Letter: A family blighted by deportation

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Sir: We call upon the Home Secretary to have compassion for the Onibiyo family, currently blighted by deportation.

Because the family inadvertently broke the "two-year rule" by spending too long out of this country, Abdul and Joyce Onibiyo and three of their children lost their permanent residency status. Abdul was forcibly removed to Nigeria, where he has been detained and tortured by the Abacha regime, because of his support for the pro-democracy movement. He has now escaped to a neighbouring country, where he is in hiding. His son Ade is stranded in Guyana, the country which gave him safe haven to spare him the same fate as his father. Joyce and her two daughters, Toro and Yemi, are awaiting deportation to Nigeria. The older children were born here and can stay.

We call upon Jack Straw both to grant Abdul and Ade exceptional leave to re-enter Britain, and to stop further proceedings against Joyce, Toro and Yemi. This country is their home. Abdul came here in 1964. He and Joyce married here, and started their family here. Abdul paid National Insurance contributions throughout the times when he was working on vital water projects in Nigeria. Ade, Toro and Yemi were born in Nigeria during that period but they grew up here. It is inhuman that they and their parents are being condemned for an accidental infraction of immigration rules.

JEREMY CORBYN MP

(Islington North, Lab)

JOHN PILGER

PAUL FOOT

HAROLD PINTER

ANGELA NEUSTATTER

SUZANNAH YORK

JEREMY HARDY

ALEXEI SAYLE

JO BRAND

MARK STEEL

London SW2

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