Thursday, December 27, 2007

End 2007 with a good deed: Jean Pierre Gueutchue

Jean Pierre Gueutchue is currently detained in Dover IRC and is facing forced removal to Cameroon, on British Airways Flight BA302 leaving Heathrow at 06.20 this Monday (31st December) to Charles De Gaulle airport, France, for onward transit to Douala/Cameroon.

Jean Pierre was detained on Monday 19th December whilst reporting in his home town Cardiff, he was to be removed on the 22nd December but refused to fly.

Jean Pierre was a member of Southern Cameroon National Council (SCNC). As an active member of the SCNC Jean Pierre distributed leaflets, attended SCNC rallies and demonstrations and fought against the arbitrary arrest and detention of anglophone citizens advocating secession.

He was imprisoned and tortured in Cameroon for his political actions. In prison he was subjected to Bastinado (a form of torture where the feet are beaten relentlessly), suffered sleep deprivation and incurred head injuries.

He fled to the UK and arrived on the 27th of August 2003 and made an asylum claim. He was diagnosed with hepatitis C, but he and his friends felt he did not receive adequate treatment. Some of his friends helped him to get to Belgium where he was accepted by a university hospital for treatment. Jean Pierre then made an asylum claim in Belgium but the Belgium authorities would not accept the claim as he had already made a claim in the UK. He was returned to the UK in November 2006 as a Third Country Returnee and immediately put in Wandwsorth prison for two months, whilst there he received no treatment for his illness. His asylum claim was refused on the 21st of February 2007 Jean Pierre appealed several times and a final refusal was served on the 23rd of October 2007.

The Home Office does not believe that members of the SCNC are persecuted in Cameroon, but this extract of a US human rights practices report on Cameroon is damning and demonstrates clearly that as a returned political refugee Jean Pierre life will be in danger.

The government's human rights record remained poor as did its understanding of human rights, and it continued to commit numerous human rights abuses. Security forces committed numerous unlawful killings; they regularly engaged in torture, beatings, and other abuses, particularly of detainees and prisoners. Impunity was a problem in the security forces. Prison conditions were harsh and life-threatening. Authorities arbitrarily arrested and detained anglophone citizens advocating secession, local human rights monitors and activists, and other citizens. The government restricted citizens' freedoms of speech, press, assembly, association, and harassed journalists. The government also impeded citizens' freedom of movement. The public perceived government corruption to be a serious problem. The government restricted worker rights and the activities of independent labor organizations, and child labor, slavery, and forced labor, including forced child labor.

Jean Pierre does not currently have a solicitor to help him defend his case, as he cannot afford to pay the fees.

In the UK Jean Pierre was living in Cardiff where he has established a strong and positive link with his community. He is well integrated and well known to his community. He was working as a volunteer at the local British Red Cross and at Cardiff city Council.

In the light of the current situation facing members of the SCNC in Cameroon, and Jean Pierre health status, he should be offered protection in the UK and we should seek to stay the removal and call for his immediate release from Dover IRC to rejoin his friends andcommunity in Cardiff.

What you can do to help

All day today, Thursday, onwards to Sunday

1) Fax Willie Walsh, Chief Executive Officer British Airways and urge him not to carry out the forced removal of Jean Pierre Gueutchue - Send this model fax to British Airways (you can also copy/amend/write your own version). Please include all the follow details; Forced Removal of Jean Pierre Gueutchue on British Airways Flight BA302 leaving Heathrow at 06.20 on Monday 31st December 2007 to France Charles De Gaulle airport for onward transit to Douala /Cameroon.

Fax: 020 8759 4314

2) Send urgent faxes immediately to Rt. Hon. Jacqui Smith, Secretary of State for the Home Office asking that Jean Pierre Gueutchue be granted protection in the UK. Using the same model fax including the HO ref M1206111.

Fax: 020 7035 3262

Please notify the campaign of any faxes sent to Jacqui Smith or British Airways at

1 comment:

uk employment law solicitors said...

I dont like that .. if he was imprisone .. then why he was tortured .. i feel the concerned person should see into the matter.