Octavie Bei a national of Cameroon and resident of London, currently detained in Yarl’s Wood IRC. Is due to be forcibly removed from UK to Cameroon on Kenya Airways Flight KQ101, on Tuesday 4th May 2010 at 20:00 to Nairobi and onward to Cameroon.
Octavie fled Cameroon in 2008 because she had been arrested and imprisoned more than once for her activities with local political groups calling for a change in government. Whilst in prison, she was raped and beaten by prison guards on several occasions before fleeing her country to seek safer life. She has been physically and mentally affected by her experiences in Cameroon. At her tender age of 18, it seems extremely cruel to deny this lady the protection she so badly needs.
Octavie has been diagnosed with problems associated to mental ill-health and is clearly psychologically unfit to travel as dictated by UKBA. She is badly affected by the trauma of rape and violence used against her in Cameroon. The daily nightmares and flashbacks she has about returning to her country to suffer again has been compounded by the UKBA unjust detention and removal of her despite her not having concluded her legal case for asylum in UK. The anxiety and stress, the panic attacks etc she is suffering indicate she needs urgent medical care that she will not receive back in Cameroon – it is inhumane to send someone back to their country whilst there are psychological / physical health issues to be resolved / stabilised.
Octavie is a very depressed and vulnerable woman who is at risk of being abused by the Cameroonian authorities determined to punish her for her political actions for those fighting against the current regime in Cameroon . The police force, due to their corruption and allegiance to President Biya, will not be able to guarantee Octavie’s safety from further persecution or rape. Octavie is someone severely affected by her circumstances in Cameroon. She is affected by what has happened to her in Cameroon, and believes the only way to escape her pain is to be given protection by UK govt or to commit suicide. Sending her back to Cameroon will not be the solution to her problem at all, it will make everything so much worse.
According to US Department of State Human Rights Report 2008 (published 25/2/09) , “there were credible reports that security forces tortured, beat, and otherwise abused prisoners and detainees, including demonstrators and a human rights worker arrested during the February riots. The government rarely investigated or punished any of the officials involved.” Security forces also engaged in torture, beatings, and other abuses, particularly of detainees and prisoners. Prison conditions were harsh and life threatening. Authorities arrested and detained anglophone citizens advocating secession, local human rights monitors and activists, persons not carrying government-issued identity cards, and other citizens. There were incidents of prolonged and sometimes incommunicado pretrial detention and infringement on citizens’ privacy rights. The government restricted citizens’ freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and association, and harassed journalists.
World Organisation Against Torture (Nov’03) in reference to Cameroon, stated “Women in detention centres are particularly subjected to gender-specific forms of torture such as rape and other forms of sexual violence by both prison guards and other inmates. Women and men are detained in the same cells. According to reliable reports, there are cases in which women have been housed naked in mixed cells with men, stripped naked, stripped naked and forced to dance, their bodies insulted and mocked or forced to stand in the sun naked. When the method of torture consists of rape or sexual assault, it is less likely that the victim will complain out of fear and shame, thus leading to the negation of this violation and the impunity of the torturer”
The current UK Home Office policy of deporting asylum seekers who have been victims of torture / rape and detention in their country of origin does not reflect the reality of cases like Octavie’s and, should she be removed, Octavie will be cast into an arena of fear where even in that large country, there will be no hiding the authorities who are determined to root out at every level persons who are opponents of corruption and human rights abuses.
What you can do to help – Please take urgent action now
1) Email/Fax/phone, Sam Okwulehie, Group Area Manager Kenya Airways
urge him not to carry out the forced removal of Octavie Bei – you can use the model letter OctavieBeiKA.doc . You can copy, amend or write your own version – please quote, Octavie Bei, due to be forcibly removed from UK to Cameroon on Kenya Airways Flight KQ101, on Tuesday 4th May 2010 at 20:00 to Nairobi and onward to DRC
Fax: 020 8745 5027 – from outside the UK + 44 20 8745 5027
Phone: 020 8759 7366 – from outside the UK + 44 20 8759 7366
2) Email/Fax, Rt. Hon. Alan Johnson MP Secretary of State for the Home Office
Ask that Octavie Bei, be granted protection in the UK. Use the model letter OctavieBeiAJ.doc which you can copy/amend/write your own version (if you do so, please remember to include her HO ref B1257624 )
Fax: 020 8760 3132
(00 44 20 8760 3132 if you are faxing from outside UK)
Please email ANSU UK campaign group
with copies of faxes/ emails sent: firstname.lastname@example.org