Friday, December 08, 2006
We had a very happy celebration of Medhin's successful asylum claim, after many vicissitudes. Her brother from Leeds, and her sister from Australia were there, as well as Puck de Raadt. We heard about Medhin's case at the 11th hour, from Emma Ginn of NCADC, when she was about to be taken from Yarl's Wood to be deported to Ethiopia (she's eritrea, and its a long and complicated story). Her previous solicitors had been 'intervened' but we managed to brief the wonderful Lisa Gibbs of Glazer Delmar in the nick of time, Medhin was due to be removed on February 13 and at first the Minister, Tony McNulty, rejected my requests for it to be deferred so that the new solicitors could pick up the reins. After a blizzard of faxes, emails and letters to the Minister and the Management of Detained Cases Unit the removal was deferred, and the Home Office relented, allowing time for a new case to be presented. Medhi was released from Yarl's Wood Detention Centre in March, and won the new appeal on the basis of fresh evidence. This shows that it is all too likely that where an asylum-seeker isn't properly represented, and there is nobody to take up her case with the Minister, she will be wrongfully deported.