Calais Migrant Solidarity | 08.03.2010 22:15
Home office Ref: K1307066/2
Benjamin was known to many Calais Migrant Solidarity activists when he was in Calais last September / October. Benjamin was interviewed by the BBC last September.
Hussein Karimyon, known as Benjamin to his friends was detained on Tuesday 2nd March 2010 whilst reporting at the Home Office in Glasgow. He was given removal directions to Greece for this coming Wednesday, 10th March.
His flight details are, 08:00 on British Airways flight BA640.
Hussein is a 37-year old man from Iran who has been in the UK since October 2009. He fled his home country after being imprisoned and tortured for 1 ½ years for being a member of the Gaben – Mali (International Front Party). Hussein could be again in serious danger if returned to Iran.
Hussein was tortured not only in Iran but also in Greece, where he was imprisoned in 2 different places for 3 months. During this time he was beaten and denied essential medication. HE HAS STATED THAT HE WOULD RATHER DIE THAN BE SENT BACK TOG REECE, WHICH IS WHERE THE HOME OFFICE ARE PLANNING TO REMOVE HIM TO ON WEDNESDAY. Hussein suffers from many health problems due to his mistreatment and is reliant on heart medication (which was previously confiscated during his time in Greece). Since being in Glasgow he has been to hospital 3 times, for treatment of spinal problems, loss of eye sight and fainting.
Hussein is challenging the removal under rule 39 of the ECtHR Rules of the Court . Recently, there has been an increase in the number of cases in which the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has, under its Rule 39, instructed State governments not to carry out Dublin transfers (1.). Greece is one of the countries to which numerous Dublin transfers have been halted by the ECtHR. Numerous concerns have been raised about the situation for asylum seekers in Greece. In December 2009, the UNCHR stated that they had ‘no choice but to continue to recommend against transfers to Greece under the Dublin II Regulation or otherwise’ until reforms were made to procedures (2.) A report by Human Rights Watch also raised concerns about the asylum procedure, and the potential human rights abuses faced by people transferred under the Dublin Regulations, concluding that ‘Greece has taken the approach of using noxious detention conditions, procedural obstacles to lodging claims, and illegal summary removals and abusive police and Coast Guard conduct to deter asylum seekers from entering Greece or, if they do succeed in entering, to dissuade them from staying or from seeking asylum there’ (3.). The report also highlighted the risk of return to countries of origin through indirect refoulement (4.).
In February 2009, a report by Human Rights Commissioner Hammarberg carried considerable weight with the Court, who made a judgement against Greece in for unlawful detention of a Turkish asylum applicant. It ruled that Greece had violated article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights through arbitrary detention and lack of legal remedy, and article 3 in that the conditions of detention amounted to degrading treatment. (5.). Sending Hussein to Greece would mean a very real threat of human rights abuses, and of removal to Iran.
In a case heard in the House of Commons on 2nd March 2010 Mr Ivan Lewis stated that “Iranian authorities continue to suppress legitimate protest, restrict civil liberties and threaten violence, even execution, to silence dissent, but the Iranian people continue to demand their fundamental rights. We urge the authorities to respect the right of their citizens to be heard… Amnesty International says that it is the worst human rights situation for 20 years" (6.). To send Hussein back to Iran is a death sentence.
Hussein's life will be in serious danger, as will the life of his family, if he is returned to Iran.
Myself and many other activists know Hussein from his time spent sleeping rough in Calais. While in Calais, Hussein instigated a hunger strike against the level of repression he faced, and to highlight the life-threatening situation he was in. The hunger strike was violently stopped by the French riot police and Hussein was put into a detention centre in Calais.
Hussein has many friends in the UK and has begun a life in Glasgow, where he is attending English classes, is a regular member of a church, and is an active member of the community. He has travelled for many years to reach the UK, being persecuted along the way, and we ask that he is given the opportunity to make his asylum claim in the UK. He came to the UK through Calais and is known well to people from the Unity Centre, the Migrant English Project and Calais Migrant Solidarity. His solicitor has been unable to visit him as he has been moved from the detention centre in Glasgow to Manchester, and is due to be moved to London today. His representatives have had little time to prepare a case.
Please help by contacting the Home Secretary asking that Hussein’s flight be stopped and that he be released from detention immediately.
What can you do?
1) Contact British Airways to stop the flight. Please quote flight number BA640 to Athens , Greece, on Wednesday 10th March 08.00.
Email/Phone Willie Walsh, Chief Executive Officer British Airways and urge him not to carry out deportation flights, including the forced removal of Hussein Karimyon.
Please do not remove Hussein Karimyon Ref K1307066/2, due to be forcibly removed from the UK on Wednesday 8 March 2010 @ 08:00 on British Airways flight BA640.
Customer Relations phone: 0844 493 0 787 Monday-Friday 08:00-18:30 (hold line till operator answers)
2) Contact Alan Johnson, Home Secretary, asking him to exercise his discretionary powers to stop the flight, to release Hussein Karimyon from detention and to grant him protection in the UK. A letter is attached If you are writing your own letter or email, please include Home Office Reference number: K1307066/2
Phone: +44 (0)20 7035 4848 or 0870 606 7766
Fax: + 44 (0)20 7219 5856 and (0)20 8760 3132
By Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
1. ECtHR Interim Measures (Rule 39) to stop Dublin transfers 19 Jun 2009 http://cmr.jur.ru.nl/cmr/docs/ecre.rule39.pdf
2. UNCHR ‘Observations on Greece as a country of asylum’ December 2009 http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/refworld/rwmain?docid=4b4b3fc82&page=search.
3. Stuck in a Revolving Door, Human Rights Watch, November 2008 http://www.hrw.org/en/node/76211/section/1
4. Stuck in a Revolving Door, Human Rights Watch, November 2008 http://www.hrw.org/en/node/76211/section/14