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Release Lee from Immigration Detention back into the Glasgow community where he belongs

This petition had 1,161 supporters

Chee Wee Lee (HO Ref: L1445603) was detained unexpectedly a few weeks ago when reporting at the Glasgow Home Office Reporting Centre on Brand Street. Without warning, all of the sudden, Lee was ripped from the life he has been building in Glasgow. He was not permitted to get any belongings and was taken directly to Dungavel Detention Centre where he remains locked up today. Lee was detained shortly after being informed that he was not given appeal rights to continue with his case to the next judicial level. We want Lee to be returned to the Glasgow community where he belongs.

Lee was released from this same detention centre last year after his solicitor successfully submitted his claim for asylum to the UK Home Office. Since being returned to Dungavel staff and other detainees are asking him why he is back so quickly; most seem surprised and many are concerned. We have noticed a pattern that has been emerged regarding detainees who have been released from detention of late whereby their cases are treated particularly harshly and go through the system quicker than those individuals who have not been detained in the past. We have also noticed particular speed when re-detaining individuals who have previously fought for their release and been successful. This is what has happened to our friend.

Since being released 6 months ago Lee has made a full and complete life within the Glasgow community. Lee has been volunteering twice a week at the Govan Community Bike Workshop where he helps to transform donated bicycles to be given to destitute asylum seekers who often rely on this as their only means of transport. Lee was planning to help this group restructure and due to his commitment they were going to be able to open an extra day per week. Lee was planning to attend the bike workshop the Saturday following his detention and also missed an important ride he had planned with another volunteer. Upon visiting Lee, the following Sunday, he was concerned and apologetic for not being able to make these commitments. Lee also regularly helps and encourages individuals less confident using bicycles - promoting sustainability and well-being.

On the days he was not volunteering at the Bike Workshop, Lee was volunteering at a Charity Shop on Paisley Road West, including weekdays and Sundays. Here, he has also made a lot of friends who are all asking and wondering how he is and when he will be able to come back. During the week, Lee would also pop in regularly to The Unity Centre, where he would help out with translating. Lee took on all of these roles willingly and out of the goodness of his heart. In total, he worked more hours than any other volunteer and he expected nothing in return.

There is no doubt that Lee is a hard-worker and that he has been completely giving to the Glasgow community by taking on numerous roles and tasks. Lee also managed to attend college classes and enjoys keeping busy. At present, he has even started cleaning inside the Dungavel Detention Centre in order to contribute and keep active. Lee takes on commitments and responsibilities readily. He played a vital role in delivering many community events while he was in Glasgow, including a Winter Family Fun Day, where he led activities, organised distribution of food, set-up the space and cleaned up at the end of the day. Lee was also planning to be involved in upcoming events to be organised with the Forestry Commission and was going to teach participants how to fish with home-made traps. We were all greatly looking forward to learning this new skill from him.

In all the many projects Lee became integral to have and we all got very close with him. We got to know him as a person and connected with him deeply. We are all concerned for his well-being and safety and want him to remain with us in Glasgow. We want him to be released immediately from Dungavel and be returned to his home and where he belongs. At all of the community projects there is a gaping hole that simply cannot be filled by anyone else's presence.

Lee has done nothing but contribute positively to the Glasgow community, make friends and build deep roots here. His home is here, his friends are here and his life is here. Please join us in asking the Home Office to seriously consider their position on detaining Lee and releasing him from detention immediately whereby he will continue with his application to remain in the UK.

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Unity Centre needs your help with “Theresa May, UK Home Secretary: Release Lee from Dungavel Detention back into the Glasgow community where he belongs”. Join Unity and 1,160 supporters today.