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Another inhuman deportation

Andrew | 15.02.2005 21:58 | Migration

The Home Office is currently considering forcibly an 18 year old suicidal teenager who suffers from panic attacks, back to Albania where both of his parents were assassinated and he was beaten by the police at the age of 12. I believe he has no family there yet the Home Office perversely defends the arrest claiming it might be in his best interests. I've not seen anything on this story except for on the Channel 4 news so I don't know if there is a campaign going or not but I'm sure writing to the Home Office wouldn't do any harm for a start.

"Birthday Boy

Published: 15-Feb-2005
By: James Blake

The Home Office is believed to be considering whether Blerim Mlloja who's due to be deported should be allowed to stay in Britain for health reasons.

This is a case of life imitating art. Last year the young actor, Blerim Mlloja played a leading role in the film Birthday Boy - the story of asylum seekers who are arrested, locked up and deported as soon as they turn eighteen.

Mr Mlloja celebrated his real birthday a few weeks ago - last week the Home Office invited him for a meeting to discuss his case. His foster mother hasn't seen him since - she says they were tricked.

When I think back now, it’s reality it’s what’s happening. I didn’t think Blerim would be in that position at all. He’s my son, you don’t think of him being kidnapped in a way like this and being sent to the other end of the Earth. “
- Mary Watts, Foster mother of Blerim Mlloja

The other end of the earth is Albania where Blerim Mlloja's parents were both assassinated. He claims he was arrested there and beaten up by the police when he was 12. He's lived with Mary as her son for over 3 years. She thinks his high profile could be a reason why he was targeted.

“Blerim’s an easy target. He’s a young man, they can go towards the figures and say well we’ve deported so many, we’re doing our bit. – Mary Watts

Why would Tony Blair do this? – James Blake

Because the elections are coming up. He wants to look good in the eyes of the majority who want foreigners out of the way. – Mary Watts”

The Home Office won't comment on the allegations that they tricked Mr Mlloja when he was arrested - but made this statement today.

"We believe that it's possible to return children in a way that is in their best interests and is safe and sustainable.

We do not believe that it is right, or in keeping with children's legislation that children who can return should remain in the UK indefinitely separated from their families and communities."

Mr Mlloja would have been deported last Thursday – until his local Labour MP stepped in. He says the policy of suddenly deporting 18 year olds is dangerous.

”The way it come downs like a guillotine at that age, and that’s it and all of a sudden they’re no longer seventeen, they’re eighteen they can go back. Clearly there’s more to each case than that, and each case has to be taken on its merits. Blerim’s case is that he has no family and no ties with that country.
- Clive Efford MP, Labour Eltham

Blerim Mlloja has been locked up in Heathrow's detention centre for a week, despite the fact that the medical foundation which examined him - concluded he was too vulnerable to return to Albania.

“I’ve got panic attacks you know? Feeling very bad sometimes, you want to kill yourself. You can’t imagine to be here when you know you’ve got someone there who cares about you. I’ve been crying here every night about why should I be here? – Blerim Mlloja

The Home Office has said it will make a decision on Blerim Mlloja's case in the next two days - depending on the result - he could then be forced onto a plane at a moments notice.

However the Home Office is believed to be considering whether Blerim should be allowed to stay in Britain for health reasons."



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