Wigan School Kids
Councillors and teachers joined pupils from St Thomas More RC High School and St. Cuthbert's Primary School as read they out letters they have written to Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and sang "Give Peace a Chance". They demanded that the Hata family are returned to their home in Wigan from Uganda whilst their solicitor continues to make representations on their behalf.
"Peace Kasonko [Sarah's 11 year old daughter] is in the same class as my ten year old daughter" explained Ruth Fisher, one of the many who is campaigning for the family's return. "My daughter and her friends are devastated by Peace's "disappearance". As elected Chair of Governors at the primary school that these children attend, I can perhaps voice the distress and confusion that staff and children are experiencing over this family's removal from our midst"
Sarah and the children were taken from Yarl's Wood Removal Centre just hours after being seen by her doctor, Dr. Frank Arnold MB ChB FRCS, who said "The entire family show signs of post traumatic stress disorder and are not fit to be removed from the UK"
Sarah arrived in the UK in 2002. She says she was imprisoned for 5 years in Uganda, during which time she was tortured and raped - she has visible scars.
As a result of what she experienced in Uganda, Sarah has been continuously receiving treatment for psychological problems. However, no medical report concerning her scars of torture was used in Sarah's asylum case before she was removed from the UK. Having examined Sarah, Dr Arnold confirmed that "Sarah Hata has scars of torture".
Describing the multiple removal attempts on the family, Dr Arnold explained "The children were terrified and the youngest boy had an epileptic fit on the airplane while an attempt was being made to remove them from this country. He was suffering from severe pain in his chest and back from a forceful and inappropriate attempt to revive him. During his epileptic fit his mother was prevented from going to help him and his sister was injured by her head being forced under the food tray attached to the seat in front of her". He also explained "No attempt was made to protect them from malaria before they were returned and as I understand, Sarah and several of her children now have malaria".
It seems the family have suffered not just at the hands of the Ugandan authorities, but also by the UK authorities.
The entire family integrated very successfully into the community in Wigan and made many friends. Sarah was a student at the local FE college. The children all did well in their local schools. Dennis (15), Hope (14) and Maureen (13) attended St Thomas More RC High School. The entire school have expressed their whole-hearted support for the return of the children. Peace (11) attended St. Cuthbert's Primary school with her brother Morris (9), where she was recently voted House Captain by pupils and staff, who have been devastated by their disappearance. Dennis and Moris were altar boys at St. Cuthbert’s church.
The community that so cherished this family are sad and angry. They are appalled by the way this loving, caring family were treated in detention and sustained injury during removal attempts. They now just want them all to come home.