UPDATE MAY 7 2010:
Bashir has been located in Latvia and our friends there are helping to ensure that he has legal representation for a case in front of the EU Court. Our own Joanne Michele contacted the Medical Justice Network in the UK and requested that they pay a visit to Nadia to ensure that her health needs are taken care of; the Medical Justice Network followed up immediately and went to see Nadia at Yarl’s Wood.
The UK continues its deportation campaign against Iranian activists, this time a young pregnant couple
Early in the morning of May 6, the UK Border Agency gave approximately 8 hours of notice that they would be deporting Nadia and Bashir (their story is here) on 6th May at 13:10, on Baltic Airways, Gatwick. This was the third attempt to deport the pregnant couple, both of whom are political activists in their 20s who are at very high risk of torture and execution upon return to Iran.
The two had no resources and did not even have a lawyer to present their case to the UK Border Agency. We have it on good authority that if Bashir can be located and the case filed, the couple would win their case.
The National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns in the UK reports:
At 6:30am this morning Bashir Foris was separated from 16 weeks pregnant wife, Nadia, and taken to Gatwick Airport where he will be flown to Latvia on Air Baltic BT652. From Latvia it is very likely he will be deported to Iran. It is alleged that Nadia was physically restrained during this separation and now remains in Yarl’s Wood deeply upset- not knowing whether she will see her husband again. Both were scheduled to be deported on the flight and they were not told of any changes until the separation occured.
Nadia and Bashir are under immense stress. Nadia’s physical and mental health are a serious concern, she is terrified. 16 weeks pregnant and at the stage during which miscarriages are most common. She has not had a full psychological assessment as recommended by health professionals; She is showing signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is unable to eat or sleep. Without a full psychological assessment there is no way of knowing the full state of Nadia’s mental health, and how the stress of the imminent removal will affect the health of her unborn child. She is not receiving any treatment.
We can still act to support this couple. The more noise we make and awareness we raise, the better the chances for Nadia, Bashir & their baby. If Bashir can be found, it is possible that he can be returned to England; this has happened before.
Continue to write to the British government with the following demands:
Sample letter (add your own righteous indignation) & addresses to mail to:
To whom it may concern,
I am writing to you with regard to your outrageous efforts to implement an illegal deportation of Iranian anti-regime activists Nadia Arzane and Bashir Foris, and their unborn child. I deeply condemn your deportation of Mr. Foris and demand that Ms. Arzane be availed of her full complement of human rights, including whatever therapy she may need in light of the abuses you have heaped upon her during this sensitive stage of her pregnancy.
I demand that the UK immediately cease these illegal and inhumane acts, which violate international principles of non-refoulement and all standards of human decency and rights. I demand that Nadia Arzane be granted asylum and refugee status. And I demand that the UK locate Mr. Foris, return him to his family, and grant him asylum and refugee status; it was not legal under international law to separate them in the first place.
The international public will hold the British government accountable for the atrocities it has ruthlessly inflicted upon this family. The international public is watching.