Disabled human rights campaigner Manjeet Kaur, who is resisting Home Office attempts to evict her onto the streets, is to appeal against the decision to withdraw her housing support.
Trade unionists, disability and equal rights activists, and other campaigners will join the lobby in support of Manjeet outside the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in Manchester from 9.00am – 10.00am on Thursday, 16 October 2014.
Since she sought asylum in the UK more than three years ago, Manjeet has been a tireless campaigner for human rights and worked with the UK Disabled People’s Council to highlight injustices faced by disabled people seeking asylum
She was told she must leave the accommodation in Whalley Range, where she has lived since 2011, by Thursday, 9 October 2014 at the latest. The unsigned and unaddressed hand delivered letter from Serco, which runs asylum housing in the North West on behalf of the Home Office, said: “Should you refuse to leave the property on this date, we will have no choice but to take legal action to evict you.”
Manjeet, who is from Afghanistan and has used a wheelchair since she was eight years old, recently lodged a claim with the Court of Appeal on the grounds that the High Court has failed to engage with the facts of her asylum case.
Currently, the Home Office are examining her latest appeal. Manjeet’s asylum solicitor Gary McIndoe, of Latitude Law, explains: “In our view, successive judges have failed to address the core issues of the case – Manjeet’s nationality, the harm she suffered in the past and the practicality of removing her to India…”
A spokesperson for RAPAR (Refugee and Asylum Seeker Participatory Action Research) said: “Manjeet is facing eviction from her home because her asylum case is deemed by the Home Office to be at an end. Yet, in the view of her lawyers, successive judges have failed to examine the core issues of her case. It seems that the Home Office is prepared to evict a disabled woman who uses a wheelchair onto the streets when the facts of her asylum case have not been properly considered.”
Manjeet added: “As a disabled asylum seeker with various health issues and hospital appointments, I feel I am living on the edge. I will be made destitute with a limited ability to survive on the streets. Is this something the state allows to happen in the society that we live in? The asylum process feels like a slow poison that is taking away my zest for life.”
Sharon Hooley, of DAN (Direct Action Network for Disabled People) will be one of the speakers at the lobby outside the tribunal next Thursday.
Commenting on Manjeet’s case, Sharon said: “We say this is a ‘civilised country’ yet it seems perfectly acceptable to demonise, discriminate, alienate and rob disabled people of their basic human needs. “Since becoming disabled in the past six years, I never thought I would see such pure hatred and lack of humanity towards people like myself. So I’m shouting out for all those who have been made invisible to our society. I ask you all to open your eyes and ears and see the truth about what is happening right in front of you.”