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  News & Views Monday 24th July to Sunday 30th July 2017  
Manchester Needs Nestor Sylla - Don't Let the Home Secretary Deport Him

Nestor Sylla is much loved and highly respected. Following the murder of his sister in Guinea, Africa, in 2006, he fled for his life to the UK, but previous legal work failed Nestor when a solicitor failed to respond to a Home office request for photographs. His complaint about the solicitor was upheld.

A natural helper, Nestor has volunteered for the BOAZ TRUST winter night shelter for seven years.  He has also volunteered for Red Cross and the Mustard Tree.  Nestor has created a new family in the UK and, in the process, become a vital carer for both Lawrence, aged 14, and for Elizabeth Coleman, retired.

Nestor was detained on Friday 30th June 2017. He had a new Leave to Remain application that was received by the Home Office before he was detained, therefore his detention was unlawful. His lawyer, Mervyn Cross of Duncan Lewis says:” There is absolutely no reason to detain Nestor.”

A natural helper, a vital carer for both Lawrence, aged 14, and for Elizabeth Coleman, retired, Lawrence says: “He’s a really great guy and helps me with my homework and takes me to school.” And Elizabeth says: “Nestor’s home is England. He is like a son to me. He has a lot to contribute to our society.”

Nestor himself says: “I believe what the Home Office is doing to me is illegal. Manchester is my place; it’s the best place in the world for me.”

This man and his new family need and want to be together. We are therefore asking people to sign this petition, urging the Home Office Nestor must be released immediately to stay safe and care for people in Manchester UK, where he is much loved and highly respected.

Please sign RAPAR’s Online petition: http://bit.ly/2uRu3RA

Source: RAPAR- Working together to Achieve Equal Human Rights

http://www.rapar.org.uk/          <admin@rapar.org.uk>


UK Human Rights Priority Countries

Pakistan
Pakistan’s human rights situation in 2016 remained of significant concern. Serious violations of women’s and children’s rights continued throughout the year. Terrorist incidents persisted despite a continued improvement in the security situation. The country’s minority communities, including religious minorities - in particular Ahmadiyya, Christian and Shia communities - suffered widespread persecution. Pakistan maintained its use of the death penalty, albeit at a reduced rate: there were 87 executions in 2016 compared to over 325 in 2015. Modern slavery continued to be a major problem. The operating space for international and domestic NGOs remained restricted. - Page 41 UK Human Rights & Democracy Report:

Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories
We continued to be concerned by the human rights situation in Israel and the OPTs in 2016. We were concerned by the Israeli Government’s violation of international human rights and humanitarian law in the context of Israel’s occupation of the OPTs. We also had concerns about human rights infringements by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and grave concerns over those by Hamas in Gaza. The upsurge in violence, which began in late 2015, continued until April with ‘lone-wolf’ style terror attacks on Israelis, and clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli security forces. Attacks were characterised by random stabbings, shootings and vehicle rammings. We were concerned by the apparent role of incitement, particularly on social media. President Abbas condemned the violence in general terms in January but did not comment on specific attacks. On 9 March, the then FCO Minister for the Middle East and Africa, Tobias Ellwood, issued a statement condemning the violence. Some of the measures Israel introduced in response (including punitive house demolitions, and restrictions on movement and access) exacerbated existing human rights concerns. We were concerned over possible use of excessive force by the Israeli security forces against Palestinians. - Page 40 UK Human Rights & Democracy Report:

Iraq
The human rights situation in Iraq remained of grave concern in 2016. Despite the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) reclaiming a large proportion of formerly Daesh-held territory, Daesh continued to commit atrocities in those areas that remained under their control, including targeting civilians in Eastern Mosul with mortar rounds and indiscriminate shooting. Reports allege that the ISF and Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) were involved in torture, forced disappearances and extrajudicial killing against those fleeing the fighting in Fallujah and other areas. The Government of Iraq (GoI) has taken steps to address this issue, repeating its commitments to investigate all reports of abuses and violations and to ensure that those responsible are held to account. Reports also allege that the Kurdish Security Forces (KSF) have engaged in the unlawful demolition of buildings and homes in liberated areas. The Kurdish Regional Government also undertook to investigate all allegations of violations by the Kurdish Security Forces. - Page 39 UK Human Rights & Democracy Report:



Migrant Truck Death Toll Rises to Nine

Police in the US state of Texas have arrested a truck driver whose vehicle was found in a Walmart car park with eight people dead in the back of it, two of them children. Later, a ninth person died at a local hospital, an immigration and customs spokesman said. Thirty others were inside the trailer without air conditioning or water while outside temperatures hit 38C (110F). Police say they believe the incident is linked to people smuggling. Twenty of those in the truck were airlifted to hospital and eight more hospitalised by other means. San Antonio is a few hours' drive from the border with Mexico and the US immigration department is trying to establish the victims' legal status. Officials were brought to the trailer by a man who had approached an employee of the Walmart and asked for water.

Read more: BBC News, http://bbc.in/2uN1o06
Secretary of State When Exercising Powers of Removal or Deportation is Not Bound by Any Order of the Family Court or of the Family Division

The Secretary of State for the Home Department v GD (Ghana) [2017] EWCA Civ 1126 (25 July 2017)

Be that as it may, the fact is – the law is – that the Secretary of State when exercising her powers of removal or deportation is not bound by any order of the Family Court or of the Family Division and that the Secretary of State, if she wishes to remove or deport a child or the child's parent, does not have to apply for the discharge or variation of any order of the Family Court of Family Division which provides for the child or parent to remain here.

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2017/1126.html


UK Human Rights Priority Countries

Iran
There was little improvement in the human rights situation in Iran in 2016. Areas of serious concern were the frequent use of the death penalty, freedom of religion and freedom of expression. Although not all executions are made public, estimates suggest that there were over 530 in Iran over the course of the year. This represents a decrease on the record number seen in 2015. Iran continued to use the death penalty against juveniles and in cases that are not deemed the “most serious” under international law, such as drugs offences. Homosexuality continues to be illegal and punishments can range from 100 lashes to the death penalty for both men and women. In July, 19-year-old Hassan Afshar was hanged after he was convicted of forced male to male anal intercourse when he was 17. Religious minorities continue to face restrictions in Iran. Members of both constitutionally recognised and unrecognised religions continue to suffer discrimination for peacefully manifesting their beliefs. - Page 39 UK Human Rights & Democracy Report:

Eritrea
Human rights concerns persisted in Eritrea throughout 2016, with little improvement. Eritrea is a one-party state with no political opposition; there is no anti-discrimination legislation to protect LGB&T rights; citizens are subject to arbitrary extensions to periods of already prolonged national service; and severe constraints persist on freedom of religion or belief and freedom of the press. Of grave concern in 2016 was the final report delivered on 21 June by the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea, which stated that there were “reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed by the Government of Eritrea”. The Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Eritrea continues to be denied access to the country. - Page 38 UK Human Rights & Democracy Report:

Afghanistan
The overall poor security situation and the ongoing insurgency in Afghanistan continued to limit progress on human rights in 2016. Whilst the Afghan Government continued to show commitment to an agenda of ambitious reform, outlining this at the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan in October 2016, implementing this agenda presented serious challenges. A UN report on the Protection of Civilians showed a 3% increase in the number of civilian victims in the conflict (the highest number since UN records on civilian casualties began), including a 24% increase in the number of child casualties.  The majority of these were attributed to armed insurgency groups, including the Taliban and Daesh, but a rising number were a result of Afghanistan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) actions. Concerns around rights of women, democracy, and protection for human rights defenders (HRDs) also remain. - Page 32 UK Human Rights & Democracy Report: