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Inquest witnesses face deportation

DOZENS of people are set to be deported to Jamaica by the Home Office this week in the department’s first charter flight to the Caribbean since the Windrush scandal erupted.

The deportees even include two men who are due to give evidence to an inquest next month about the death of an immigration detainee.

The flight is due to depart on Wednesday, coinciding with the sentencing of the Stansted 15 anti-deportation activists.

Their group, End Deportations, is urgently calling on supporters to write to MPs and demand the flight is stopped.

Sean Lyons, of the group, called for these “brutal, inhumane and barely legal flights” to be stopped.

Many of the deportees have lived in Britain from a very young age and now have British-born children to look after.

One man booked on the flight is Owen Haisley, who has three British children and moved to Britain at the age of four in 1977.

It is said that everyone booked on the flight has served sentences for crimes committed in Britain, but campaigners say they are now facing a “double punishment.”

Operation Waldrop, the Home Office’s name for mass deportations to Jamaica, last went ahead on March 8, 2017, when 26 men and six women were expelled while 131 others managed to get their tickets cancelled.

Last week the Morning Star revealed that Stansted airport banned the Home Office from using its runway for deportations to Jamaica and west Africa after the Stansted 15 protest two years ago.

Although no protests at airports are expected, campaigners and families will demonstrate outside the Jamaican High Commission in London at noon today calling on diplomats not to comply with the Home Office plans.

They will also raise concerns that two men booked on the flight witnessed the death of a 38-year-old Jamaican, Carlington Spencer, in 2017.

Mr Spencer became seriously ill at the Morton Hall immigration removal centre in Lincolnshire and later died in hospital.

He received surgery to deal with swelling to his brain but never recovered.

A pre-inquest review hearing is scheduled for March 11 at Lincoln Cathedral Centre after repeated delays.

Inquests are required by law to examine events leading up to any violent or unnatural death in custody.

Campaign group Movement for Justice says there are only three non-state witnesses who can testify about Mr Carlington’s time in detention, and two of them face deportation on Wednesday.


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