Campaigners blockade Heathrow detention centres to stop Iraq deportation

21st June 2011
For immediate release

Anti-deportation campaigners are blockading Colnbrook and Harmondsworth detention centres in a last-minute attempt to stop the forcible deportation of Iraqi refugees to Baghdad on a specially chartered flight scheduled to leave London this evening.

30 angry protesters from No Borders, Stop Deportation and other groups are blocking the joint entrance to the two detention centres near Heathrow airport. Six of them have encased their arms in glass and plastic tubes attached to concrete barrels, while others are holding banners and shouting slogans against the 'brutal deportation machine.'

Three coaches carrying over 30 of the deportees to the airport have not
been able to leave the complex. Another 30 are supposed to be taken at the same time from Brook House detention centre at Gatwick airport and Campsfield House in Oxfordshire. In total, it is expected that the flight, scheduled to leave an undisclosed airport at 11pm today, will carry
between 60 and 70 deportees, accompanied by twice as many private security guards and immigration officers.

Update at 8.30pm

Currently 5 Reliance vans are in the Colnbrook/Harmondsworth complex preparing to transport the detainees out of the rear entrance of the complex. It is unclear where these detainees will be taken.

It is understood that the Immigration Advisory Service has obtained an injunction against the flight but it is unknown whether this applies to some or all of the potential deportees.

The blockade of the front entrance continues. Police are now on the scene.

Final update, 9pm

Great news! It has been confirmed that this evening's charter flight has
been cancelled.

The blockade has now finished and none of the blockaders have been arrested.

Stop deportations to Iraq! Demo at Iraqi Embassy 06/10/10

Demonstration called by the Coalition to Stop Deportations to Iraq:

Wednesday 6th October, 12.30pm-1.30pm

At the Iraqi Embassy, 3 Elvaston Place, London SW7 5QH (just off Gloucester Road, two minutes north of Gloucester Road underground station)

In the last month more than one hundred Iraqi and Kurdish refugees have been deported to Baghdad. There is another mass deportation planned for the 6th October.

People are being taken from their families and homes in the UK, detained, beaten and sent back to a war zone.

The Kurdistan Regional Government was shamed into refusing to accept anymore deportations to the north of Iraq after a popular campaign led by deportees and refugees in Iraq and Europe.

Instead, the British Government has started to deport people back to Baghdad as it continues to play politics with the lives of Iraqi refugees.

Demonstrate Monday 26th: No Deportations to Iraq

(stopdeportation network) No Deportations to Iraq: Release the Hunger Strikers Now Demonstrate at the Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF Nearest tubes: Westminster, Victoria

Monday, 26th Oct, 4:30-6:30pm