It has been confirmed that starving hunger striker Isa Muazu has been removed from the UK on the orders of Home Secretary Theresa May. After three months without food, Muazu can no longer see or stand and is deathly ill. By deporting a man to certain death, May has shamed our nation.
Who is Isa Muazu?
Isa Muazu, 45, came to the UK from his native Nigeria on a valid visa back in 2007. He chose to stay on in the UK through fear he would face attack by terrorist group Boko Haram, whom he states killed members of his family. Muazu later applied for asylum and was sent to fast track detention, where like 99% of other fast track detainees – he was immediately rejected.
Muazu, in fear for his life, went on hunger strike. Committing the slow painful suicide of starving oneself to death, is not the equivalent of stamping one’s feet in tantrum. It is not easy. It is not something someone does to attain the giddy heights of £53 a week Job Seeker’s Allowance. It hasn’t happened in the UK since 1981, when Bobby Sands and other Maze Prison hunger strikers faced off against Margaret Thatcher. Sands eventually died in prison, on the 66th day of his strike.
On his last weigh-in – Isa Muazu weighed just 50kg. He can no longer stand or walk properly. A reporter for Vice magazine interviewed Muazu a short time ago, to find out how Muazu felt about his treatment by the Home Office:
“I feel devastated. I’d rather die than go back. If they can take my body and bury it, that would be the only thing. I’m not going back, I’m telling you. There’s nothing there for me.” He said.
Theresa May’s response? She had officers draw up an ‘end of life’ plan for Muazu, and kept full steam ahead with the deportation.
As Simon Parker reports for openDemocracy:
“As Muazu’s physical and mental health deteriorated doctors declared him medically unfit for detention, but the Home Office refused to release him. Following legal challenges, the High Court and the Court of Appeal declared Muazu’s detention lawful and that the Home Office had the right to remove a man who its own staff accepted was close to death and for whom an ‘end of life plan’ had been drawn up.”
Theresa May is currently modelling herself as the Iron Lady of immigration. She claims she wants “to create here in Britain a really hostile environment for illegal migration”. But today, she was not tough on illegal immigration. She condemned a starving man to death – either during his long journey home, or once he has arrived.
Lord Roberts of Llandudno, a long term advocate of Muazu’s case, came out with an unusually strong condemnation of May’s actions today.
“Isa Muazu’s removal from the UK and potential death on a flight or upon arrival in Nigeria is not only a tragedy but an end to the UK’s reputation as a country with humane, civilised, just policies and government,”
A Monstrous Act, by a Monstrous Government
Amid rumours that a private jet was on stand-by to remove Muazu from the UK after final legal attempts to block his deportation failed last night, 120 people turned up for an overnight vigil at Harmondsworth detention centre. One man glued himself to the gates in efforts to bar the deportation. Sadly, these efforts failed. The man was arrested, and Muazu deported at 8am.
So, Muazu is flying towards Nigeria to a certain death, and we are left shame faced by a Home Secretary that would sentence a man to death for the sake of political point scoring. A monstrous act, by a monstrous government. There is no compassion, no humanity, and no dignity in this cabinet of bigot baiting bastards. None.
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