Meetings on 25th and 29th November 19th November 2010: Just about a month after Jimmy Mubenga collapsed while he was being escorted on a flight from Heathrow airport in London, at least two public meetings seeking justice for him are scheduled to be held later this month.
On Thursday 25 November 2010, the first meeting is slated to be held at 8pm to address the issues around violence and abuse in the system of immigration detention and removal.
The meeting is being organised at Emmanuel United Reform Church, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RR; and the speakers include: Dr Frank Arnold – Medical Justice, Julian Huppert MP and Hani Zubeidi – the Mubenga family solicitor.
Another public meeting is scheduled to be held on Monday 29 November 2010, between 5 and 6pm at Committee Room 1, House of Commons, London SW1 0AA.
The speakers include Lord Ramsbotham – Chair, former HM Inspector of Prisons, Jimmy Mubenga family, Mark Scott – Bhatt Murphy Solicitors, Dr Frank Arnold – medical advisor to the Medical Justice network and Deborah Coles – Inquest.
Already, United Nations independent experts on human rights have aired concern over the reported death onboard a flight.
UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants Jorge Bustamante, in fact, said he was disturbed at the manner in which migrants were being treated with no dignity at all.
An Angolan refugee, Mubenga was in the custody of guards for a private security company, after his appeal to remain in the European country was rejected.
Mubenga reportedly died 50 minutes after boarding a British Airways flight at Heathrow airport in London on 13 October 2010. He was reportedly surrounded by three guards working for G4S, a private security company, when he died.
Witnesses had earlier told the Guardian Mubenga was handcuffed as he sat between two guards at the rear of the aircraft. He was kept restrained in his seat, as he began shouting and seeking to resist his deportation.
The passengers, sitting nearby, reported Mubenga shouting "I can’t breathe" before he finally passed out.
MPs too have already called for a "wide-ranging and independent inquiry" into the UK’s deportation system in light of the death.
Keith Vaz, chair of the Commons home affairs select committee, said he would be writing to home secretary Theresa May, and G4S about possible questions surrounding the death.
He added if, as eyewitness reports suggest, Mubenga was complaining of breathing difficulties, questions must be asked as to why help was not called for sooner.