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:
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.