Upcoming event, London UK, Thurs 4 Feb

By on 10-14-2008 in Background to the novels

If you’ll be in London on 4th Feb you are warmly invited to attend a public forum at the (very beautiful) Southwark Cathedral, 7pm-8.30pm, on the theme of refugee and asylum-seeker detention in the UK. [Click here to see event flyer]. On the panel will be me, Jonathan Cox (Director of Citizens for Sanctuary), the Revd Canon Ruth Worsley, and Tom Greig, Deputy Director of the London area for the UK Border Agency. (more…)

The Testimony Project

By on 10-14-2008 in Background to the novels

The Testimony Project

asli“[British] Home Office policy deliberately suppresses and isolates those seeking asylum, keeping them out of sight, out of mind.  The Testimony Project works to counteract this.”

I went to the launch of this wonderful project last night. They are building a perfect rebuttal to the notion that asylum seekers are somehow insincere or unworthy of our help. The videos on The Testimony Project’s site are immensely honest and powerful. Please take a moment to check them out, and add your voice to the project if you feel so moved.

Shell settles Nigerian case

By on 10-14-2008 in Background to the novels

This news has been well reported in the newspapers, but for the record: the oil company Shell has settled out-of-court in respect of a legal action accusing it of collaborating with the Nigerian authorities to expedite the execution of community activists who opposed Shell’s practices in the region. Ken Saro-Wiwa Jr, son of the executed activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, is quoted in the New York Times saying “this historic case means that corporations will have to be much more careful.”  The Guardian quotes Stephen Kretzmann of Oil Change International saying that Shell “knew the case was overwhelming against them, so they bought their way out of a trial”.

The Destitution Trap

By on 10-14-2008 in Background to the novels

A short film from Refugee Action in the UK, showing the cruel dilemma faced by asylum seekers refused work permits and benefits following the rejection of their asylum applications. Their stark choice: live in the UK in destitution, or return to the countries they fled. As one contributor to this film points out, the fact that so many are prepared to accept destitution is the best indicator of their genuine fear of returning home.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0-3lMOB4io