Image via WikipediaSource: Split Horizons
By Duncan Stott
I have dug up information to form a profile of the asylum seeker that was stabbed in the back by Alan Johnson. I am posting the details carefully as specific information could put his safety into jeopardy. All this information is from reports found online on local news websites. If you decide to find these stories, I ask that you don't reproduce his name or his country of origin.
The man originates from a country in central west Africa. The country has an appalling human rights record; Amnesty International has catalogued its human rights abuses, and states that the cases it has exposed mainly involve killing and torture for the repression of political dissent. The man worked there as a press officer for the opposition party. After other members of his party had been subjected to torture, he fled to the UK, and settled in Hull, where he has now lived for seven years.
Since arriving here he has married, and together they have had a baby girl, who is approaching her 1st birthday. They regularly attended a local church. He was a volunteer for the Citizens Advice Bureau, and a member of the Labour party.
In February his asylum application was refused. The UK Border Agency have three times failed to deport him, thanks to the efforts of his vicar and fellow church-goers who held revolts at Heathrow Airport. On one occasion he was even on the plane, but it took an intervention from an Air France pilot to secure his stay in the UK.
He was moved between five detention centres in as many months, separated from his wife and baby. During two of his attempted deportations, he claims he was kicked and beaten by guards. He has stated that his experience of the UK authorities has been even worse than his time in his homeland, because he expected to be protected in the UK, and be a free man.
So there it is. A profile of the man Alan Johnson betrayed. I don't know how the Home Secretary sleeps at night.