Detainee starts hunger strike after deportation lynching
[ Press Release 21/03/2012 ]
A Congolese man has gone on hunger strike to demand his release from an Immigration Removal Centre near Heathrow Airport.
Daniel Ngonga Nsevelo, 29, claims he was savagely beaten by private guards aboard a Kenya Airways flight during an abortive attempt to deport him last month (24/02/2012).
“Because he refused to go on the flight they badly beat him, stamping on his whole body and on his head,” said Mr Nsevelo’s sister Isabelle, adding: “His neck’s swollen because they also strangled him. This isn’t the first time.”
Daniel was born in the Congo but fled with his parents to Angola to escape the murderous civil war aged just 3 years old. The family later sought safety from war-torn Angola, fleeing to the UK when Daniel was 8.
He is currently being held in indefinite detention at the Colnbrook Immigration Removal Center, a high security detention site nicknamed ‘The Cooler’ by some Border Agency officials .
Activists from the ‘Stop Deportation Network’ have pledged to support Daniel’s action. “We are inspired by Daniel’s courage to go on hunger strike. Though his protest puts him at risk of further victimization and isolation by the immigration authorities. We demand Daniel’s immediate release and the end to violent deportation,” said Alex Thomlinson, a spokesperson for the group.
The tragic death of fellow asylum seeker, Jimmy Mubenga, at the hands of private guards in October 2010, quickly brought the business of deportation into the public eye . Jimmy and Daniel were in detention together in 2008 and became close friends.
Daniel now fears a similar fate to Mubenga claiming he has been violently assaulted three times during nine separate deportation attempts. On one occasion he says he was even bitten by the escort.
Contact: Stop Deportation Network
Please send messages of support for Daniel to firstname.lastname@example.org
“Daniel keep it up we are with you in the struggle”
“You are in our prayers”
1. Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre was referred to as ‘The Cooler’ in this article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2046938/Secret-diary-Labour-Immigration-Minister-rails-Human-Rights-Act.html
2. Jimmy Mubenga death: prosecutor weighs up whether to charge G4S security guards http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/mar/16/jimmy-mubenga-decision-due