Emma Ginn | 10.04.2008 03:15 | Migration
Olivier Mmounda a Nyam, who has sickle cell anaemia, was "snatched" in a "dawn raid" on 28th March at his home in Leeds and taken to Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) for removal to Cameroon.
"I have been a victim of injustice by the Home Office and feel my case has not been considered fairly but rather as if it is a lottery. I know my life will be in danger if I am forced to return to the Cameroon"
Olivier Mmounda a Nyam
Olivier was to be taken from Colnbrook back to Leeds on the 2nd of April to see his consultant but became too ill to travel to Leeds and was taken to nearby Hillingdon Hospital. Olivier said he had two detention custody guards at his hospital bedside who he alleges prevented him from making phone calls. A few days later he was taken from hospital back to Colnbrook where he remains.
Olivier was told that he would be removed on Monday 7th April. It was later confirmed that this removal would not go ahead on that date, but that a new date would be set as soon as possible.
Olivier was detained in January of this year and the stress caused him to suffer a sickle cell crisis. The Home Office had to call an ambulance and Olivier recovered in hospital. Since then Olivier has had repeated admissions to hospital related to his sickle cell disease, still suffers much illness and is clearly unfit to fly.
In February this year, Olivier self-harmed by overdosing on painkillers and the medication he takes for tuberculosis. This resulted in him being hospitalised again and the Leeds General Infirmary Self-Harm Unit was involved. Olivier had left a note indicating he intended to self-harm.
"Travel by air is normally contraindicated in the following cases: ...sickle-cell disease"
World Health Organisation
"A particularly severe form of anaemia is sickle cell disease, which may be exacerbated by reduced oxygen pressures. Because such a crisis could be life-threatening, such patients should be advised not to travel by air without medical oxygen."
Medical Guidelines for Airline Travel, 2nd ed., Aerospace Medical Association, Medical Guidelines Task Force, Alexandria, VA
Olivier fled persecution in Cameroon in January 2007 and settled in Leeds where he is supported by members of Leeds Medsin (a group of medical students who campaign on local and global matters of health inequity), supporters from his church in Armley, Leeds No Borders and friends from his English classes (Common Conversation at the Common Place and St. George's Church English classes.) His supporters held a demonstration at Waterside Court immigration reporting centre in Leeds on Friday 25th January to show support for Olivier when he was threatened with removal.
Olivier feels his life will be in serious danger if he is removed to Cameroon due to inadequate medical care. He is also fearful of persecution because he spoke out against the Cameroonian government's mistreatment of sickle cell sufferers.
"The government's human rights record remained poor, and it continued to commit numerous human rights abuses. Security forces committed numerous unlawful killings. They engaged in torture, beatings, and other abuses, particularly of detainees and prisoners. Impunity was a problem in the security forces."
U.S.A: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - Cameroon 2007
Please help Olivier, who was not even fit to travel to Leeds, let alone to Cameroon.
Olivier's story was covered in the Yorkshire Evening Post in February
What you can do to help:
Send faxes to Rt. Hon. Jacqui Smith, Secretary of State for the Home Office asking that she now releases Olivier Mmounda a Nyam from immigration detention and that he be granted status in the UK. You can use the model letter OlivierJS.doc which you can copy/amend/write your own version (if you do so, please remember to include the HO ref M1345900).
Fax: 020 8760 3132 If you are faxing from outside UK - Fax: 20 8760 3132
Please notify the Olivier Must Stay Campaign of any faxes sent.
Harriet Burn - 07849 965003 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Source for this Message:
Olivier Must Stay Campaign