Most detainees removed from deportation flight list to Jamaica after activists blocked road | Home office

Most of those scheduled to embark on a controversial deportation flight to Jamaica on Wednesday have been taken off the flight list as anti-deportation activists blocked the road outside a detention center in an attempt to prevent them from being put on the plane.

The activists, calling themselves Stop The Plane, locked themselves in metal pipes outside the Brook House Referral Center near Gatwick Airport.

Originally, more than 50 Jamaican nationals were expected to fly, but the Guardian understands most are no longer on the passenger list.

The flight was scheduled to take off at 1 a.m. Wednesday morning with only two or three passengers on board. Online messages from anti-eviction groups said the flight took off from Birmingham Airport with just three people being deported on a plane that can accommodate 350 people.

Home Office deportation flights to Jamaica are controversial due to the Windrush scandal. Although the Home Office says no one from the Windrush generation is on the list, some have Windrush connections.

The Home Office encountered various issues with the theft. The Covid outbreak at Colnbrook, an immigration removal center near Heathrow, has led some inmates to be told their removal flight has been postponed; In addition, some of those scheduled to fly on Wednesday have been identified as potential victims of trafficking as a result of drug trafficking in the counties, which requires further investigation.

Concerns have been raised at the highest level by Jamaican High Commissioner Seth Ramocan about people who have been in the UK since childhood. A survey of 17 people who were originally scheduled to fly on Wednesday, by the organization Movement For Justice, identified at least 10 people who have been in the UK since childhood. They include a man who arrived in Britain at the age of nine and was raised by his aunt, who was of the Windrush generation. At least 24 British children are at risk of losing their fathers.

Another man, who arrived in the UK at the age of 10 and served an eight-year sentence for kidnapping, has dangerous high blood pressure. Over the past few weeks, he has been hospitalized several times, admitted and then returned to the detention center. His blood pressure reached 260/150, particularly high for a 34-year-old. A healthy reading is between 90/60 and 120/80.

Her attorney, Jacqueline McKenzie of Leigh Day’s attorneys, said she was told her wrist was allegedly fractured earlier Tuesday during an episode of restraint in the detention center.

The Home Office said: “The Home Office reviews all reports resulting from the use of force to ensure that the techniques are used in a proportionate manner, that they are justified and that they are are used for the minimum period required. “

Justice Movement protesters protesting near the Colnbrook Immigration Center last year against deportation flights. Photograph: Tom Pilgrim / PA

A medical assessment carried out during the man’s detention says: “He should be released as soon as possible because we cannot predict when he would have another massive MI, or even a stroke or fatal event. Please release it as soon as possible to avoid a major cardiovascular event. “

McKenzie said: “I am extremely concerned about our client, who was found to be unfit to fly. It is not known why the Home Office chose to be so belligerent in this matter. “

A spokesperson for Stop The Plane said: “We reject the legitimacy of the entire deportation regime. It is based on racist notions of black, brown and racialized people. “

The Home Office said: ‘These people with no right to be in the UK and foreign offenders should have no doubts that we will do whatever is necessary to deport them. This is what the public rightly expects and this is why we regularly operate flights to different countries. All immigration removal centers have dedicated on-site 24-hour medical facilities, including access to independent doctors and nurses, with medical support provided throughout the removal process. An individual’s medical needs are determined by an independent physician and will always be taken into account when removed.

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