Stop the deportations to Zimbabwe
Stop the deportations to Zimbabwe
This petition is hosted by BARAC UK but brought by all the additional organisations listed at the end.
As a community we are gravely concerned about the impending deportation/removal flight to to Zimbabwe by the UK Home Office.
Since 5th July 2021, the Home Office enforcement unit has been detaining large numbers of people for the purpose of deporting/removing them on chartered flights - the first of which is scheduled to depart on Wednesday 21st July 2021.
The government is arguing that some of those on the flight need to be removed as a result of their criminal record. This fails to take into account that they have already served their sentences and have likely spent a significant amount of time in detention with no time limit. Deportation amounts to a triple punishment.
Many of those being removed will have lived in the UK since they were children or may have even been born in the UK. They have children and marriages here in the UK, are valued members of local communities including trustees with charities, volunteers, workers, campaigners, trade unionists, artists and musicians. The UK is home.
This process also fails to take into account that structural racism is present within the Home Office, from the criminalisation of asylum seekers to the disproportionate policing of black communities. The Home Office also has a long and chaotic history of incorrect decision making, resulting in numerous people wrongly placed in detention or on removal flights.
Most disturbing about this move by the Home Office is that it shows no regard for the fact that the deportees’ lives are in danger when they get to Zimbabwe. In addition, the flight may be the result of a bilateral arrangement between the notorious government of Zimbabwe and the government of the United Kingdom. The clandestine and sinister nature of the operation, and the speed at which it is being executed, is designed to give anyone scheduled for removal little to no chance of access to legal representation.
The government of Zimbabwe has an atrocious human rights record, including cases of state sponsored murder, abductions, enforced disappearances, torture, rape, excessive pre-trial incarceration and general persecution of those perceived to be enemies of the state. In this category fall members of opposition political parties, human rights activists, journalists and the diaspora community. Members of the diaspora community in particular may be accused of being “sell outs”, mainly because they publicly speak out against the human rights violations of the repressive Zimbabwean government state agencies and the ruling party, ZANU-PF. As a result, they may be at risk of persecution as they are considered to have exposed the Zimbabwean government’s ugly human rights record to the international community.
It is our considered view that the deportees face imminent danger if they are removed to Zimbabwe.
For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to draw attention to a dossier of human rights violations by the Mnangagwa regime since he ascended to power on the back of a military coup in November 2017. In a short space of time, Emmerson Mnangagwa has outperformed his notorious predecessor, Robert Mugabe, in persecuting perceived enemies of the state who happen to be innocent and unarmed civilians of all walks of life. The dossier can be accessed via the following hyperlink;- https://rohr-zimbabwe.org/index.php/2020/07/19/rohr-zimbabwe-dossier-on-human-rights-violations-in-zimbabwe-from-nov-2017-july-2020-pdf-version/ .
More recent records of human rights violations by the government of Zimbabwe, can be accessed via the monthly reports by ZimRights or on the 2021 ZimRights monthly reports for June, April, March, February and January.
We urge the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the Home Office to immediately stop deportations/removals to Zimbabwe. We also ask all residents of the United Kingdom to support the Zimbabwean community in the United Kingdom to oppose these deportations/removals.
The BLM movement has shown that we must challenge systemic discrimination in all instances, and this must include the standing up for the rights of black migrants and refugees.
This Petition is supported by:
- Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) Zimbabwe
- Zimbabwe Human Rights Organization (ZHRO)
- Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants (LGSMigrants)
- Right To Remain
- Voice for Voiceless Immigration Detainees Yorkshire
- BARAC UK
- Actors For Human Rights
- Bail for Immigration Detainees
- Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants