Legal Action for Women at The World Transformed

Another Handmaid’s Tale

3-5pm on Tuesday 26 September 2017 at Komedia Studio 44-47 Gardner St, Brighton BN1 1UN

For tickets: https://theworldtransformed.org/

In poor communities, 45% of children are reported to social services. Poverty is used to allege ‘neglect,’ treat mothers as surrogates for fostering and adoption without consent, inflicting lifelong trauma on thousands of children. Single mothers are most at risk, especially if they report rape or domestic violence, are of colour, or have a disability. A growing movement is breaking the silence and picketing secretive family courts. It is reflected in Labour’s manifesto. Mothers, women’s organisations, professionals, MPs – and you – speak out.

Speakers:

Cristel Amiss, Black Women’s Rape Action Project

Selma James, Global Women’s Strike

Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Shadow Minister for Children & Families

Nina Lopez, Support Not Separation Coalition/Global Women’s Strike

Anne Neale, Legal Action for Women

law@allwomencount.net  www.legalactionforwomen.net

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All African Women’s Group

Crossroads Women’s Centre  25 Wolsey Mews, Kentish Town, London, NW5 2DX

Tel: 0207 482 2496 email: aawg02@gmail.com

 

PLEASE HELP US SAVE OUR BIBI

P1120140[736] (2)_LI

Bernadette Mappa Kouame Agyei:

Detained & facing removal, Thursday 14 September

 

Bernadette Mappa Kouame Agyei (Bibi) was detained at Yarl’s Wood IRC last Friday. Just the day before she performed to great acclaim the role of a judge in our play ‘WE ARE HERE BECAUSE YOU WERE THERE” at the DSEI – Stop the Arms Fair. The day’s theme was Free Movement for People not Weapons!  Now Judge Bibi, who has an appeal on 1 December, finds herself denied the right to a hearing  in front of a judge because the Home Office plans to deport her back to Cameroon!

Bibi Agyei is a kind and respected member of our group, the All African Women’s Group (AAWG), a self-help group of women seeking asylum which is based at the Crossroads Women Centre in London. Once a fortnight, 90-100 women from different countries come together to discuss our legal cases, share experience and support each other.  Bibi has helped other women to understand and fight their legal cases, especially those who do not speak English.

Bibi has been in the UK since 1996. Her children and partner all live here and are British citizens.  She has no-one in Cameroon and fears for her life if sent back there because of her political activities.  Her 22 year old son died in 2014 in tragic and still unclear circumstances on the M11 motorway, while returning to the Norwich School of Art, where he was studying Architecture. Bibi and her family weren’t even informed about the inquest into his death so could not attend — one example of the racism we face as people of colour.  Bibi is devastated at the thought that she would not be able to visit his grave if she were deported. These regular visits are the single biggest comfort she draws on to help her through this terrible loss.

Bibi is disadvantaged in fighting her deportation case because she was unjustly convicted of being in possession of someone else’s passport. The Home Office is using this to deny Bibi her right to appeal.  She wants to challenge this conviction and it is only fair that she gets the chance to do this.  Many of us are labelled criminal because we are forced into illegality to survive and support our children because the government makes us destitute.

Please write to demand that Bibi’s (Bernadette Mappa Kouame Agyei) flight tomorrow (Thursday 14th September) is stopped. Please see below a sample letter to the Home Secretary Amber Rudd.  Please send a copy to her member of parliament, Karen Buck MP and to us at aawg02@gmail.com.

 

Rt Hon Amber Rudd, Home Secretary 

Home Office 

2 Marsham Street

London, SW1P 4DF 

Email: Privateoffice.external@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

 

 

EXTREMELY URGENT: Re Bernadette Mappa Kouame Agyei

Detained and facing removal on Thursday 14 Sept

DOB 20 May 1959, country of origin: Cameroon

H.O. Ref: K1740545

Dear Amber Rudd MP,

I write to call on you to please stop Ms Bernadette Mappa Kouame Agyei’s removal tomorrow evening (14 September).  Ms Agyei has compelling compassionate grounds to remain in the UK.  She has an appeal hearing on 1st December 2017 which will provide Ms Agyei and her family with their first chance to put detailed expert evidence about their situation to a judge.  This includes how much Ms Agyei depends on specialist support which would be denied to her if sent back.  Ms Agyei also fears her life is in danger if sent back because of her political activity.

 

The Supreme Court recently ruled that it was unlawful for those with Article 8 family life grounds, like Ms Agyei, to be told they can pursue their appeals from the countries that they have been returned to R (Kiarie; Byndloss) v SSHD [2017] UKSC 42.  This is because it has been found to be impossible for people to pursue their right of appeal once they have been removed from the UK.  Please do not deprive Ms Agyei of her fundamental right to an appeal hearing. Please ensure that Ms Agyei is released from detention and given a fair hearing.

Yours sincerely,

 

[Name]

[Your name and address if possible]

 

CC:

Karen Buck MP

House of Commons

London, SW1A 0AA

EmailBUCKK@parliament.uk

 

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If you are contacting LAW about a family matter:

Thank you for contacting us.  Over the summer holiday we are not as available as usual, so we hope the information here will be helpful to you. We will get back to you after the August bank holiday.

Our next picket of the Central Family Court is on Wednesday 6 September, 12.30 – 1.30pm.

If you want to attend our next self help meeting for mothers/primary carers please send an email and we’ll get back to you.  If you haven’t been before please answer the questions here Link, and email them back to us.

If your case is urgent, please contact your nearest Law Centre or Citizens Advice Bureau and see if they can help.  There is general information about the family court process here. You can also have a look at our draft self-help guide, which will be up in the next few days.

If you are in London, the Personal Support Unit at the Central Family Court can help you with understanding the court process and filling in forms, but NOT legal advice.   You can call 0207421 8534/3 to make an appointment to see an advisor.   There is also an advice service at the Royal Courts of Justice.   You can apply to the Bar Pro Bono Unit for a barrister to represent you (they need at least three weeks’ notice of a hearing).

 

 

 

 

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Doing a case summary

Self-Help Tool 1 Questions for Case Summary

Case summary available in Self-Help Guide 

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Preparing for an appeal hearing

Self-help Tool 3 Appeal Hearing

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Help for victims fleeing rape

Self-help Tool 2 Grounds to Remain

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Vulnerable Witness Guidance

Self-help Tool 4 Vulnerable Witness Guidance

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Challenging Home Office refusals

Self-help tool 5 Gender Issues in the Asylum Claim

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A SELF-HELP GUIDE: DEFENDING YOUR CHILD AND YOURSELF FROM UNWARRANTED SEPARATION

Click to download: Self-Help Children

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Charlie Gard’s case shows why our family courts must lift their secrecy

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/03/charlie-gard-case-family-courts-secrecy-child-protection

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