Minister of State, Home Office, Liam Byrne, fax: 020 7219 2417
Steve Ridgway, Chief Executive, Virgin Air, fax: 01293 444 124
... to prevent this. (Use the letters in this message if you wish, or
write your own).
1. A summary of the facts.
2. A letter to fax to the airline
3. A letter to fax to Liam Byrne
4. A letter from Antony, asking for your support
1. THE FACTS:
Antony is the Campsfield hunger-striker who made major waves by
daring to speak openly and candidly to the media last month. He was
then removed to Colnbrook with great violence. One can see why an
embarassed Home Office would like to get rid of him. But it's now,
more than ever, in everyone's interests that he stays here to tell
the whole story, get the justice he's entitled to, and get on with
* Liam Byrne, the Immigration Minister, has admitted that A HOME
OFFICE "ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR" stopped Antony attending the Human
Rights hearing in April to present vital new evidence - BUT HE STILL
THINKS HE'LL GO AHEAD AND DEPORT HIM.
* Antony had a long list of injuries inflicted on him when GEO guards
dragged him out of Campsfield on 21st June. THE INJURIES WERE
SHOCKINGLY EVIDENT NEARLY A WEEK LATER when, for the first time, he
was seen by an independent doctor. Antony (and the Home Office) now
have that doctor's report. Incredibly THE ASSAULT WAS VIDEOED by
Campsfield staff so there's no shortage of evidence.
* Antony would rather die in England than go back to Nigeria. In a
decent country that had respect for human dignity, it would be enough
for him to say "I don't want to go back, thanks". But this is the UK,
where you have to parade your most painful and personal sufferings to
official cynicism to have a hope of compassion. So here's why he
doesn't want to go back:
His mother, father, his four sisters and his little brother were
murdered in 1995: his father, a member of the Nigerian Armed Forces,
had made contact with Ken Saro-Wiwa (the Ogoni writer and activist
who was hanged later that year by the Abacha regime). He himself was
physically and sexually abused before he escaped. Antony is certain
he "will be tortured and eventually killed" by the people who did
this, if he is returned.
His case still hasn't been properly heard - thanks to government
And his life is now here, in England, where he's lived for ten years,
worked, paid his taxes, never claimed state benefits - and has a
good, mutually supportive, 6-year relationship with his partner Lisa
and her family.
Antony Aghayere is a remarkable man. People rely on him. He was a
pillar of strength for other detainees in Campsfield. He made himself
a target by speaking out, yet till now he has asked very little for
Please fax the Immigration Minister and Virgin Atlantic now - to
prevent an irreversible and tragic miscarriage of natural justice.
- The Campaign to Close Campsfield.
2. LETTER TO STEVE RIDGWAY (VIRGIN ATLANTIC):
To Steve Ridgway, Chief Executive, Virgin Air.
Fax: 01293 444 124
PLEASE INTERCEDE FOR ANTONY AYAGHERE NOW; DON'T LET HIM BE DEPORTED
Dear Steve Ridgway -
Your flight VS651 to Lagos from London Heathrow this Thursday evening
(13th July) is scheduled to have, on it, an unwilling passenger
called Antony Ayeghere, whom the Home Office has decided to return to
Nigeria (10 years after he arrived in this country).
Antony is determined not to return to Nigeria, where his entire
family was murdered in 1995. He believes he "will be tortured and
eventually killed" if returned.
He has evidence to prove this - but was denied a chance to present it
in April when an "administrative error" (which the Home Office admits
to) prevented him being taken from detention to the court.
A senior psychiatrist from Oxford considers him in immediate danger
of self-harm if removal is attempted.
As I am sure you know, there have been many allegations of violence
against immigration detainees by the private security guards who
handle removals. Antony was the victim of one such attack last month
- and for once, there is strong evidence to support a case against
the attackers. It is important for everyone that this case proceeds.
We hope you will use whatever means you can to prevent his deportation.
Perhaps you would fax the Minister, Liam Byrne, asking him to halt
the removal? His fax number is 020 7219 2417
There is clearly a safety issue of having a profoundly upset person
on the flight. But more than that, this is a courageous man who has
suffered a great deal, and deserves decent treatment.
(name, contact details)
3. LETTER TO LIAM BYRNE (HOME OFFICE):
To Liam Byrne, Minister of State, The Home Office.
Fax: 020 7219 2417
Re Antony Osas Aghayere, Port Ref : MKE / 1017651
IN FAIRNESS, YOU SHOULD HALT ANTONY AYAGHERE'S REMOVAL
- SCHEDULED FOR THURSDAY, 10PM
Dear Liam Byrne -
Antony Aghayere has been given removal directions for this Thursday
evening (13th July) - yet he still has not been allowed to present
the important fresh evidence to support his claim for asylum.
Antony was denied the opportunity to present the evidence in April by
an administrative error at the Home Office (as you in fact conceded
in a letter to Joan Ruddock last month).
What is more, Antony claims (and has strong evidence of) violence
against him by security guards contracted to the Immigration and
Nationality Department. I am sure you agree that this kind of
violence must be eradicated but this will not happen if cases cannot
Antony has been in this country for 10 years; has worked all that
time, paid taxes, never claimed any state benefits, never committed
any offence, is in a good, mutually-supportive 6-year relationship -
so there is no need for haste in removing him, and many people will
suffer a bitter sense of loss if he is removed, and all for no
discernible benefit to anyone.
On the contrary, if he is removed to Nigeria, he is certain that he
will be "tortured and eventually killed" by the people who killed his
parents, sisters and brother in 1995.
I hope you will use your powers to halt this removal right away.
(name, contact details)
4. LETTER FROM ANTONY AGHAYERE, TO ALL HIS SUPPORTERS
Antony Osas Aghayere
Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre
Colnbrook By Pass
Port Ref : MKE / 1017651
My name is Antony Osas Aghayere. I was born on the 17/08/70 in
Nigeria. I am a detainee at Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre. I
have been detained since the 11th of March 06. I entered the country
with a forged passport on the 4/01/96, because my life was in danger
in Nigeria. I lost my family in 1995. They were physically assaulted
and blown up inside their car (my dad, mum, four sisters and my
little brother) and my family home was burnt down, because my dad was
in the military and working undercover for the cause of the Ogoni
people, about the oil crisis and treatment of the Ogoni people. My
dad was secretly working for Ken Saro Wiwa, who was the head of their
organisation, before his untimely death. I was the only member of my
family who survived, and before my escape, i was physically and
sexually abused by the people who killed my family.
The reason, i am writing this letter is to ask for your support and
bring my situation to your attention, because i am been deported back
to the country who killed my family and almost destroyed my life, on
the 13th of July. I am the only surviving member of my family, i have
been through dehumanizing situations, been robbed of my freedom.
Nigeria is purely an authoritarian country that tolerates no
independence or individuality.
I was supposed to be in court on the 27th of April 06 for my human
rights and bail hearing, but the immigration service refused to take
me to court, and the hearing went ahead in my absence. No explanation
was ever given to me for this. All they said was that my name "was
not on the computer"! I can only assume that it was bad
administration that led to me missing my hearing. The judge refused
my case, and i had no opportunity to present my new evidence.
Since i have been in this country, i have had no criminal convictions
and i have never claimed any state benefits. I have worked as a door
supervisor in clubs in Central London to make ends meet, i have
always obeyed the laws of the land. I am a christian and i have been
in a long stable relationship for six years.
Your help will be greatly appreciated, because you will be saving my
life, because upon my return to Nigeria, i will be tortured and
eventually killed. I was about to go back to college and continue the
IT course i was doing, when all this happened.
Please save me from this unwarranted death sentence. All the members
of my extended family all live and work in the UK, because they were
born here, i have no one over in Nigeria.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR ALL THE HELP AND SUPPORT, GOD BLESS YOU ALL.