Police clash with dawn siege at Heathrow migrant jail over hunger-striker deportation row
Updated Press Release – 7.20am -29 November 2013
Supporters of Nigerian hunger-striker Isa Muazu are blocking access to Harmondsworth detention centre (outside Heathrow) to stop his deportation scheduled for 8 am. A man super-glued his hand to the detention centre main gate at 4am, flanked by a crowd of 15 steely campaigners. A specialist police unit took several hours to remove the glue. The man was arrested at 7am.
Detention centre guards initially used dogs and pressure points but failed to ward off the early bird demonstration. Supporters feared the Home Office was about to move Muazu to the airport at the crack of dawn.
A private jet is reported to be on standby, but critics say he is too weak to survive the flight, having refused food for nearly 100 days. Muazu’s case is a cause célèbre, with eminent actors and artists delivering a letter to Home Secretary Theresa May yesterday demanding she show clemency on his case. Campaigners in Glasgow protested outside the Air Charter Scotland HQ yesterday, calling on the company not to operate Muazu’s deportation flight.
Isa Muazu’s injunction was refused around midnight. His solicitor is understood to be launching an appeal.
A spokesperson for the group, Jane Simmonds, 24, from Clapham, commented “Why has it even got this far? The Home Office should never have considered deporting Isa given his medical condition. The legal process has been hijacked by Theresa May’s hard-line politics. Campaigners were left with no option apart from physically blocking the deportation in the early hours of this morning”.
Media coverage of Isa Muazu’s case