Sierra Leonean Activist Told To Leave UK After Exposing UKBA Human Rights Abuse
Sierra Leone’s very own Human Rights activist, James Fallah-Williams, who became one of the key critics of Solomon Berewa and Tejan Kabba’s poor government, and now a major voice emerging for Sierra Leone, has done it again; this time in the UK. The fearless Human Rights activist whose client won a critical test case against the UK Border Agency has been asked to leave the country by the agency. The UK Border Agency secretly and shamelessly revoked his work permit and told him to leave the country within 28 days after his client won a landmark Asylum Support Tribunal case against them.
The 38 year-old, who has lived in the UK lawfully for 13 years, and worked for MRSN as adviser, acted on behalf of a young family of five who were deliberately starved by the UKBA. The Agency repeatedly failed to provide food for the family who were under their care. According to a press release by the Manchester based human rights organisation, RAPAR, it appears that James is an apparent threat to the UKBA whose human rights record is coming under immense scrutiny after a deportee was killed by its security men late last year.
It looks like the UKBA are about to face a massive backlash and embarrassment about James’ case that is gradually coming to light. For us in new democracies it will enable us to start asking some very serious questions about UK’s true democratic credentials on human rights and freedom of speech. It will also enhance the credibility of the man who once described Solomon Berewa as unfit to rule Sierra Leone. Those who are familiar with his articles would know that he has written extensively about issues in Sierra Leone and beyond. If UK can’t practice at home what they preach about human rights, they should not preach it in Sierra Leone.
The UK National Union of Journalists (NUJ), and several human rights organisations are in support. Also, Andy Burnham, the UK Shadow Secretary of State for Education, is supporting James.
I am currently desperately seeking an interview with James to paint a detailed picture.
Sahr K Davowah, Human Rights and Law Student, Manchester, UK
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