Kenyan woman fights unfair Detention in UK
My name is Judith, I am a 40 years old woman. I have been living in Oxford, GB for 16 years after having fled from Kenya, my country of origin. In Kenya I had received threats of Female Genital Mutilation after my family refused to agree to forcibly marry me. The Home Office says that I’m not credible and have refused my refugee applications, also due to rogue legal advisers that exploited me on my arrival. The government has failed to ensure that I as a claimant have proper legal representation. Despite that I have lived in England for 16 years, the Home Office fails to accept this as a prove that I qualify for private life and have refused to give me legal status. The government denies that my right to a private and family life should prevent my removal from the UK. However, my value as a person is not based on factors I have no control over. Since July 10th I have been in Yarl’s Wood, a privately-run Immigration Detention Centre that Mr. Nick Hardwick, chief prisons inspector recently said “Yarl’s Wood is failing to meet the needs of the most vulnerable women” making it a “place of national concern”.
Despite that my application for Judicial Review was granted on the 11th of August, the Home Office, using the private company TASCOR Oversees, tried to remove me on Thursday 13th August 2015. After I refused to leave Yarl’s Wood (on the legal ground that I have a Judicial Review pending), TASCOR subjected me to demeaning treatment – they handcuffed me, pushed me to the floor, and tied a restraining belt on my hands and feet; they carried me like a bag of potatoes and bundled me in a van. Only after we arrived at Heathrow they accepted that that they could not legally remove me. These tactics of targeted intimidation have left me with fear, anxiety, despair and sleeplessness at night. But all of this also made me stronger in my conviction that I have the right to remain in England. And it strengthened me to fight for that right. However, I am still in detention, even though my only crime is seeking sanctuary. I am a model British citizen, I have no criminal convictions no aggressive or violent behaviour. I am an ordained minister of religion, a musician, a mentor for young people, Godmother, friend, among various other things. Please sign this petition and raise awareness for my case. Together we can achieve that the UK Government stops treating me like a criminal and grants me the rights that I deserve.