Thursday, 18 September 2008

Report: Babi to be deported on Saturday

More bad news following gay Azerbaijani artist Babi B's detention (he is seeking an asylum in the UK).

No Borders South Wales reports:

Babi was moved from Rumney Police station to Campsfield Immigration Removal Centre at 4am this morning (thursday) from where some of Babi’s friends have been talking to him on the phone and receiving texts from him.

Babi has been able to find fellow prisoner and No Borders supporter Jean Pierre Gueutchue, who is also in Campsfield and has been able to offer some advice on coping with life in a detention prison, as well as some much-needed solidarity and friendship.

Babi was able to tell us of his removal directions:

“J28 8pm 20th September My deportation flight to Hellbaijan, Pliz all stop me here”

Babi is very distressed, and is fears the worst:

“PlizPLIZpliz i wontWONTwont GO back. i WANT die HERE THAN AZERBAIJAN. HELL O FAKING 21st Century! Can I stay in UK? Can I live 5 year happy here? FAK THE LAW MAKER! humanity”

It seems that the proposed deportation of Babi will take place on Azerbaijan Airlines flight J20008 at 8pm on Saturday 20th September from Heathrow.

What you can do to help

Please contact Azerbaijan Airlines to register your disapproval at their willingness to deport Babi.

[Unzipped: Gay Armenia - To be honest, I think they won't give a damn]

The UK address is: Rooms 842-843, Norfolk House, South Terminal, London Gatwick Airport, West Sussex RH6 ONN
Tel.: (44-8707) 605 757 & (44-1293) 568 000Fax.: (44-1293) 568 222Email:

A model letter can be found here: babi-flight-model-letter


artmika said...

For immediate use
18 September 2008

Two gay asylum seekers at serious and real risk of attack, imprisonment and possible killing are currently at the last stage before being deported by the British government.

gayasylumuk has been notified that gay Ugandan John Bosco Nyombi has been transferred from a detention centre to Heathrow. Azerbaijani Babi Badalov has been transferred to a detention centre with a flight booked for this Saturday.

The government plans to return Nyombi to a country which actively - led by its President - persecutes LGBT. Newspapers print the names and addresses of gays and lesbians and demands 'action' is taken against them.

Badalov has been threatened with death by 'honour killing' and his sexuality has already led to persecution and would definitely lead to more persecution if he is returned.

The answer of the British government to this: "be discreet" Seriously. This is the position of the British government.

In reality the policy is to refuse the maximum number of asylum applications on the most spurious of grounds. In reality the British Home Office, which manages asylum seekers, is rife with homophobia.

When he was informed that he was going to be detained and deported Babi responded by saying "I feel sick" To which the UK Border agent told him "well you make us sick, you're going back where you belong."

Recent LGBT asylum cases such as that of the Iranian Mehdi Kazemi have highlighted the absurd and shameful attitude of the British government to LGBT asylum seekers. It is an embarrassment to all right-thinking British people and it is therefore no surprise that support for LGBT asylum seekers has come from across the political spectrum.

gayasylumuk calls for two things:

1. maximum embarrassment and a collective 'turning of the back' by UK LGBT and all right thinking people, particularly as the governing Labour Party conducts its annual conference in Manchester next week
2. signatures to the petition initiated by the Rev. Walter Attwood to Gordon Brown []

We also reiterate our call earlier this year that:
"We hope that gay and lesbian Labour voters in particular will consider changing their vote if the policy isn't changed before the next election. This is one way to get the message through on their hypocrisy regarding lesbian and gay rights issues — when embassies in other countries are flying the rainbow flag they aren't doing this in
Tehran, Kingston or Kampala."


Further information
Museveni launches campaign against gays
Human Rights Watch adds Home Office to 'Hall of Shame'
gayasylumuk condemns "inhumane, anti-gay" Labour government
Babi campaign
Bosco campaign

artmika said...

Veteran British gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell sent out a letter tonight to the office of Equalities Minister, Harriet Harman MP.

He suggests that “Babi's local AM, MP and MEP need to make similar representations to
the Border Agency Minister and the Home Secretary.”

According to Tatchell, “The only strong legal basis for halting Babi's deportation is on the legal point that he is in the process of submitting a fresh asylum claim based on new evidence. This is the point that his AM, MP and MEP need to make to the Border Agency Minister and Home Secretary asap.”

To: The Office of Harriet Harman MP, Equalities Minister

URGENT ACTION - Babi Badalov - due for deportation this Saturday

When I recently met Harriet Harman, she and Barbara Follett MP said they would examine and assist the correction of any unfair treatment of LGBT asylum applicants.

Well, here is such a case and I need your help.

Babi Badalov, a gay asylum claimant from Azerbaijan, is due for deportation this Saturday 20 September at around 8pm on Azerbaijan Airlines flight J20008 from Heathrow.. He is currently detained at Campsfield Immigration Removal Centre.

He is scheduled for deportation despite him being in the process of filing a new asylum claim with fresh evidence. This new evidence includes one of his brothers threatening to kill him on grounds that he had shamed the family by being gay. There are also new witness statements detailing Babi's history of violent, homophobic persecution in Azerbaijan.

In these circumstances, his removal should be put on hold until he has an opportunity to put forward this new evidence to an asylum tribunal.

I hope you agree.

Babi is an internationally-renowned poet and artist.

I would urge Harriet and Barbara to make immediate representations to the Home Secretary or Border Agency Minister to halt Mr Badalov's deportation, pending consideration of his fresh claim based on new evidence.

Can you please liaise between yourselves and confirm to me that this will be done?

Can you also advise me when Mr Badalov's removal has been halted and how long he will be granted to prepare a new claim?

My sincere appreciation.

Please phone me if you wish to discuss this case.

Many thanks, Peter Tatchell

artmika said...

I really hope I got it wrong re my scepticism about Azeri airlines reaction to a campaign to halt Babi's deportation. There have been some positive reports today via No Borders South Wales that the "Airline Caves In To Anti-Deportation Pester Power". Below is press release in full:

Airline Caves In To Anti-Deportation Pester Power

Azerbaijan Airlines have bowed to public pressure, and refused to deport a gay radical artist Babi Badalov (Babi), who fears for his life if returned home.

The Airline has been inundated with phone calls from friends and supporters expressing their extreme concern about the company’s involvement in the deportation. Spokesman Omar Khamal told one campaigner:

“Azerbaijan Airlines will not be carrying out the deportation now or in the future.”

Another employee, who would identify himself only as Tahir, told another of Babi’s supporters:

“We were asked to remove this man, but we’ve told the Home Office we’re refusing to do this. He won’t be flown out on one of our flights. We’ve had people contacting us about this all day, and we haven’t been able to do any work or sell any tickets. This morning I got 50 phone calls and 60 e-mails. It’s really affecting our business”.

The Home Office refused to comment on their relationship with the airline, and are tight-lipped about whether they will seek to deport Babi using another company.

Babi Badalov, the internationally renowned artist from Azerbaijan, was snatched by UK Border officers in Cardiff on Tuesday this week. He was held in a police cell, and has since been moved to Campsfield detention centre where he was told he would be forcibly removed this Saturday. He has received no new removal directions since the Airline’s U-turn.

Friend and activist Hywel Bishop from No Borders South Wales has said:

“We’re sceptical about Azerbaijan Airlines’ assurances they won’t be carrying out the deportation. Previous experiences with airlines tell us that they will say anything to fob people off and stop them telephoning. This was the case with Kemi Ayinde a migrant from Nigeria who was due to be deported some time ago on a Virgin Nigeria flight. Many supporters received emails stating Virgin Nigeria had never carried out a deportation flight before, which was just not true.

“Until we know for certain that Babi will not be on that flight we’ll keep contacting the airline to complain. Ideally they’ll be so inconvenienced by this protest that they’ll think twice about operating removal flights in the future.”

artmika said...

URGENT! Babi’s removal directions have changed