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Free Evenia Mawongera - stop the deportation

Campaign for Evenia Mawongera | 11.07.2013 12:56 | Anti-racism | Migration | Social Struggles | Birmingham | World

Evenia, who has lived in the UK for 10 years and whose children are British citizens, has been detained by the UK Border Agency awaiting possible deportation to Zimbabwe. We cannot allow this to happen. Support the campaign, sign the petition!

Evenia Mawongera is 55 years old. She lives in Leicester and is from Zimbabwe. She plays a very active role in the local community and has been living in Leicester with her daughters and grandchildren, all of whom have been British citizens, for close to 10 years.

Although her daughters and grandchildren are British citizens, Evenia is an asylum seeker and has been in the asylum system for the past 5 years. As part of asylum conditions, Evenia regularly reported to the UKBA reporting station in Loughborough. However, on Friday 5 July 2013, while reporting to UKBA, she was detained and held at Loughborough Police Station. From there, she was transferred to Yarl's Wood Immigration Detention Centre in Bedford pending removal to Zimbabwe.

Evenia is a member of the Zimbabwe Association Choir and is one of the people who performed for the Queen when she visited Leicester at the start of her Diamond Jubilee. In addition to that, Evenia is a member of the United Methodist Church where she plays an active role in her local parish. Evenia is also actively involved in the tailoring and crafts projects that are organised and run by Leicester City of Sanctuary.

If the Home Office sends her back to Zimbabwe, Evenia is at risk of arrest, persecution and extremely serious ill-treatment because of the work she has been doing with groups like the Zimbabwe Vigil and ROHR that are calling on the authorities in Zimbabwe to respect human rights and the rule of law. She will also attract adverse attention from the authorities in Zimbabwe because of her participation in performances by the Zimbabwe Association Choir.

Under Zimbabwean law, it is a criminal offence to make any statement criticising, ridiculing or expressing contempt towards the President. However, Evenia appears in a number of videos in which she and other members of the Zimbabwe Association Choir sing songs in which they do just that. An example of one of these songs is "Zvinondirwadza" is accessible on YouTube.

Evenia’s solicitor is in the process of submitting an application asking the courts to review the Home Office's decision to remove Evenia from the United Kingdom.

We ask that Evenia be released from detention immediately. We ask that she be allowed to stay with her daughters and grandchildren until the courts have made a decision on her application for judicial review.

In the meantime, please support Evenia by signing the petition (just click on the link, raising the issue with your MP and spreading the word about Evenia's situation.

Campaign for Evenia Mawongera
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