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Stop the Removal of Sunny Michael

John O | 27.04.2009 10:39 | Migration | Social Struggles | Workers' Movements | Birmingham | World

[Sunny and a number of UK Nigerian families/individuals are due to be forcibly removed from the UK on a joint UK/Ireland 'Ethnic Charter Flight on Wednesday 29th April. Neither the potential deportees or their solicitors have been told which airport the plane is leaving from or who the carriers are.]

Sunny Michael is currently detained in Brook House IRC and due to be forcibly removed to Nigeria ( a country of which he is not a national) on a 'Ethnic Charter Flight' Flight PVToo7 @ 18:00 to Dublin then PVT008 to Lagos.

Sunny came to the UK from Sierra Leone in October 2000 to escape the fierce civil war raging in his country and claimed asylum on the basis of the dangers he faced.

These dangers were at that time recognised by the government as all asylum-seekers from Sierra Leone were given four years exceptional leave to remain (ELR) due to the civil war.

The Home Office, however, disputed that Sunny was from Sierra Leone and in January 2002 refused his asylum claim on that basis although Sunny never received a letter of refusal.

His appeal in March 2003 was treated as abandoned because Sunny did not attend but Sunny in fact knew nothing about the appeal hearing.

As a result of being refused asylum, Sunny was evicted from his house and had his welfare support withdrawn. This led to the breakdown of several personal relationships and Sunny subsequently became very depressed and suicidal. He turned to alcohol and during this time committed a number of criminal offences that were totally out of character. Sunny received a four year custodial sentence in January 2006.

During his time in prison, the Home Office informed Sunny of its intention to deport him. He was unable to find a solicitor to represent him and managed to lodge an appeal in April 2007 by himself that was set for June 2007. Sunny's request for an adjournment to enable him to find legal representation was refused.

At this June 2007 appeal hearing, the Home Office no longer disputed that Sunny was from Sierra Leone and his nationality was also accepted by the Immigration Judge in his determination. A deportation order was later signed in August 2007.

In November 2007 Sunny was deemed to have served his custodial sentence but instead of being released was transferred into immigration detention where he has been ever since on grounds that his deportation to Sierra Leone is 'imminent'.

After 17 months in detention, it is clear that Sunny's deportation has never been 'imminent'. This is because the Home Office has consistently failed to get travel documents from the Sierra Leone embassy and so it has detained Sunny 'indefinitely' in contravention of his human rights.

Five applications for bail have been turned down and Sunny has been detained in Dover for most of this time, a long way from his friends and supporters in Leeds.

In October 2008, the Home Office adopted a completely new line of argument - that Sunny was now a Nigerian national. It asked the Nigerian High Commission (NHC) to grant travel documents. Although the NHC initially refused on the basis that Sunny was not Nigerian, the Home Office now claims that the NHC has agreed to issue travel documents.

Incredibly, the sole basis for this u-turn is an over-the-phone language test with a controversial Swedish company in January 2009, they claim the Nigerian High Commission has now issued travel documents.

Sunny has since obtained a report from an independent expert witness, Professor Patrick, that rips apart the Sprakab testing methodology.

The report concludes: "I can only conclude that the analyst's report fails to address the primary linguistic issue with adequate expertise, scientific knowledge or valid methodology."

Sunny's legal representatives are challenging the lawfulness of his detention and deportation through the High Court and are currently attempting to get a Court Order to stop the removal.

Regardless of the legal attempt to stay the removal, we are asking people to E-mail/fax Phil Woolas Minister for Immigration to ask him to personally intervene and stay the removal.

What you can do to help:

Please send urgent E-mail/faxes immediately to Rt. Hon. Phil Woolas MP, Minister of State for Borders and Immigration asking that Sunny Michael be granted protection in the UK. Please use the attached "model letter" (SunnyMichaelPW.doc) which you can copy/amend/write your own version (if you do so, please remember to include his HO ref: M1080024).

Phil Woolas MP, Minister of State for Borders and Immigration

Fax: 020 8760 3132

Please let the campaign know of any emails/faxes sent:
Sunny Michael Campaign:

End of Bulletin:

Source for this Message:
Sunny Michael Campaign

John O
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Display the following 2 comments

  1. Good Luck and keep us in touch with what happens. — Concerned
  2. Sunny's removal cancelled — Sunny Michael campaign