ASSIST press release: Reaction to news of stay of deportation of Victor Mujakachi

February 14, 2019

PRESS RELEASE:     Sheffield ASSIST and City of Sanctuary Sheffield welcomes news of stay of deportation of Victor Mujakachi, but more needs to be done to protect asylum seekers from being forcibly returned to Zimbabwe.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS:

ASSIST: Jochen Kortlaender   jochen.kortlaender@assistsheffield.org.uk  0114 275 4960 or 07723 724098 or Lyndsey McLellan lyndsey.mclellan@assistsheffield.org.uk 07913 491226

City of Sanctuary: Sarah Eldridge sarah@sheffield.cityofsanctuary.org

We welcome the news that our friend and colleague Victor Mujakachi is currently safe from imminent deportation, and thank Gill Furniss MP and her team for their efforts to keep him safe.  However, Victor is still under threat of being deported to Zimbabwe at a later stage, where he would be at risk of arrest and ill-treatment solely for expressing his political views. We have not any news about the situation of Khuzani Ndlovu and Benjamin Gudza, two other Zimbabwean asylum seekers known to ASSIST, who are currently detained at Morton Hall and are threatened with deportation.

Our petition to secure Victor’s release and to drop plans to deport asylum seekers back to Zimbabwe has now been signed by over 60,000 people (https://www.change.org/p/home-office-free-victor-mujakachi).  In his reaction to this news Victor said: “I am deeply humbled by the response to my plight and wish to thank each and every person who has raised their voice on my behalf. But this is not only about me. The level of response shows that many people in the UK are deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Zimbabwe and the Home Office’s intent to deport people who are opposing the Zanu PF government to the country, where we would face arrest, torture, or worse”.

ASSIST Sheffield joins the call to immediately end the detention and threats of deportation of all  asylum seekers to Zimbabwe from anywhere in the UK. Here in Sheffield we will be joining our friends at SYMAAG (South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group) to protest against the Home Office plans on Tuesday the 19th February from 9 am outside Vulcan House (6 Millsands).

We demand Victor and all other Zimbabwean asylum seekers currently in detention are released without delay.