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Kurdish family snatched and face deportation 06/11/06: TCAR Mobilises on Tyneside

TCAR (Tyneside Community Action for Refugees) | 05.12.2006 12:38 | Anti-racism | Migration | Social Struggles

On Tuesday 5 December around 25 refugees and local people living in Newcastle gathered outside Government Offices North East to say: ‘Immigration is no crime, End detention! Deportation is the crime, Lock up Labour!’. This comes in the wake of a week of protests inside Britain’s immigration detention centres, and follows the detention of a Kurdish asylum seeking family at their home in Fenham in the early hours of Monday morning, with the intention to deport them to Turkey on Turkish Airlines flight TK1980, leaving Heathrow at 11.45am this Wednesday. (this is the same flight booked for Hassan from Unity in Glasgow - Tyneside Community Action for Refugees took to the streets Tuesday morning to protest against all immigration detention, and to demand the immediate release of Hidayet Ozdemir, his pregnant wife Hatin and their two children, 12 year old Denniz and 7 year old Guseren.

Immigration Detention in Britain: Recent Background
Britain now locks up more asylum-seekers and migrants than ever before: approximately 30,000 are detained each year. On Tuesday 28 November the Chief Inspector of Prisons Anne Owers released a report strongly criticising Britain’s largest detention centre, Harmondsworth, for its bad management and poor conditions. When guards attempted to prevent detainees at Harmondsworth from watching coverage of the report on the evening news, the prisoners protested. Doors were broken, fires were lit, and the following day around 50 detainees were seen in the courtyard spelling out the words ‘HELP’, ‘SOS’ and ‘FREEDOM’ using their bed sheets. As a result 150 detainees have been released from other detention centres to make space for prisoners at the damaged Harmondsworth.

Two days later, on 1 December, all but three of the families imprisoned at Yarls Wood Immigration Removal Centre went on hunger strike in protest at the lack of medical care for their children, many of whom have been suffering for two weeks now from an outbreak of diarrhoea at the centre. There are also reports that visits have been refused. This is the centre where Hidayet Ozdemir, his pregnant wife, and their two young children are being held. Hidayet reports that medical treatment has so far been refused to his pregnant wife Hatin. Yarl’s Wood is run by private company GSL-UK Ltd, contracted to the Home Office, and is the main holding centre in England for families facing deportation. On 26 July the Chief Inspector of Prisons Anne Owers published a report strongly criticising the detention of children, saying there was ‘no evidence that the child’s welfare was taken into consideration’. TCAR has held a series of recent protests against the detention of children, and is calling for the release of all immigration detainees.

Kurds in Turkey: Background
If forced to return to Turkey Hidayet Ozdemir and his family face persecution because they are Kurdish. Since 1990 the Turkish state has been accused of the killing of 37,000 Kurds, the destruction of 3,500 Kurdish villages, and of leaving 2 million Kurds without homes. In Turkey Hidayet Ozdemir was an active member of HADEP, the Democratic People’s Party, which calls for national self-determination for the Kurdish people. Since HADEP was shut down by the Turkish state in the 1990s there have been thousands of assassinations of party members by Turkish paramilitaries, and four of the party’s MPs have been jailed for 15 years. Other HADEP MPs remain in exile. Danny Matthews, a spokesperson for TCAR, said: ‘The British Labour government stands in full complicity with the fascist regime of Turkey, as it does with any repressive government which is seen to serve British interests. We demand that human lives be placed above profits for Britain’s ruling class. Release the Ozdemir family now.’

Please fax Turkish Airlines and ask them not to aid the Home Office in removing the Ozdemir family and Hasan without giving time for the Judicial Review which is currently being submitted for the Ozdemir family, and without allowing Hasan the chance to properly state his case with access to full medical reports and x-rays.

Turlish airline fax: 0208-759 58 14 Or 01784 421726

Phone: 0208-897 17 31 or 0208 745 64 01 or 01784 421717

Ask to speak to the duty officer and say you want to LOG your concerns for the well-being of Hasan who is being deported on flight TK 1980 Turkish Airlines, Heathrow to Ataturk airport, Istanbul tomorrow at 11.45 hours.

Liam Byrne, Minister of State for Immigration - fax no. 020 7035 4745

email: byrnel (at)

3) PASS THIS MESSAGE ON!!! to your friends and colleagues. If you have time it would help if you could let us know what action you have taken.

TCAR (Tyneside Community Action for Refugees)
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Solidarity with all immigration detainees

05.12.2006 13:18

The demonstration today was called at extremely short notice and it was pouring with rain. This did not prevent the demonstration from being militant and spirited! Thank you to everyone who was able to show their solidarity against the racist attacks on asylum seekers by the Labour Government. As we were chanting today: Immigration is no Crime: End Detention! Deportation is the Crime: lock up Labour!

A Congolese asylum seeker recently made a very useful observation in a TCAR meeting. The strength of an organisation can be seen by the amount of people it can mobilise onto the streets in a short period of time. As the determined resistance in Glasgow shows and as people in Newcastle showed today, we are getting stronger! But in order to resist the attacks of the state we need even more organisation, more links between organisations nationally and more people to get involved.

Racism in this country is inevitable while Britain continues to exploit and oppress people around the world. It is OUR Government attacking Iraq, Afghanistan, supporting Israel and Turkey. It is OUR ruling class stealing mineral resources from the Congo, Iran and Nigeria. As imperialism goes deeper into crisis we can expect more attacks, more brutal regimes and more racism against people fleeing these horrors. We have to stand in solidarity with all those under attack by imperialism, whether it is asylum seekers or Muslims in this country, or people resisting imperialism in Palestine, Iraq, Cuba, Venezuela and around the world. As Chavez said after his reelection 'Down with Imperialism! We need a new world!'

And just one final chant:
unemployment and inflation are not caused by immigration
bullsh*t, Come off it, the enemy is PROFIT!

In solidarity,
Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!

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Demonstrate this Saturday on Tyneside!

05.12.2006 14:07

Additionally, TCAR will be holding a demonstration this Saturday (9th December) in solidarity with all those in detention, particularly those who rose up against the unjust and inhumane system at Harmondsworth last week, and with those on hunger strike at Yarls Wood. The protest will start at 12noon at Grey's Monument, all welcome, bring your friends, your families and your energy!