Monthly Archives: July 2013

Victory for Rose in Immigration Appeal Court!

On Friday 26 July, judges in the Upper Immigration and Asylum Tribunal rejected an appeal from the Home Secretary, Theresa May, that Roseline Akhalu, a 49-year old former postgraduate student from Leeds should be returned to Nigeria where she would have faced the prospect of death ‘within weeks’ [judgment PDF].
On hearing news of the judgment Roseline Akhalu told her friends and supporters:
“Thank you everybody for the support, for the prayers, for the publicity, for everything. Hopefully the UKBA will let matters rest at this stage.”
English: The UK's new Home Secretary, Theresa ...

Home Secretary, Theresa May, has been repeatedly defeated in attempts to send Rose Akhalu to a certain and painful death (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Roseline Akhalu

Roseline Akhalu is hoping to live a normal life among her friends and fellow parishioners after news of the judgment.

Judge Southern on behalf of the Upper Tribunal in rejecting the Home Office’s appeal said:
“we are satisfied that the [original] judge did not make an error of law…the circumstances here were, if not truly unique, so exceptional as to stand out from the ordinary run of cases where a claimant complains of being disadvantaged by a comparative lack of medical care in his or her own country. That was not the basis of the decision here”.
Tessa Gregory, a solicitor at Public Interest Lawyers, representing Ms Akhalu said:
“We are delighted that the Upper Tribunal has dismissed the Home Secretary’s appeal and found in Rose’s favour. The facts of Rose’s case are exceptional and have been rightly recognized as such. It must now be time for the Home Secretary to accept that it would be unlawful to deport Rose to a certain and lonely death in Nigeria. No more money should be wasted on further appeals and Rose should be allowed to get on with her life within the community that has given her such incredible support throughout this ordeal.”
Esme Madill on behalf of the Save Rose Campaign declared:
“We are overjoyed with today’s judgment. Roseline has had to endure months of needless worry and anxiety because of this groundless and expensive appeal by the Home Secretary, which has aggravated Rose’s fragile health condition. We really hope that the Home Office now has the sense to admit defeat so that Rose can get on with her life and continue contributing to her community as she has been doing for so many years.”
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Kidney Transplant Patient Faces New Agonising Court Battle

Oscar-Winning actor Colin Firth broke off filming with Woody Allen in France this week to lend his support to a Leeds kidney transplant patient who faces death if she is forcibly returned to Nigeria from where she came to study for a Masters Degree in Leeds nine years ago.

Firth told Rose’s campaign supporters:

“I need hardly add my voice to the wholehearted love and support, surrounding Rose in her community and among her friends.”

“We all hope that the good sense and humanity displayed so far by the courts will now prevail and that her life will be saved.”

Image

Roseline (centre) with her fellow parishioners outside St Augustine’s Church, Harehills, Leeds.

On Thursday (18 July), Roseline Akhalu faces an appeal hearing in London at the request of the Home Secretary, Theresa May, who has accepted that Roseline will die within weeks of being returned to Nigeria. Akhalu’s local MP Greg Mulholland is appalled by the Home Office’s continued persecution of Ms Akhalu. He told the Save Rose campaign:

“Despite support for Rose from across the community and indeed the country, the UKBA continues to waste taxpayer’s money seeking deportation of this seriously ill woman. It is time for the UKBA to stop this and to allow Rose to live in peace in the UK.”

 

The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, the Right Reverend John Packer has also lent his support to Roseline:

“My prayers are with Rose who faces death from her illness if she is forced to return to Nigeria,” he said. “I pray that the court will affirm her right to remain.”

Over 1,700 people have signed a petition demanding that Rose be allowed to live. Christian and faith groups across Leeds and Yorkshire will be organising prayers for Rose this week. Her friends and supporters will be travelling by coach from Leeds to the hearing on Thursday where a candle lit vigil will also be held outside the court from 12.30 pm.

Akhalu’s lawyer, Tessa Gregory from Public Interest Lawyers, explained why the Home Office should not be bringing this case:

“We should not be having to go through another appeal and Rose should have been left to get on with her life. Rose is an upstanding and deeply loved member of her local community whose health and wellbeing has been seriously compromised by the cruel and senseless determination of the UK Border Agency to pursue her through the courts – in spite of two judges finding in her favour and in spite of the unnecessary cost to the public purse which far outweighs the cost of her treatment.”

New Court Date for Roseline

We have just heard from Rose’s legal team that they have been successful in their request that Rose’s case be heard earlier due to the impact on her health and well being. The new hearing date is now on 18 July at Fields House in London.

PLEASE can everyone seek to publicise this – articles and letters to the national and local press would be fantastic. There is an archive of all press here (currently being updated).

Rose is continuing to receive wonderful support from her Church and from the local community in Leeds. One of the local Christian faith groups is lending the campaign their minibus for the day so that supporters can be transported to London and Rose’s parish priest has encouraged the congregation to pray for her and she is being prayed for at the Chapeltown and Harehills Churches Together group who meet monthly. Recently the New Testament Church of God, a local influential Pentecostal Church in Leeds have joined the prayer list.

Do contact us if you can help with press coverage, want to attend the hearing or would like to send a message of support to Rose.

Please also keep sending letters to Theresa May and copies to us via the Facebook page (message any of the administrators for contact details).

MANY THANKS to everyone who is part of this campaign – there would not be a campaign without you.

The Save Rose Campaign