in ensuring that extremism will not be tolerated in this country. Therefore, we call upon the UK Government to ban Hezbollah in the UK in its entirety.
Restore visa-free travel for South Africans to the UK
Are you a South African living in the UK with family back home struggling to visit? A South African who would like to come to Britain? Or a South African business keen to do deals? Thousands each year are put off visiting because of the high UK visa costs. It wasn't always this way. Since 2008 South Africans have needed a UK visitor visa. This has caused great pressure on reuniting families and friends. A six-month visa now costs £87 (1,477 ZAR). As a result the numbers of South Africans visiting have dropped by a third (over 100,000). We want to restore visa-free travel and we need your help. There are 200,000 South Africans living in the UK and we want as many of you to sign our petition urging both the UK and South African governments to find a solution. Share with your friends and family so we can reach the 55m South Africans back home. Together, we will change government policy and help reunite thousands of South Africans. This campaign is organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society and in partnership with South African Chamber of Commerce UK, The South African, Sable International, Philip Gamble & Partners, the South African Diaspora United, and kindly supported and promoted by DA Abroad - UK.
UK Home Office: Deny asylum to corrupt Duarte's wife
Karime Macías Tubilla, the wife of former governor of Mexican state Veracruz Javier Duarte, has been reported to be living in London and claimed asylum for herself and her family arguing that she is being unfoundedly persecuted but we believe this is only a ploy to avoid justice. Javier Duarte entered Mexico's corruption hall of fame after having creamed off circa US$50 million through the award of contracts to over a hundred phantom companies and fled in an official helicopter, as reported in the media. Many individuals and organisations have demanded an investigation into Karime Macías after witnesses have come forward claiming that she was directly involved in these shell companies financial schemes. Veracruz government have declared her responsible for diverting public funds to buy properties abroad. If corruption, money laundering and involvement in organised crime were not reproachable enough, Veracruz became the most dangerous region in Mexico for journalists with 17 killed during Duarte's term. Moreover, his signature and most despicable wrongdoing was the provision of fake HIV tests and apocryphal medicines, close to distilled water, as chemotherapy to children with cancer. Please Home Office, do not take part in Mexico's long-reigning impunity and help us make them face justice by denying them asylum.
Accept child refugees from demolished Calais camp - #DubsNow
Over the last week, we have watched in horror at the demolition of the refugee camp by the French authorities and the distress this has caused many of the people who were living there. Contrary to the reporting in sections of the press, the ‘Jungle’ refugee camp remains inhabited by thousands of people including unaccompanied minors. Some of these children have been faced with the trauma of seeing their temporary homes destroyed - by fire or demolition. Volunteers in Calais are now reporting that there are a large number of unaccompanied children without access to shelter, regular food and water as a result of aid agencies being prevented from carrying out distributions in the camp. It is unacceptable that children are being put at risk by the destruction of the camp. This is happening due to a lack of foresight and political will by the British and French governments. We call on Home Secretary Amber Rudd to immediately act to safeguard the children evicted from the camp by bringing them safely to Britain under the Dubs Amendment.
Home Office refuses spouse visa for mother of two British toddlers
On the 1st September 2017 we were devastated to receive notice from the Home Office that my wife’s visa application for leave to remain in the UK was refused. I am a British citizen born in North Devon and our children are British citizens also. The refusal of Glenda’s visa poses harsh consequences on our emotional well-being and family stability as the Home Office neglects our right to live as a family as dictated by Article 8 of the 1998 Human Rights Act. The refusal letter came with an unimaginable ultimatum of either leaving the country within 14 days from the decision date, or appealing to the decision by which an immigration lawyer will cost nearly £4000. The stress of borrowing the money on top of facing having our family split apart is unbearable, in which the outcome could leave our children to struggle growing up in a broken family thousands of miles apart. The appeal was made and we wait anxiously to present our evidence in court on the 19th January 2018. We can hardly sleep at night all huddled together in the same bed embracing each memory as a family unit like they are the last. Knowing that the impending decision may force us apart or out of our ‘home’ country and back to an uncertain, unstable, and threatened future in my wife’s birthplace Guatemala where extreme violence has escalated over the past few decades to such that the United Nations have identified it as having the third highest murder rate on the entire planet. In the UK we have lived as a stable and loving family for the last 18 months. We are settled; our boys are going to nursery and have their family, friends, lives and futures here. To watch them develop in a safe environment, happy and free, without the threat of drugs cartels and extreme gang violence threatening their lives on a daily basis is what any parent would desire for their children, and the opportunities they have here in their home country is their right and what they deserve, as well as being able to grow up with both parents. This Home Office decision brings dread to all of our family knowing that we face being forcibly split apart, and neither of us can bear the thought of living without each other or away from our children. They are only toddlers and have no idea what is happening to us, but they are the main victims in this ordeal whose lives may be affected on such a large and negative scale. We have a facebook page with more details of our story, and we have set up this online petition to help gain public support of our appeal. So please click on the links and help us revoke the decision and allow Glenda to remain in the UK where our children and I need her, as part of our family, united, strong, and a loving unit to support each other throughout our lives.