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MIGRANT groups are launching nationwide protests this weekend to demand an end to Britain’s “brutal” immigration system, 10 years since the death of Jimmy Mubenga.
Mubenga, an Angolan national, died on October 12, 2010, after his head was held down and his breathing restricted by G4S deportation guards on a British Airways flight.
The guards were cleared of manslaughter in 2014.
As part of a weekend of action organised by a coalition of migrant rights groups, dozens of vigils will be held to commemorate Mubenga and demand justice for him and his family.
But campaigners claim that Britain’s immigration policies have only worsened since Mubenga’s death with the introduction of the hostile environment policy.
Migrants Organise advocacy and campaigns officer Akram Salhab said: “Jimmy’s killing was shocking for many people. It’s sobering to think that 10 years on things have only got worse. Now they’re talking about putting people offshore, on ferries and oil rigs.
“We couldn’t let this anniversary come to pass without commemorating it in some way, and committing ourselves to achieving justice for those killed.”
The Solidarity Knows No Borders campaign is also calling for an end to hostile environment policies including the NHS charges, which require migrants to pay for healthcare.
Campaigners are this weekend highlighting the case of Simba Mujakachi, who received a treatment bill for over £93,000 after suffering a stroke last year which put him into a two-week coma.
As a failed asylum-seeker, Mr Mujakachi, 30, is forced to pay 150 per cent of the NHS surcharge for healthcare under hostile environment policies.
Campaigners claim that he suffered the stroke after he stopped going to the doctors for treatment for a long-term blood clotting disorder because his healthcare fees were stacking up.
Mr Mujakachi now has severe mobility problems and cannot pay the bill because he is not allowed to work.
Aliya Yule of Migrants Organise told the Morning Star that Mr Mujakachi’s story is “emblematic of what the Home Office and the hostile environment policy does. It’s embedded across housing, healthcare, employment and education.
“It just shows how crippling it is on someone’s life, how it takes away every and any element of freedom.”
Vigils and protests are taking place in Cambridge, Coventry, Dover, Halifax, Hastings, London, Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield.
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