Petition update

#Jamaica50 deportations in breach of equality and human rights law and risks death from Covid-19

ZITA HOLBOURNE
LONDON, ENG, United Kingdom

Nov 24, 2020 — 

Dear Supporter

Thank you so much to the 149808 of you who have signed. The situation is getting really urgent now and we still need your support with some actions. 

This injustice has received international media interest.

Yesterday I did an interview with CVM TV News in Jamaica, you can watch it here: https://www.cvmtv.com/tag/zita-holbourne/

Also The Canary did a story on it too: https://www.thecanary.co/uk/analysis/2020/11/22/priti-patel-is-at-the-centre-of-another-growing-storm/

I have spoken to families who are going through terrible levels of distress because their loved ones have been targeted. The inhumanity of separating families in this way has been successfully challenged in the European Court of Human Rights:

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/nov/24/deportation-of-man-with-children-in-uk-was-disproportionate-court-rules?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other

Deporting a Nigerian man who has a criminal record but whose children live in Britain, was “disproportionate” and not “necessary in a democratic society” the Court of Human Rights ruled. Separating children from parents in this way is a breach of Article 8 and the right to family life.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission have just concluded an investigation into the Home Office and found that in the implementation of hostile environment policies the Home Office has failed to comply with  equality legislation and the Public Sector Equality Duty  and that they repeatedly ignored negative consequences with a general lack of commitment to equality by the Home Office. 

They have made a series of recommendations which include acting early to assess equality impacts. 

The actions of the Home Office right now are not compliant with the Public Sector Equality Duty - these deportations discriminate on grounds of race  and other protected characteristics under the equality act which may include age, gender and disability in addition to race. 

They have ignored the fact that black people are up to 4 times more likely to contract and die of coronavirus and they should be carrying out equality impact assessments as well as individual risk assessments in the context of coronavirus. Instead shockingly, I  have  seen a letter sent by the Home Office to the courts which not only confirms they will deport up to 50 people on this flight - when you factor in the fact they are shackled to two security guards per person this is a full flight with no social distancing, they have also said that they will deport people even if they have coronavirus symptoms but claim they will keep those  who are symptomatic separate from those who are not - this is impossible to do on a full flight shackled to two other people and puts everyone at risk from the spread of the virus  and risks lives - especially given black people are in the high risk group and other factors such as age, gender and medical conditions/ disabilities may mean some are at even higher risk. This is not just a breach of equality law but of human rights.

Here are some urgent actions for you to take:

1. Please tweet @ukhomeoffice and state that they are failing to comply with equality legislation and a recent ruling in the European Court of  Human Rights .  

2. Tweet the Equality and Human Rights Commission @EHRC  and the European Court of Human Rights @ECHR_CEDH  with a link to this update telling them that @ukhomeoffice are breaching equality and human rights law.

3. Tweet your local MP calling them to take action.

Use the hashtag #Jamaica50 

Thank you for your support and actions to date. 

Kind Regards

 

Zita

 

Zita Holbourne

On behalf of BARAC UK and BAME Lawyers for Justice 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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