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Detained human rights activist denied access to media

09.01.2002 15:22

On 28/12/01 Gabriel Nkwelle was prevented from talking to the media. BBC Five Live, BBC Wales and BBC London, had all prepared to interview Gabriel but staff at Tinsley House detention centre were told not to allow the calls to him by the Home Office press office. An Immigration Service officer told Gabriel he should be careful because "this is not your country". The attempt to gag Gabriel is in direct contravention of the Detention Centre Rules 2001 which Parliament passed on 2nd April 2001.

Gabriel fought for democratic rights in his own country, Cameroon, and was five times held prisoner. He asked for asylum in Britain, and was promptly put in prison. He publicised unacceptable treatment of his fellow asylum detainees, and was transferred to Belmarsh for eight months, Britain's most notorious top-security jail. In December Gabriel was presented with the Liberty/Justice Human rights award, before once again being detained after his appeal was dismissed.

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National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns