A group of Goldsmiths students saved a Somali refugee from deportation
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A group of Goldsmiths University students successfully prevented the deportation of Ali Rashid Nur, a Somali refugee who had previously been involved with the Anti-Imperialist Society. It was a 4-day-long campaign ending in a tense standoff with armed police at Heathrow Airport. Ali was due to be deported on Kenya Airways flight KQ101 on May 4, at 6.25pm. A petition set up by the Goldsmiths Anti-Imperialist Society, which has gained over 3,300 signatures explains that Ali is a Somali Bajuni, a persecuted minority in Somalia. The petition alleges that Ali, who arrived in the UK in 1996 and has 3 children in the UK, was racially profiled by the Home Office at an interview in November 2017 where they tried to prove he was from Tanzania. He was then allegedly given 9 days to prove he was not Tanzanian, which he could not do. He was detained by the Home Office on April 24. Vice reports that the Home Office has previously deported other Bajunis to Kenya or Tanzania on the basis of a "forensic linguistics" test which has been criticised by experts as "unprofessional," "pseudo-science", and merely a route for the Home Office to avoid sending Bajuni refugees to Somalia, which would be illegal due to the ongoing war. Fiona S., one of the students behind the campaign, says that on May 1, they found out that Ali had been detained. They immediately began organising with other Goldsmiths students and external organisations, including Anti-Tribalism (a Somali community organisation) and members of Momentum and the Labour Party. The campaign triggered a flood of calls and emails to Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre as well as the Home Office and Kenya Airways. At one point, the campaigners managed to contact a Kenya Airways pilot who they believed was flying the route and urged her not to transport Ali, but she was not in the country and did not know who was piloting the flight.
Jst wanna thank u guys for da love and support u showed today only Allah can repay u lot 4 dat fanx a lot. Nuf luv."
Featured image from petition
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