At 2 o’clock this afternoon, Isa just contacted his lawyer‘s office from Malta where is waiting for a connecting flight to Abuja. He has not eaten or drunk anything and he hasn’t been put on a drip.
Isa who was on the 98th day of his hunger strike was flown out by private charter flight at 8.00am this morning. The last time he was weighed, he was only 50kg and was dangerously ill.
Lawyers attempted to fight a last minute legal challenge to his removal based on his ill-health and on issues related to his asylum case which had been refused in
August. An injunction to stop the flight was refused late last night but the final appeal was not refused until early this morning at 7am by the out of hour’s judge at the High Court in London.
At the same time as the legal challenge yesterday evening there was a vigil of about 120 people outside the Home Office.
Then at 4am people from the Stop Deportations Network closed Harmondsworth detention centre in an attempt to stop Isa leaving with one man super-gluing himself to the gates of the detention centre. http://stopdeportations.wordpress.com/ The man was eventually arrested at 7am by a specialist police team who took several hours to remove him.
Earlier yesterday afternoon the headquarters of the air charter company hired by the Home Office to remove Isa in one of their private jets, was visited by a group of protesters from Unity in an attempt to persuade them not to take him. The company, who look after Alan Sugar’s personal jet, were also inundated with phone calls and faxes.
During the last minute attempt to stop the flight, the Home Office made it clear that they would also cover the costs of Isa’s medical care in Nigeria as well as providing a medical team on the charter flight. The Home Office also confirmed that a member of the British Embassy team would also be present on the flight. Sources estimate that removing Isa from the UK may cost in the region of £50,000.
Unity are contacting Human Rights organisations in Nigeria to ask them to monitor Isa’s well-being if and when he arrives. Lawyers in the UK are talking about making an out-of –country appeal on behalf of Isa even if he is removed to Nigeria.
MORE MEN ON HUNGER STRIKE IN DETENTION
Isa was not the only person on hunger strike in detention.
Unity know from other detainees that there are at least three other men in the Medical Centre at Harmondsworth detention centre on hunger strike in the same ward as Isa was with possibly more hunger strikers in other wards at the detention centre. One of the men started his hunger strike on 5 November and has not eaten for 24 days ago.