Monday 15-05-2017 - 16:31
17 May marks the annual international day against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia (IDAHOBIT).
The day was created in 2004 to draw attention to the types of discrimination that LGBT+ people face daily. A theme is picked out every year for the day, and the theme for 2017 is family. As such, NUS LGBT+ campaign has decided to team up with our siblings who are facing the threat of deportation.
We have recently seen lots of incredible direct action being undertaken lately in solidarity with our siblings who are facing the threat of deportation or are currently being detained awaiting deportation- from the #SaveKelechi campaign to halting chartered flights to protesting outside Yarl’s Wood.
Many LGBTI asylum seekers have been deported back to Nigeria in particular via the use of charter flights. These charter flights usually leave from an undisclosed UK airport in middle of the nights with specially trained escort guards (one escort assigned to one deportee) on a cargo aircraft. Each person on the charter flight costs up to £5000 on each trip that tears and rips apart partners, families- parents from their children, people from the community that they have developed in the UK for many years. Amongst the people deported are people who are not Nigerian, have no ties to Nigeria, have ongoing asylum and immigration cases, and have lived in the UK for many years where they have built a new life. An increasing amount of LGBT+ asylum seekers have been threatened with deportation back to their countries of origin where their safety and ultimately their lives will be at risk.
As such, NUS LGBT+ campaign has teamed up with the African Rainbow Family to organise a demonstration outside the Nigerian High Commission in London at 2pm. We are going to send a clear message that the mass deportation of our LGBT+ siblings over the years is simply unacceptable, and we stand in solidarity with all those facing detention and/or deportation. All the information for Wednesday’s event including travel and accessibility information can be found on our Facebook event.
If you cannot attend, we’d urge you to sign the petition that we’re going to present to the Nigerian High Commission at a later date.
And if you’re able to, please donate to the African Rainbow Family.
And we’ll see you on Wednesday!
Noorulann Shahid, NUS LGBT+ Officer (Open Place)