SEVERAL BLACK grandmothers and mothers were deported to Nigeria and Ghana last night, a leading campaigner has said.
According to Karen Doyle, national organiser at Movement for Justice, the controversial charter flight to west Africa, left the UK at approximately 11.30pm from Birmingham.
Ms Doyle slammed the Home Office for removing “a lot of vulnerable people”.
Speaking to The Voice, she said:
“In terms of the people we were aware of, there was an usually high number of women, so there was at least 13 women, who were at risk of being on the flight.
“The vast majority of the people were people who have been in the UK for 10,15, 20, 25 years.
“There were grandmothers and grandfathers, so there was older people, and there was people with quite severe mental and physical health conditions. There were people who were victims of trafficking or exploitation.”
The flight comes as the government was taken to court by the group Women for Refugee Women, who are challenging the lack of access to legal support for women held at the Derwentside women’s detention removal centre.
Ms Doyle said she was in direct contact with three people and says the exact number of people who were removed from Britain last night remains unclear, but she believes it maybe as many as 30.
“One of the guys who was on the flight called us and said that there was 30 people on the flight with him.
“We are thinking there may have been a high number of voluntary returns because this is the first flight to Nigeria and Ghana in a very long time, they kind of shut down over Covid.
“We think there would have been build-up of people who wanted to go back, that’s why the never got in touch.
Ms Doyle revealed some people were taken off the flight just hours before it took off and condemned all deportation flights and branded them “fundamentally unjust, unfair and racist.”
he campaigner wants African and Caribbean countries to refuse to accept deportation flights from the UK.
“We need to call on the governments of Nigeria, Ghana, Jamaica, Zimbabwe, all of these countries that accept these flights, to start refusing and stand up to Britain.
“These flights are just sacrificing human lives and for most part black human lives, on a whim of a government who is only interested in headline figures of how many deportations take place.
“The government have made it their mission to create a racist hostile environment and who are using racism and anti-immigrant sentiments to cover up their own failures, incompetence and corruption.”
Ms Doyle believes the Home Office “go after the low hanging fruit” and are targeting “the most vulnerable in society.”
In May, a deportation flight to Jamaica left the UK with just seven people onboard and Ms Doyle believes there will be another in the coming months.
“I think there will be another flight to Jamaica this year,” she added.