The following statement is supported by the following people:
Paul Murphy TD – a former MEP and now an MP in Ireland
John McDonnell MP – Labour leader nominee, MP for Hayes and Harlington
John Mcnally, National Vice-president PCS
John Reid, National Executive RMT
Meena Kandasamy – acclaimed novelist and activist
Phil Miller – prominent campaigner
TU Senan – writer and activist
Oktay Sahbaz, Day-Mer Kurdish and Turkish Community, NUT member
Rani Moorthy – well known playwright, actress and artistic director of Rasa production
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown journalist and author
Martin Powell-Davies, Executive Member NUT
Ian Hodson, National President BFAWU
Christ Baugh, Assistant General Secretary PCS
Vicky Perrin, National Executive Council UNISON
Roger Bannister, National Executive Council UNISON
Suzanne Muna, Executive Council UNITE
Anthonythasan Jesuthasan (Shobasakthi), actor of Dheepan, the film won Palme d’Or winner at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival
Janahan Sivanathan (22), a young Tamil man from Sri Lanka is facing deportation to the country where he suffered torture without even having his asylum claim case properly heard.
It would take reams to list the injustices involved in this case. As a school student in Sri Lanka he was arrested during a ‘round-up’ and held for ten days during which he suffered horrendous torture. But it is perhaps an even greater crime that his case has never been heard in a court.
Outrageously a judge has ruled out the evidence on a minor inconsistency. Previously a judge was forced to recognise through a judicial review that mistakes can be made as a result of mental trauma. Any glance at Janahan’s medical case history will show that his is a very serious case of torture and that he has a very high suicide risk. The scarring on his body, from both the torture and subsequent self-harm, is testimony to that.
His legal team has lodged a renewal and a hearing is set for 15 July. Surely any justice system worthy of the name would grant him a stay to have his case heard. This should include the opportunity to meet with experts in sexual trauma to investigate the details of his experience in captivity in Sri Lanka and for his doctor to be present.
Moreover, the situation he faces should he be forcibly returned to Sri Lanka is very far from safe.
It’s estimated that up to 100,000 Tamils were killed in the shelling, including of hospitals and medical centres during the war and massacre of Tamil-speaking people that took place in 2009. That was not the end. Thousands of Tamils continue to be imprisoned, that thousands have been disappeared, and that the president has made no moves to change that.
Amnesty International’s 2015 report on Sri Lanka says: “Unlawful detentions and torture by security forces were carried out with impunity as the authorities continued to rely on the Prevention of Terrorism Act to arrest and detain suspects without charge or trial. Human rights defenders and family members of people subjected to enforced disappearance were threatened and arrested.”
The new president Maithripala Sirisena has shown his intention when he extended an order made by his predecessor that transferred police powers to the armed forces in February.
Janahan is vulnerable but he is also a brave activist. He has campaigned for justice for the Tamil people. He has come to play an important role in Tamil Solidarity. This puts him further at risk should he be deported. Janahan is already contributing to human rights improvement and democratic rights in Britain – despite his difficulties. He is an activist in the UN and as such he is not just trying to improve the life of Tamils living in Britain but also taking part in activities to improve the lives of all.
Protest calls to the Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre where Janahan is being detained. Many people have been registering their protest at this inhuman treatment please see list above.
Please add your name to the list. Please sign the petition The petition will be sent to the following emails.
Please call the head of immigration to register your protest and to demand his immediate release: Rob Clark on 01 522 666 746 and email to Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also send protests to the Home Office to demand his immediate release and to protest the deportations of Tamils to Sri Lanka: National Removals Command Immigration Enforcement: 020 8196 0499 Email to the Home Office: email@example.com
And to the Home Secretary Theresa May: Email: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone: 020 7219 5206