Bita outside Downing Street.
Protesting outside the UK Home Office.
Confronting the Home Office.
She had been scheduled to be deported tonight (May 5th) from Heathrow Airport on flight BD931 to Imam Khomeini Airport, Tehran.
Despite a large body of evidence being submitted to the UK Home Office, and despite the High Court ruling that the Home Office had not considered all the evidence that had been submitted by her solicitor, Dave Gulbenkian, she had been stubbornly scheduled for deportation.
Yesterday afternoon during another day of phone calls, emails and submissions, the case was finally overturned by the ECHR and the UK Home Office were ordered to halt the deportation. Bita has now been told that she may re-submit her claim for asylum during a tribunal hearing on July 21st 2010.
Bita had been arrested at her home during a forced entry by UK Border Agency and police on 16th April 2010 and was then removed to Yarls Wood Detention Centre. She was very stressed during her ordeal and her partner Mohsen had become sick with worry. An initial deportation date was set for her to be removed on 20th April 2010, just four days later. Immediately, activists, friends and well-wishers began a campaign to ensure the deportation would be opposed, which was eclipsed by a volcanic ash cloud in Iceland which grounded all flights on the day in question. The very next day, airspace was again opened and a further deportation date was set for May 5th 2010.
Her solicitor, Dave Gulbenkian, filed a large body of evidence at the UK Home Office along with an injunction at the High Court. The UK Home Office ruled that there was 'no new evidence' to support Bita's case which was followed by a High Court ruling that the UK Home Office had failed to consider all the evidence submitted.
After a bout of phone calls and legal submissions yesterday, the European Court of Human Rights found that the deportation was unlawful and ordered the UK Home Office to cease. Her deportation then failed.
Throughout, activists all over the world have rallied to support Bita on social networking sites and forums, blogs and news-wires. Letters have been written and phone calls have been made. In a matter of weeks, her online petition setup to save her from return to Iran had swelled to over 3,700 signatures. From the date of her arrest, news results returned from the Google online search engine had risen to over 100,000. The British Embassy in Washingnton has been picketed and the UK Home Office in London has been protested against. The campaign to help save this woman has been truly international in scope and scale.
Save Bita Ghaedi from Deportation. Her own words...
Save Bita Ghaedi from deportation and certain execution.
Emergency, Bita Ghaedi arrested this morning.
Save Bita Ghaedi from Deportation, Home Office 19th April 2010 (Indymedia)
Bita Ghaedi Deportation Fails after massive campaign launched. 20th April 2010 (Indymedia)
Save Bita Ghaedi from Deportation, Home Office 30th April 2010 (Indymedia)
UNHCR chief urges European Union to set a positive example on refugee protection 30th April 2010.
Iran civil rights activist could face 'honour killing' if deported from UK May 4th 2010 Guardian