Asylum seeker Hussein Kasujja
On 17 June, Hussein Kasujja was finally released on bail from Tinsley House where he was detained for almost 15 months. Acknowledging that Mr Kasujja had a case, High Court Judge Collins granted him the right to judicially review the Home Office decision rejecting his asylum claim. However, his situation is still not settled and Mr Kasujja lives in the daily fear of being deported and of not knowing what his future holds. He has no access to benefits or other resources although he has lived in the UK nearly 10 years.
Mr Kasujja contacted Payday men’s network after being referred by women detained in Tinsley House who had been helped by Black Women’s Rape Action Project at the Crossroads Women's Centre. Through Legal Action for Women we were able to get a new lawyer who presented a fresh claim to the Home Office.
While detained, Mr Kasujja's health deteriorated. He was diagnosed as suicidal, and suffered from ulcers, depression, insomnia and constant headaches, for which he was heavily medicated. He describes the guards' violent treatment and handling of detainees - who have committed no crime - , including women and children. Women were sometimes drugged and made to sleep for days. Mr Kasujja was handcuffed during his transfer to Court hearings.
The situation of asylum seekers and immigrants has worsened with the new Immigration and Asylum Act, described as "the most reactionary and racist legislation of the past 200 years", This law reinforces detention and gives immigration officers police powers of search and arrest. It also restricts access to the courts by limiting the time available to gather evidence and penalises those who apply for Judicial Review. It sends a signal to racists that Black people – immigrant or British – are not welcome in Britain and not entitled to the same treatment and justice as others.
To deport Hussein Kasujja after 15 months in detention
would be a even greater injustice. Please send letters of support
(or use the model letter over) demanding that the Home Office grants Mr
Kasujja the right to stay, and send a copy to Payday men’s network at
the following address:
Please use this model letter or write your own. Post or fax to the Home Office and to Joan Ruddock MP and send a copy to Payday.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
To : Barbara Roche, Minister for Immigration and Nationality
RE: Asylum for Mr Hussein Kasujja (TN2/86598)
Mr Hussein Kasujja situation was brought to my/our attention and I am/we are writing to demand that he is granted the right to stay.
Mr Kasujja has been living in Britain for nearly ten years after fleeing from Uganda in fear for his life. Both as a member of the opposition and as a Muslim, I/we strongly believe that Mr Kasujja would be in danger if he were deported to Uganda. After all these years of contribution to British society and after establishing himself in his community, Mr Kasujja more than deserves the right to stay and to get protection from the persecution he suffered and would suffer in Uganda.
I/we are appalled that Mr Kasujja was detained for 15 months even though he has committed no crime and has been a respected member of his community. This is all the more inhumane given Mr Kasujja’s serious health problems.
Given this unjust detention, deporting Mr Kasujja would be a highly unfair additional punishment and would contravene the UK government’s international commitment to the protection of refugees. It would fuel the institutional racism of the immigration services and impact not only on the refugee population, but also on all Black people living in the UK.
I/we urge you to grant Mr Kasujja the right to stay.