Breaking News

British govt drugging of Zimbabwe deportees

by Staff reporter
01 February 2013 | 6980 Views
HANDS cuffed, seat belt strapped and legs tightly bound together, a deported Zimbabwean is flown back from London to Harare International Airport on an economy-class ticket, courtesy of the British government.

The deportees are accompanied back by private security guards long-accused of assaulting people during deportation from the UK.

Rights activists based in the UK now claim the security contractors hired by the UK government sedate or threaten to sedate Zimbabweans during deportation.

Diaspora activist group ZimVigil which stages weekly demonstrations in London against Zimbabwe's (President Robert) Mugabe-led government said they had recently received four reports of use and threatened use of sedation by security. One woman alleges that when she was flown back to Harare at the end of last year, she was told she would be drugged if she refused to co-operate with authorities.

Former MDC chairman and president of ZimVigil, Ephraim Tapa, said initial reports had come from members and the deportee later revealed she was shipped back to Harare with nothing.

"A relative of a person who was deported told us this. The (deported) girl was one of our members and she was forced to go (home) with nothing; no clothing or bags, only what she had on her," said Tapa in a telephone interview.  "She told us they threatened to sedate her and bundled her away to deport her."

Braving Britain's freezing wintry temperatures a few weeks ago Zimbabwean human rights activists protested and petitioned the British government to review the manner in which the immigration department, UK Border Agency (UKBA), is handling asylum claims.

Scores of Zimbabweans gathered in Leeds, West Yorkshire, to demonstrate against UKBA because, activists claim, new asylum claims are strangely being rejected on the basis of evidence given in previous asylum claims, yet this old evidence is inadmissible in fresh appeals to remain.

Activists also allege UKBA has stepped up its deportation of Zimbabweans and private security companies contracted to conduct deportations have been accused of using or threatening to use sedatives on deportees during flights in order to restrain them.

Zimbabwe Let's Unite, a Leeds-based diaspora pressure group which organised the march, claims several hundred people demonstrated in Leeds. After the two-hour protest, briefly covered by BBC Leeds Radio, the group submitted a signed petition to the head of UKBA's Leeds office.

"BBC Leeds Radio interviewed a few individuals regarding inhuman treatment received by Zimbabweans at the hands of Home Office's contractors," said organiser, Kevin Ngwenya, in an interview.

"Almost 300 people signed the petition later handed to Sharon, Head of UKBA in Leeds to submit it to the Secretary of State for us. Sharon made a promise that she would make sure we get a
response from the Secretary of State," said Ngwenya.

Due to growing concerns about drugging and other controversial deportation procedures, Tapa said ZimVigil was planning to visit detention centres where those awaiting removal are held. The group also plans to petition the UK Home Secretary, Theresa May.

"The UKBA is denying the allegations, but we intend to visit detention centre to get some insight into what is going on. We have petitioned the Home Office Secretary of State to express our grave concerns and misgivings about the deportations," he
said.

UKBA denies there has been any use of sedatives in restraint of deportees. Responding to a Freedom of the Information request in July 2012, UKBA said it did not administer substances to people for deportation purposes.

"UKBA has never used sedation to achieve the compliance of any individual being returned on either a chartered or scheduled flight," responded Hussain Tanvir, a UKBA official.

British charity, Medical Justice, an organisation which advocates for healthcare provision to immigration detainees, recently told the Independent that it had not received any reports of Zimbabweans or any other nationalities being drugged by security. However other EU countries such as France, Ireland and Switzerland are known to use sedatives, straightjackets and mouth gags to restrain resistant deportees. On several occassions, injection has resulted in death.

Emma Ginn, spokesperson for Medical Justice, said in 2008 the organisation documented more than 300 assault claims during removals from the UK. Reports of assault during detention and removal are not uncommon. In 2011 Jimmy Mubenga, an Angolan refugee died under mysterious circumstances on board a forced flight back to Luanda.

Mubenga died before the plane even left the runway at Heathrow Airport, as a result of being assaulted by security men from G4S, a private company hired by UKBA to conduct removals. Last year, Medical Justice revealed how the UK government breached its own rules, holding victims of torture for longer than the prescribed period.




Zimbabwean activists vow their protests are only the beginning, as the possibility of elections in 2013 poses risks for those who fled Zimbabwe in fear of political persecution during the 2000s.

The groups recommend the UK halt deportations to Zimbabwe until at least six months after crucial elections expected later this year to end a wobbly coalition government, when there is certainty over the winner. Although the UK has offered refuge to many Zimbabweans fleeing political persecution since 1999, allegations of sedation and threats of drugging resistant people on long-haul flights raise serious human rights concerns about the UK's deportation policy towards Zimbabwe.

Deportees Drugging

Source: independent

Could there be war if Grace Mugabe becomes President?

Yes
75.63%
No
9.64%
Who cares?
14.72%
197

Comments

Latest Classifieds (Click Here For More)

News Updates

Email:

Latest News

Yes we did it! come on! - the brave man who asked Mugabe to take a res...

by Itai Dzamara | 21 October 2014 | 1946 Views

Marriage collapses after couple fails to agree on number of children -...

by Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1331 Views

'Change human rights approach' says Supa Mandiwanzira - The Deputy Min...

by Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1043 Views

Ziyambi laid to rest - Scores of people thronged the Midlands Provinci...

by Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1476 Views

Dejected lover tells court that ex is a drug dealer - A CITY woman exp...

by Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1254 Views

Ex attacks hubby's new wife - A JILTED woman has been ordered to do 14...

by Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1143 Views

Medical Aid Fund loses $61 000 - A FUND secretary Engineering Medical ...

by Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 529 Views

Cops accused of being too slow in CMED fraud case - Police have been a...

by Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 653 Views

Mugabe camp beware, 'Spill Blood' Mujuru won't go down without a fight...

by Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 6236 Views

Biti absolves self, calls Tsvangirai modern day sell-out - "Each strug...

by Wilbert Mukori | 21 October 2014 | 2988 Views

SADC adopts WHO guidelines on anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment

by Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1381 Views

Mugabe and wife return home from Rome

by Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 4589 Views

Woman bashed for demanding a debt

by Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1857 Views

Crocodile eggs vendor granted bail

by Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1850 Views

Ex- cop 'steals' $5000 from doctor

by Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 2032 Views

Gadadi battle brings back sad memories for Mat'land - Thousands of peo...

by Thabo Kunene | 21 October 2014 | 3054 Views

Oscar Pistorius sentenced to 5 years in prison

by Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 4261 Views

Man kills self after gleaning wife's romantic messages with neighbour ...

by Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 5173 Views

Fatal end to joy-swim as two boys drown - MVUMA - What began like a jo...

by Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 2295 Views

Zim seeks to clear 'bad image' in the West - NEWLY appointed Zimbabwea...

by Staff Reporter | 21 October 2014 | 2167 Views

VP aspirants must reform, says JB Phetshu - ZANU PF Matabeleland South...

by Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1954 Views

Mujuru(s) reaping what they sowed?

by Chris Goko | 21 October 2014 | 5561 Views

Killer Pastor gets double life jail term - CONTROVERSIAL Jerusalem Ap...

by Court reporter | 21 October 2014 | 2147 Views

Jilted woman torches self in love dispute

by Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 3135 Views

Woman jailed 14 months for kidnapping minor

by Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 1587 Views

Drunk pupils thoroughly bash Maths teacher - TWO highly intoxicated pu...

by Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 4566 Views

Boarding master caught pants down with matron

by Staff reporter | 21 October 2014 | 7329 Views

Things we have learnt from and about Grace Mugabe - In the last articl...

by Alex T. Magaisa | 21 October 2014 | 4861 Views

Entertainment

Zim representative in the Big Brother Africa survives eviction - Zimba...

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2014 | 1925 Views

Grace Mugabe's political comedy takes ZTV hostage - For the past two w...

by Staff reporter | 20 October 2014 | 4067 Views

Oliver Mtukudzi to deliver lecture at Musica 2014 - Zimbabwe's interna...

by Staff reporter | 19 October 2014 | 1133 Views

Gezha maoko - Ladybee (Official Video)

by Staff Reporter | 19 October 2014 | 1965 Views

Matebeleland Music & Arts Festival - Sivala umnyaka ngengoma lapho sit...

by Staff Reporter | 17 October 2014 | 1548 Views

Obediah Matulana releases Christmas DVD - Bulawayo-based musician Obed...

by Staff reporter | 16 October 2014 | 1722 Views

Grace Mugabe honoured in song - Dancehall outfit Final Warning has rel...

by Tawanda Marwizi | 15 October 2014 | 2217 Views

US firm makes money off Zimbabwe concept - United States transport sh...

by Staff reporter | 14 October 2014 | 2771 Views
iBlog

The Nsa Gets An Ok For Telephony Metadata Collection Yet Again

As much as we’d like to forget about the national security agency (nsa) and its mass surveillance program, it seems that there is no distracting ourselves from this unnerving reality.missing from the news for quite some time now, the issue has resu... Read More
SecNews 09 July 2014 ago

Top 10 Causes Of Vaginal Bleeding After Intercourse

bleeding after sex can be rather alarming, and there could be many reasons why a woman would bleed after sex. though most women bleed after their first time having sex, if bleeding becomes frequent, there may be an underlying issue. below are the 1... Read More
adoniadennis 02 May 2014 ago