Oct 142014
 

9am-10am, Thursday16th October: Outside AIT (Asylum and Immigration Tribunal), Piccadilly Exchange, Piccadilly Plaza (top of Mosley Street just before Piccadilly Gardens), Manchester M1 4AH

“The asylum process feels like a slow poison that is taking away my zest for life” – Manjeet Kaur

Disabled human rights campaigner Manjeet Kaur, who is resisting Home Office attempts to evict her onto the streets, is to appeal against the decision to withdraw her housing support.

Trade unionists, disability and equal rights activists, and other campaigners will join the lobby in support of Manjeet outside the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in Manchester from 9am-10am next Thursday, October 16th.

Manjeet, who is Chair of RAPAR, appeared on national television news last year to counter new anti migrant policies announced by Home Secretary Theresa May at the 2013 Conservative Party Conference.

Since she sought asylum in the UK more than three years ago, Manjeet has been a tireless campaigner for human rights and worked with the UK Disabled People’s Council to highlight injustices faced by disabled people seeking asylum

She was told she must leave the accommodation in Whalley Range, where she has lived since 2011, by today (Thursday, October 9th) at the latest. The unsigned and unaddressed hand delivered letter from Serco, which runs asylum housing in the North West on behalf of the Home Office, said:“Should you refuse to leave the property on this date, we will have no choice but to take legal action to evict you.”

Manjeet, who is from Afghanistan and has used a wheelchair since she was eight years old, recently lodged a claim with the Court of Appeal on the grounds that the High Court has failed to engage with the facts of her asylum case.

Currently, the Home Office are examining her latest appeal. Manjeet’s solicitor Gary McIndoe, of Latitude Law, explains: “In our view, successive judges have failed to address the core issues of the case – Manjeet’s nationality, the harm she suffered in the past and the practicality of removing her to India…”

A spokesperson for RAPAR said: “Manjeet is facing eviction from her home because her asylum case is deemed by the Home Office to be at an end. Yet, in the view of her lawyers, successive judges have failed to examine the core issues of her case. It seems that the Home Office is prepared to evict a disabled woman who uses a wheelchair onto the streets when the facts of her asylum case have not been properly considered.”

Manjeet added: “As a disabled asylum seeker with various health issues and hospital appointments, I feel I am living on the edge. I will be made destitute with a limited ability to survive on the streets. Is this something the state allows to happen in the society that we live in?

“The asylum process feels like a slow poison that is taking away my zest for life.”

Sharon Hooley, of DAN (Direct Action Network for Disabled People) will be one of the speakers at the lobby outside the tribunal next Thursday.

Commenting on Manjeet’s case, Sharon said: “We say this is a ‘civilised country’ yet it seems perfectly acceptable to demonise, discriminate, alienate and rob disabled people of their basic human needs.
“Since becoming disabled in the past six years, I never thought I would see such pure hatred and lack of humanity towards people like myself. So I’m shouting out for all those who have been made invisible to our society. I ask you all to open your eyes and ears and see the truth about what is happening right in front of you.”

For more information, please contact: Kathleen Grant 07758386208/ kath.northernstories@googlemail.com

Background notes
Manjeet Kaur, who lives in Whalley Range, came to the UK in March, a month after the disappearance of her husband Amitt Bhatt – a journalist and Kashmir human rights activist who was threatened and attacked because of his anti government articles and books. In the past, Amitt has spoken on the same human rights platform as Jemima Khan.

Manjeet fled to the UK because she was beaten twice and threatened with rape and murder by people who were looking for her husband. She uses a wheelchair due to paralysis caused by polio and the injuries she sustained during the beatings have worsened her condition.

Manjeet was born and lived in Afghanistan until the death of her father, a doctor in Kabul. Since her husband disappeared, Manjeet has no-one to care for her in India but she has relatives in England who can support her. Earlier this year, Manjeet’s husband finally escaped to the UK and immediately claimed asylum.

Details of Manjeet’s case can also be found on the RAPAR website http://www.rapar.org.uk/keep-manjeet-safe-in-the-uk.html

reblogged from RAPAR with thanks