REFUGEES/LONDON: THE "FRIENDS OF ANNOCIATE NIMPAGARITSE, EVERYONE GROUP AND THE BRITISH EMBASSY IN ROME BLOCK THE DEPORTATION OF THE TUTSI WOMAN ANNOCIATE NIMPAGARITSE TO BURUNDI
THE GROUP’S LEADERS: “A GREAT VICTORY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS. THE UNITED KINGDOM SETS AN EXAMPLE OF CIVILITY FOR EUROPE. THE CAMPAIGN CONTINUES UNTIL SHE IS GRANTED ASYLUM”
Annonciate Nimpagaritse, a woman from Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, a member of the Tutsi ethnic minority whose life was in danger from the Huti rebels of the FNL (National Liberation Forces) was due to be deported from the United Kingdom on September 25th on a Kenya Airways flight from London. Annonciate had fled to the United Kingdom and applied for political asylum, but her application had been turned down. After EveryOne and the “Friends of Annonciate Nimpagaritse” movement had launched an international campaign to save her life on September 23rd by writing to the British Government and the British Embassy in Italy, the woman was released from Colnbrook detention centre where she was being held and allowed to return to Sheffield, where she has lived since 2005 to await the outcome of her asylum request.
“It was a rapid, but very difficult campaign” comment the leaders of EveryOne Roberto Malini, Matteo Pegoraro and Dario Picciau with relief, “because Annonciate had been refused asylum by the Home Office, by an independent immigration office, by an immigration magistrate and then by the Supreme Court of Justice.
Shortly after the flights were cancelled - to Kenya and then on to Burundi - EveryOne Group received confirmation that Annonciate’s deportation had been suspended. “The UK Home Office will now re-examine the case based on the information we have transmitted to the British authorities, and that is, that from April 2008, (contrary to what the Border Immigration Agency said) Burundi is again in the grips of bloody reprisals by Hutu rebels towards Tutsi civilians. These rebels have rapidly brought about the murder of dozens of innocent victims and are responsible for the massacre of members of Annonciate’s own family.
The British Government and magistrates had based their decision to refuse asylum on the truce drawn up in Burundi in 2006 but they were unaware of the resumption of the conflict, which flared up again in April 2008.” The immediate suspension of the deportation order just a few hours before the flight was made possible thanks to the mediation of the British Embassy in Rome. “As in the cases of Pegah Emambakhsh and Mehdi Kazemi, the interest and commitment of Pier Luigi Puglia, Head of Press and Communication Section at the Embassy, proved crucial, as well as the mediation of Sir Christopher Layden, the political advisor at the British Embassy in Rome. Once again they made themselves available for talks and discussion in order to bring about a positive outcome to the problem” explain the activists.
“However, in spite of Annonciate being released and her deportation to Burundi momentarily suspended, we must continue to keep an eye on the situation until Jacqui Smith, the British Home Secretary, decides to block the deportation order and grant Annonciate Nimpagaritse permission to remain in Britain as a refugee, according to the Geneva Convention, the 1967 Protocol, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Charter of Peoples’ Rights (CHARTER OF ALGIERS???). Until then the woman, whose status is still that of an “asylum-seeker” will be in danger of deportation”.
EveryOne Group is collecting evidence and witness statements that confirm the present situation of conflict in Burundi and the political and civil instability that is now rife in the African state. “To prevent further doubts arising as to the risks Ammonciate faces were she to be repatriated” says EveryOne “we are compiling a dossier on Burundi to be presented to the British authorities.
In the meantime we are comforted by the willingness of the British Government to discuss such a delicate and important matter as the right to asylum. Our campaigns in defence of human rights are becoming more and more difficult in a period characterised by a resurgence of racial hatred and xenophobia - which are sentiments far from the culture of civility and brotherhood. Europe is in great need of models of civility and Annonciate’s case (if it results in a happy ending) will be a great lesson in humanity and respect for minority groups.”
EveryOne Group, with the support of the Radical Party and the political forces more alert to human rights, announces the presentation to the European Parliament of a programmatic document focussed on the flaws and contradictions in the procedure adopted by governments of the Member States where asylum-seekers are concerned, in order to guarantee a respect for the fundamental rights of the individual, as set out by the Union in the Charter of Nice and the European directives which each Member State is required to abide by.
For further information:
www.everyonegroup.com :: email@example.com