Mother and Son held in van outside Glasgow Home Office

PRESS RELEASE

21/03/2016

LGBT MOTHER BEATEN AND FORCIBLY REMOVED FROM HER HOME IN DAWN RAID IN BRIDGETON. BLOCKADE AT HOME OFFICE Tblockade 2O STOP DEPORTATION.

The Home Office Enforcement Team at Brand Street, working
alongside Police Scotland, have carried out an unexpected dawn raid on a mother and her young son, forcing their way into her home in Bridgeton early this morning. Beverley Vaanda Kanjii (45) was beaten and assaulted before being forcibly removed from her home. An eye-witness from community group LGBT Unity observed Beverley and her son (14) being removed in a Home Office van, where they were then driven to Glasgow airport. It is believed they will be flown today to London and deported on Thursday. See details below on how to
act to stop Beverley and her son being deported.

There are currently a group of friends and anti-raids activists blockading the home office at 200 Brand Street, Ibrox, G51 1DH. The group are allowing home office workers to leave the site but are preventing a bus which Beverley and her son are on from leaving. The situation is ongoing. PLEASE SHOW SUPPORT IF YOU CAN!

Beverley is a valued member of LGBT Unity, a group that has come to prominence highlighting the presence of LGBT refugees and asylum seekers in Glasgow. The group won a Diversity Award at the Equalities Network Scotland ceremony in September 2015. Beverley has lived in Scotland for three years, and her son attends school in Bridgeton. Two days ago Beverley and her son were at a community event at Kinning Park Complex, dancing and eating with friends from LGBT Unity. Her neighbours expressed shock and dismay, as one asked “why are they taking that lovely lady and her son from upstairs away?”

Beverley came to the UK from Namibia in 2013 and claimed asylum on the same day as entering the UK. Beverley and her son fled Namibia due to the verbal and physical abuse suffered in Namibia due to her sexuality. Beverley had previously experienced forced marriage and had to live in secrecy, later being abused by her community with no protection from the Namibian state. Beverley and her son are in immediate danger of violence on account of her sexuality if forcibly removed to Namibia.

Beverley is due to be deported on the same day as NUS Scotland’s Asylum and Refugee Officer, Lord Elias Mensah Apetsi, who was also raided in Glasgow early this week.

Alison Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central, as intervened in his case, stating: “It is wrong that his life can be turned upside down, that he can be separated from his children, and taken for removal. I urge the Home Office to reverse their decision and return Lord immediately to his family and friends in Glasgow,” she said.

Beverley and her son will be held in Cedars Detention Centre in England, run by the charity Barnardo’s and G4S: it has a 2.5m perimeter fence and 24-hour security. Detainees are subject to the same Control and Restraint Techniques used across the detention estate in the UK. This clearly amounts to a continued use of child detention for immigration purposes.

Dawn raids involve immigration enforcement officers, often accompanied by police, storming homes and arresting those inside. In 2005 this brutal practice was highlighted by the ‘Glasgow Girls’ from Drumchapel, their campaign to end dawn raids was supported by all Scottish political parties. Clearly, dawn raids are happening yet again in Glasgow and they need to stop.

Beverley and her son’s planned forced removal journey on commercial flights THIS Thursday 24th March (contact details and tactics for phoning the airline below):

London Heathrow to Amsterdam 11.45am on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (flight number 1010)

Amsterdam to Frankfurt Main 3.35pm on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (flight number 1771)

Frankfurt Main to Windhoek, Namibia 8.10pm on Air Namibia (flight number 286)

Contact KLM:

0207 66 00 293 (+44 207 66 00 293 from outside the UK)

Twitter: @KLM

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KLM

If anyone is able to fly to Heathrow, Amsterdam, or Frankfurt Main before the planned flights get in contact (info@unitycentreglasgow.org), also if anyone is able to buy a ticket for one of the flights and have a physical presence at the airport.

If you are scared of being dawn raided, or have any information about dawn raids taking place: contact The Unity Centre on 01414277992/info@unitycentreglasgow.org, or the Anti-Raids Network 07448586481/ glasgowantiraids@riseup.net