FATMATA MUST STAY! - FREE FATMATA NOW!
ACT NOW! Stop Home Office returning Fatmata
to FGM in Sierra Leone this Thursday!
End Government hypocrisy on women's rights! Stop collusion with FGM!
Tell Air France - Don't take Fatmata back to her torturers!
1000 ex-detainees, refugees and anti-racist fighters demonstrated at Yarl's Wood detention centre last Saturday (7 Nov.), uniting with the freedom fighters who defied the Serco 'guards' and protested inside to demand the end of all detention. One of the women lining the windows was 25-year old Fatmata, a refugee from Female Genital Mutilation in Sierra Leone. She was waving a large blue and grey cloth from her window as an improvised flag while her close friend Bruk and other friends from Liverpool were chanting, waving and speaking out just a few yards away across the high metal fence.
Fatmata and Bruk, a former Yarl's Wood detainee and refugee from Kirghizstan who is the Movement for Justice leader on Merseyside, are both victims of double torture: the torture they fled and the second torture inflicted by the racist immigration and detention system.
On Saturday they were united in joint struggle for freedom that symbolised everything that makes the Surround Yarl's Wood demonstrations and our growing movement so powerful.
We have to bring all that power, energy and unity to bear on the Home Office NOW to stop them sending Fatmata back to the hands of her torturers this week. She has already successfully resisted one attempt to deport her but on Sunday she was given another ticket for Sierra Leone on an Air France flight this Thursday morning (12 Nov.).
FGM is sexual abuse, child abuse and torture. Fatmata grew up in a community in which FGM is the norm, but her mother opposed the practice. She was able to protect Fatmata from 'cutting' during Sierra Leone's prolonged civil war because the family was constantly on the move to escape the fighting. After her mother died Fatmata suffered increasing pressure from her wider family to undergo cutting. She was repeatedly beaten and at one point her aunts tried to cut off two fingers of one hand, which are now permanently mutilated and immobilised.
The Home Office and an Immigration Judge said she would not be at risk of FGM because she is 'too old.' That lie has been rejected in case after case where women have managed to fight their way through the tortuous asylum system but the Home Office keep using it and judges keep accepting it.
In Yarl's Wood Fatmata demanded a Rule 35 assessment as a Victim of Torture who should not be in detention. The assessor noted her multiple injuries and mental health problems, agreed that she is a victim of torture - but said that staying in Yarl's Wood would not do her any more harm! Fatmata is being detained unlawfully.
Now Fatmata has been betrayed again by the legal system. She has been in contact with the charity Medical Justice and they were ready to do an independent assessment and report, but on Monday Fatmata learned that her lawyers could not get take her case any further because her Legal Aid money was exhausted.
We must take immediate action to stop this crime. Phone, email, fax the Home Office to demand they cancel Fatmata's deportation and end her unlawful detention. Call Air France and insist that they refuse to collude in this brutal, racist and sexist deportation. Remember to quote Fatmata's Home Office reference, K01698087.
Contact AIR FRANCE
Demand they refuse to deport Fatmata on Flights AF1481/AF770 at 8.20am on 12/11/15 from Heathrow to Freetown, Sierra Leone via Paris (HO ref K01698087)
Airlines have the right to refuse to fly someone who endangers the health and safety of other passengers or is at risk of harm themselves - Fatmata has already resisted one flight, she is certainly going to resist this flight because she has no choice - returning to abuse and torture is NOTan option. The brutality of the escorts is well known in the case of Jimmy Mubenga who died whilst being brutalised on a plane - Air France must refuse to fly Fatmata or risk the death/brutalisation of a young woman fleeing FGM on their hands.
Phone: 0871 66 33 777
Customer relations, Phone 0207 660 0337
Contact HOME OFFICE - highlight the governments hypocrisy over, committing to ending FGM whilst sending women and girls back to face FGM...
Copy in these Home Office email addresses: