Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Life, the universe and immigration II

I thought I’d give you guys an update on Victor Ruttoh, the student threatened with removal from the UK because he worked 2 1/2 hours more in a week than he was supposed to.


Victor is still being held in Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre, and is due to be removed from the UK on November 11th – 13 days time. This will actually be the third attempt to remove it thanks to our oh-so-competent immigration service. The first time, they missed the flight by an hour, and the second time the pilot refused to carry him because he was too scruffy – immigration officers had repeatedly refused to provide him with clean clothes and as such he had been wearing the same clothes for 2 weeks solid. He had even thrown away his t-shirt because it was so manky and was only wearing a jacket up top. He has now been provided with clean clothes and a washing kit by an organisation which helps people being held at Colnbrook (not by immigration).
(incidentally he is being removed, not deported. The difference is that deportees cannot re-enter the country that they were deported from for 5 years whereas Victor would be free to re-apply for a visa as soon as he returns to his home country of Kenya.)
As I previously mentioned, he alleges that he was assaulted by an immigration officer, who was supposed to be looking after him, after the second failed attempt to remove him. He has photographs showing his left eye as heavily swollen as evidence of the alleged assault.
Last night Union Council, one of the highest decision bodies in the student union (which I sit on), passed a motion to support Victor in any way possible, and we are currently finding funds to pursue possible legal action with regards to the assault allegations. Victor’s department and the university’s International Office are also helping out, and other international students have been warned to ensure that they stay within their visa limits.
The student union has also had a meeting with Marsha Singh, the MP for this area of Bradford, with the hope on putting pressure on the Home Office to do something. As yet, Victor has not been given a written statement of the offences that he has been held for. Obviously a controversial case like this, especially involving immigration, would be hugely embarrassing for the Home Office should it make the national media.
While I don’t normally publish people’s addresses on the net, Victor has said that he would appreciate letters of support and as such I’m publishing his address here. If you agree with me that Victor is being held unfairly then please send him a letter to show that you support his cause. His address is as follows:

Victor Ruttoh
D. Unit
Colnbrook IRC
Harmondsworth
West Drayton
Middlesex
UB7 0FX
United Kingdom

If you’re a student at Bradford (and I know some of you are), please come down to a meeting at 6pm on Tuesday in the Colours bar in The Basement where we’ll be discussing what to do next. It’s less than two weeks until the date he is due for removal so time is running out.
This is, in fact, not the first time this has happened at Bradford – a Chinese student was removed earlier this year, albeit in a much more efficient manner. The university knew nothing until she had already been returned to her country of origin.

2 Comments

  1. I heard about this at the LGBT meeting the other night. I went home and Googled for news but I couldn’t find any.
    Anyway, it’s terrible how they can’t even say “hey, you’re working too much for your visa – stop it” when it would save the tax-payers money and may not end in `removal’. But no, that’s an obvious solution and makes sense.
    Tom Adams
    UB student
    P.S. 6pm – which day?

  2. Could you give me an update on where the campaign is at and if I can help in any way. Ive found alot stuff on the web about Colnbrook and it has a history of alleged beatings at airports, suicides and rights abuses. Immigration Officers are clearly a bunch of twats. Despite some of the nonsense posts about BMWs and drug dealers, nobody deserves this type of treatment and the government should be ashamed of the behaviour of Immigration Officers and the system they work under. The absurdity of Victors position, (from what I know he only worked 2.5 hours over out of term time anyway), and his status as a student, could be the first opportunity to nail some of these people and effectively lobby the government.
    I would be interested to know the current legal position in terms of what can be done/ said, as I may have some contacts that would be useful in terms of press coverage. Id also like to know what organisations have been notified, AVID for example are very aware of this sort of thing but may be interested in this case in particular.
    There is some good info on Colnbrook at http://www.IIR.org.uk from August and September. There is also a radio debate about the private companies runnign detention centres across the world (same ones generally)at http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/bbing/stories/s1137813.htm
    The main thing of course is making sure Victor gets to finish his MA and gets out of there before being “relocated”. Look forward to hearing back from you.
    P.S James from the last post – What would you know about “precious opportunities”?