Following the recent disappearance of Lufu Ndombasi after he was deported to the Democratic Republic of Congo, anti-deportation campaigners have launched a petition to stop a Home Office charter flight to Kinshasa in August.
The statement reads:
‘We protest in the strongest possible terms at the plans to deport failed asylum seekers en bloc to the Democratic Republic of Congo on 30 August 2007 (“Operation Castor”).
The situation in DR Congo remains grave for returned asylum seekers. Indeed, it is precisely because of such concerns about the fate of returned asylum seekers, including, many experts argue, the very real risk of torture or death, that the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal is currently reconsidering the country guidance advice. The decision on this case is not expected to be heard until at least 17 September.
Further evidence of extreme concern over the fate of returned asylum seekers to the Democratic Republic of Congo is expressed in Early Day Motion 1729, signed by 53 MPs, and the High Court decision of Mr Justice Walker on 24 May 2007 (High Court Ref: CO/8351/2006) that an asylum seeker should not be returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo whilst the tribunal is still considering the evidence.
The planned deportations to the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 30 August are of particular concern, coming as they do before the tribunal’s decision on the country guidance issued by the Home Office.
We therefore ask urgently for the home secretary to reconsider and to stop the planned deportations scheduled for 30 August, cancel the charter flight and not carry out any removals to the Democratic Republic of Congo before the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal’s decision.’
This statement has been launched by Flores Sukula of the Sukula Family Must Stay campaign and is supported by the Refugee Council, Liberty, Bolton National Union of Teachers, National Union of Journalists, Refugee Action and the National Assembly Against Racism.
IRR news story: Another deportation charter flight to DR Congo