Ilengela Must Stay Campaign

NCADC


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Coventry Refugee Centre is campaigning on behalf of Ilengela Ileo because we feel this is such a worthy cause on compassionate grounds. She has been a dedicated volunteer caseworker at Coventry Refugee Centre for almost 2 years, helping others in distress and difficulties. She is a highly skilled and intelligent woman; just the type of person this country needs.

Ilengela arrived in the UK 3 years ago from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Her uncle had been murdered and the family separated. Despite efforts by the Red Cross to try and trace her remaining four brothers and one sister, they have not been found and are now presumed dead. Ilengela's only family - her Mum and baby sister - both have leave to remain and are living in Coventry.

After reporting at Midlands Enforcement Unit on the 12th April she was 'captured' and at that point handed her Home Office determination letter telling her that her asylum claim had been refused. She was then transported to Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre where she is at present.

Three dates have been set for her deportation - each time she has been taken to the airport in handcuffs. On the last occasion she was held at the airport for 24 hours without a bed to sleep on. She is emotionally drained through the stress of threatened separation from her family and being returned to a country where she now has no friends or relatives and could be at risk of being imprisoned for having claimed asylum in UK. There will be no one there to help her and she is fearful of the terrifying treatment often dealt to vulnerable women in the DRC.

On Friday the 16th June in Parliament Ian McCartney Minister of State for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs for the Government said: "The UK frequently raises with the Congolese Government our concerns about wide scale sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In February, we and international partners formally presented President Kabila with a dossier cataloguing major abuses carried out by Congolese armed forces, including rape and sexual violence."

There was a debate in Parliament on 19th April on the situation in the DR Congo; it was the most depressing debate this century. Eric Joyce for Falkirk, said:

"Sexual violence is not confined to eastern DRC, but there it remains a potent tool of subjugation. Women are routinely raped, tortured and murdered as a crude means of dominating communities and eking out a feral existence in the forest."

In The Telegraph on Monday 24th April one of their lead stories, "War is over, so now the Congo army attacks its own people" said: "On paper, the Democratic Republic of Congo is at peace and recovering from years of civil war. Yet the squalid refugee camps are filled with people who are all too aware of the bitter reality. For the killing continues unabated and many refugees, long the target of brutal militia, have fled a new threat: the soldiers of a national army supposedly charged with protecting them."

Ilengela Ileo's life would be at serious risk if she is returned to DR Congo and she is desperately afraid.

 

What you can do to help

1) Coventry Refugee Centre have put together a model letter (below) copy/amend/write your own version and fax to the Minister of State for Nationality, Citizenship and Immigration Liam Byrne MP. Requesting that Ilengela should be released from detention and the removal stayed.

Fax: 020 7035 4745 from outside the UK + 44 20 7035 4745

Liam Byrne
Minister for Immigration
3rd Floor
Peel Building
2 Marsham Street
London
SW1P 4DF

Please notify the campaign of any faxes sent



2) Print off attached petition, get as many signatures as you can and return to:

Ilengela Must Stay Campaign
C/o Coventry Refugee Centre
15/16 Bishop Street
Coventry
CV1 1HU
info@coventry-refugee-centre.org
 

 

Model letter

Ilengela Must Stay – Petition to prevent Deportation

To: the Right Hon. Liam Byrne MP, Minister for Immigration

We, the undersigned, ask the Home Secretary to grant Ilengela Ileo [HO ref: J1079191, Port ref: LBA/03/307] leave to remain in the UK on compassionate grounds.

Ms Ileo arrived in the UK 3 years ago from the Congo and has been a dedicated volunteer case worker at the Coventry Refugee Centre, helping others in distress and difficulties. Her uncle had been murdered and there is no trace of her remaining 4 brothers and 1 sister. Ilengela’s only family is her Mum and baby sister, both have leave to remain and are living in Coventry.

Ilengela has been detained at Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre since 14th April 06. Three dates have been set for her deportation and she has been taken to the airport in handcuffs each time. She is emotionally drained through stress of threatened separation from her family and being returned to a country where she now has no friends or relatives and could be at risk of being imprisoned for having claimed asylum in UK.

There will be no one there to help her and she is very fearful of the terrifying treatment often dealt to vulnerable women in the Congo.

On Friday the 16th June in Parliament Ian McCartney Minister of State for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs for the Government said : “The UK frequently raises with the Congolese Government our concerns about wide scale sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In February, we and international partners formally presented President Kabila with a dossier cataloguing major abuses carried out by Congolese armed forces, including rape and sexual violence.”

There was a debate in Parliament on 19th April on the situation in the DR Congo; it was the most depressing debate this century. Eric Joyce for Falkirk, said: “Sexual violence is not confined to eastern DRC, but there it remains a potent tool of subjugation. Women are routinely raped, tortured and murdered as a crude means of dominating communities and eking out a feral existence in the forest.”

Ilengela has settled in the UK, and is a part of the community here. We ask you to allow her to stay with her remaining family.
 

Update

Ilengela made bail from Yarl's Wood IRC yesterday and is back in Coventry where she belongs. The Ilengela Must Stay Campaign want to thank all the people who have responded supporting Ilengela.

Whilst this is fantastic news we know that this is a small victory and are still continuing to campaign to prevent her deportation so that she can stay in this country with her family where she is safe.

Ilengela has to report back to the Midlands Enforcement Unit on the 3rd of August where she was 'captured' in April.

We are still trying to raise the profile of her case and all support and ideas will be very much appreciated.

We would like to hold a demo outside the Midlands Enforcement Unit, when Ilengela has to sign next month but will need support!


Once again thank you all, you are wonderful.

Linda Farmer on behalf of the Ilengela Must Stay Campaign
 

June 2006

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