She needs you to take action NOW to stop this removal.
Sukai is seeking asylum in the UK after fleeing persecution in Gambia. As an employee of the Immigration Service, She was arrested after unknowingly delivering information about an attempted coup, which she was accused of being part of.
Sukai was put in prison without trial. She was regularly beaten, tortured, and raped. Other prisoners who have been linked to the alleged coup have been “disappeared” and not seen since. She was told in prison that she would die in there “sooner or later”.
The Gambian authorities have suggested that if she returns she will go back to prison. She will have to face the same torture and rape and there is clear risk that she too could be “disappeared”.
Although the UK Home Office are not convinced of her story, we have more evidence than ever that she will be at risk of persecution from the Gambian authorities if deported. The harmful treatment that she reported to local UK newspapers for her campaign has been picked up and published by a number of online Gambian newspapers.
Human Rights organisations have reported much evidence of the Gambian Government harming those nationals that report information that tarnishes their reputation. In particular, Amnesty International has found evidence of danger to Gambians featured in the Freedom Newspaper, a publication that has repeatedly reported Sukai’s story. Because of this, we believe that Sukai would be in danger for reporting mistreatment at the hands of the government.
Amnesty has repeatedly documented “human rights abuses and the culture of fear” in Gambia – a situation that appears to be worsening in recent months.
Amnesty’s report Climate of Fear Continues: Enforced disappearances, killings and torture in Gambia, reported that “unlawful killings are seen as quickly getting rid of coup plotters and other perceived enemies, especially people whom the President feels have turned against him. Torture is also regularly used in Gambia to force confessions and to punish detainees. Significant evidence has emerged in trials in recent years suggesting that people were tortured to extract confessions”
Just last week, Amnesty called for the release of two journalists, arrested for organising a peaceful protest against the executions of suspected opposition activists.
The Home Office however refuse to believe that she is at risk. They claim that the Freedom Newspaper is not of interest to the Gambian authorities despite presenting evidence that it is. Amnesty International report: “the internet based Freedom Newspaper had its website hacked into. A list of what were said to be “informers” was subsequently published in the pro-government paper…and many people on that list were arrested, questioned, detained…and some were subjected to torture while in detention” (‘Amnesty International Report 2009: Gambia’, 28/05/2009)
Sukai’s situaiton is desperate and now very urgent. We need to try and stop her flight, and then push for a review of her case, in light of the worsening human rights situation in Gambia.
What you can do:
1. Contact the airline: ask Royal Air Maroc not to take part in this human rights abuse.
Remember, if calling the airline, remain calm and polite at all times. We do not want to harrass the airline or it’s workers, we just want to raise their awareness of the situation, and ask that they refuse to assist in this injustice. You can read guidelines for contacting airlines here. We have prepared a model letter you can use to send to the airline.
The flight numbers are AT801 London to Morocco, at 18:10hrs and AT529 Morocco to Gambia at 22:30hrs on 29 September.
Royal Air Maroc UK
Lagham House, 32-33 Gosfield Street
London W1W 6ED
tel: 020 730 758 00
fax: 0208 711 3109
2. Write a letter of protest to the Home Secretary, Theresa May.
You can use this letter as a template, or write your own. Please quote Sukai’s Home Office reference number on letters – J1162071.
If you are sending letters or faxes, remember to sign and date the letters. If you receive any response from the Home Office, please let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s best to write in your own words; alternatively you can use the model letter.
Theresa May, MP
Secretary of State for the Home Office
2 Marsham Street
020 7035 4745
( 00 44 20 7035 4745 if you are faxing from outside UK)
Email – copy to all these addresses: