métaliste sur la résistance de passagers (mais aussi de pilotes) aux renvois_forcés : How to stop a…

/725457

  • C’était 2007, et #François_Gemenne, alors doctorant, a écrit ce texte...

    Carte blanche François Gemenne Doctorant au Centre d’études de l’ethnicité et des migrations (Cedem) de l’Université de Liège Client nº 338 983 492 de #Brussels_Airlines : La courageuse #révolte des personnels navigants face aux #déportations par #avion

    En novembre dernier, j’ai pris un vol de Brussels Airlines (qui, à l’époque, s’appelait encore SN Brussels Airlines) à destination de Nairobi. À l’arrière de l’avion se trouvait une dame d’une cinquantaine d’années, que deux policiers ramenaient de force dans son pays. Peu avant le décollage, la dame a commencé à crier et à pleurer, suscitant une gêne évidente chez les autres passagers. J’ai beau savoir que ces déportations de demandeurs d’asile déboutés sont régulièrement organisées sur les vols réguliers des compagnies commerciales, c’était la première fois que j’en étais le témoin direct.

    Cette déportation n’a donné lieu à aucun incident particulier : il y a eu des cris, des larmes, des supplications et des menottes, mais, pour autant que je m’en sois rendu compte, pas de coups. Il n’en va pas toujours ainsi, et l’exemple de Semira Adamu sera toujours là pour nous le rappeler.

    J’ai passé le plus clair du vol à m’en vouloir de ne pas avoir protesté davantage, de ne pas être descendu de l’appareil, et de m’être finalement rendu complice de cette expulsion. Je me souviens en avoir beaucoup voulu au personnel de cabine pour sa professionnelle indifférence, qui m’apparaissait comme une caution tacite des méthodes employées. À mon retour, j’avais écrit à la direction de la compagnie, pour me désoler que celle-ci se rende complice de cette politique de déportations. On avait poliment accusé réception de ma protestation, sans plus. Et depuis, je m’étais étonné que les compagnies aériennes, les pilotes, les hôtesses et les stewards, acceptent que l’État utilise ainsi leurs avions pour ramener de force chez eux ceux qui n’avaient commis d’autre crime que celui de vouloir habiter chez nous.

    Voici pourtant que les pilotes et les personnels navigants d’Air France font maintenant savoir à leur direction qu’ils en ont marre, et que leur métier est de faire voyager les gens, pas de les déporter contre leur gré. Leur révolte est courageuse, et leur dégoût salutaire.

    On apprend aussi que les pilotes d’Air Canada ont émis la même revendication il y a quelque temps, et que la compagnie canadienne a depuis cessé de transporter les demandeurs d’asile déboutés. On apprend même que c’est tout le groupe Star Alliance, la première alliance aérienne mondiale, qui comprend notamment la Lufthansa et Air Canada, qui envisage d’arrêter les déportations.

    Dans ce concert, les pilotes de Brussels Airlines restent étrangement muets. Sans vouloir souffler des idées à leurs syndicats, il me semble qu’ils sont actuellement en position de force par rapport à leur direction, et que ce serait le moment où jamais de mettre cette revendication sur la table. Si la direction de Brussels Airlines tient vraiment à garder ses pilotes, elle aurait ainsi l’occasion de prouver sa bonne volonté.

    La démarche des pilotes d’Air France est louable, mais elle n’est pourtant pas totalement étrangère à des motivations commerciales. Car c’est également l’image de marque de la compagnie qui est en jeu. Quand j’ai émis une timide protestation auprès d’une hôtesse du vol de Nairobi, en novembre dernier, c’est bien ce souci qu’elle avait à l’esprit quand elle m’a placidement répondu de ne pas m’en faire, et que les cris cesseraient rapidement après le décollage. Tant d’argent investi dans le confort des sièges, la réduction des files d’attente aux comptoirs d’enregistrement, le design des uniformes et des fuselages, tout cela réduit à néant par des cris, des pleurs et des échauffourées à l’arrière de l’appareil ? Quand des déportés menottés meurent à l’arrière des Airbus tricolores, le ciel cesse rapidement d’être le plus bel endroit de la terre.

    Les déportations à bord d’appareils commerciaux ont pourtant un mérite : elles assurent la publicité de cette politique. Que se passerait-il si, demain, Brussels Airlines ou Air France refusaient de se rendre encore complices de cette politique ? On peut difficilement imaginer que l’État organise les déportations sur RyanAir. Plus vraisemblablement, on affréterait alors des trains spéciaux et des vols charter. Ça coûterait plus cher, beaucoup plus cher. Pour autant, on doute fort que nos gouvernements réalisent qu’il serait infiniment plus économique, et même rentable, de laisser simplement ces gens s’installer chez nous.

    Par contre, nous ne saurions plus rien des expulsions qui ont lieu jour après jour. Aurions-nous vraiment été mis au courant de la mort de Semira Adamu, si elle avait été tuée dans un avion militaire ? Des passagers pourraient-ils encore s’indigner, se révolter quand des déportés sont violentés par les policiers ?

    Notre Constitution et nos lois prévoient et organisent la publicité des débats parlementaires et judiciaires. L’État, par souci d’économie, a organisé de facto la publicité des déportations. Chaque vol commercial qui s’envole avec un passager menotté à bord nous rappelle que, collectivement, nous avons un problème. Et que tous les passagers, dans leur indifférence, à commencer par la mienne, en portent une part de responsabilité.

    Récemment, comme tous les clients de Brussels Airlines, j’ai reçu un courrier me demandant s’il était important pour moi de recevoir un journal à bord, ou qu’un repas me soit servi en vol. On ne m’a pas demandé, par contre, s’il était important pour moi que tous les passagers aient librement consenti à leur présence dans l’avion. C’est pourtant une question à laquelle j’aurais volontiers répondu.

    https://www.lesoir.be/art/la-courageuse-revolte-des-personnels-navigants-face-aux_t-20070713-00CCQG.htm
    #résistance #pilotes #asile #migrations #expulsions #renvois

    Ajouté à cette métaliste sur la #résistance de #passagers (mais aussi de #pilotes) aux #renvois_forcés :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/725457

  • LU: dimostranti cercano di bloccare rimpatrio nigeriano

    Tensione davanti alla sede della polizia di Lucerna: ieri pomeriggio un gruppo di dimostranti ha cercato di opporsi al rimpatrio di un 41enne nigeriano. Una persona è stata arrestata per impedimento di atti dell’autorità, venendo rilasciata già nella serata di ieri.

    La manifestazione non autorizzata ha bloccato la strada per impedire al veicolo che trasportava il 41enne nigeriano di dirigersi verso l’aeroporto, indica in una nota odierna la polizia cantonale lucernese.

    L’intervento di altre pattuglie ha permesso al convoglio di proseguire: l’espulsione del 41enne verso la Nigeria si è svolta senza ulteriori problemi, precisa la polizia. I circa 25 dimostranti sono stati controllati.

    https://www.tvsvizzera.it/tvs/tutte-le-notizie-in-breve/lu--dimostranti-cercano-di-bloccare-rimpatrio-nigeriano/45020698
    #résistance #asile #migrations #réfugiés #renvois #Suisse #Lucerne #blocage #avion #vol

    ajouté à cette métaliste:
    https://seenthis.net/messages/725457

  • Allemagne : des pilotes empêchent les vols de renvoi de migrant·es
    5295 personnes ont été expulsées l’année dernière via les aéroports de la La Rhénanie-du-Nord–Westphalie. 240 expulsions ont échoué parce que les compagnies aériennes ou les pilotes ont refusé de le faire.

    Widerstand gegen Abschiebungen in NRW.
    Piloten verhindern Abschiebeflüge

    2018 sind an nordrhein-westfälischen Flughäfen rund 240 Abschiebungen verhindert worden. Meistens durch den Widerstand von Piloten oder Fluggesellschaften.
    DÜSSELDORF dpa/lnw | Über Flughäfen in Nordrhein-Westfalen wurden im vergangenen Jahr 5295 Menschen abgeschoben. Rund 240 geplante Rückführungen auf dem Luftweg scheiterten in NRW – meistens wegen Widerstands durch Fluggesellschaften oder die jeweiligen Piloten. Das geht aus der Antwort der Bundesregierung auf eine Kleine Anfrage der Linke-Fraktion im Bundestag hervor.

    Bundesweit wurden demnach 2018 deutschlandweit 21.059 Menschen über den Luftweg abgeschoben. 5.008 davon vom Flughafen Düsseldorf aus, 285 über Köln/Bonn, zwei Personen wurden über Dortmund ausgeflogen.

    169 Mal scheiterten Abschiebungen am Flughafen Düsseldorf, weil sich Fluggesellschaft oder der Pilot weigerten, die Personen mitzunehmen. In Köln passierte das sechsmal. Dort wiederum leisteten 30 Menschen so heftigen Widerstand, dass sie nicht abgeschoben werden konnten.

    In Düsseldorf scheiterten acht Abschiebungen an „Widerstandshandlungen“, so die Bundesregierung. In 28 Fällen mussten in Düsseldorf Abschiebungen wegen medizinischer Gründe“ abgebrochen werden, zweimal in Köln.

    Insgesamt hat das Land NRW im vergangenen Jahr 6.603 Menschen abgeschoben. Laut einem Bericht des Flüchtlingsministeriums waren das 5 Prozent mehr als im Jahr zuvor.

    http://www.taz.de/Widerstand-gegen-Abschiebungen-in-NRW/!5577565

    #politiques_migratoires #reconduction #désobéissance #pilotes #Allemagne

  • Pilot verhindert Abschiebung einer Hochschwangeren nach Algerien

    Sie war im achten Monat schwanger und laut Attest nicht reisefähig - dennoch sollte eine 30-Jährige mit ihrer Familie nach Algerien abgeschoben werden. Erst der Pilot hatte ein Einsehen. In #Marburg schlägt der Fall hohe Wellen.


    https://www.hessenschau.de/gesellschaft/pilot-verhindert-abschiebung-einer-hochschwangeren-nach-algerien,abschie
    #résistance #pilotes #asile #migrations #réfugiés #renvois #expulsions #Allemagne

    v. aussi la métaliste ici:
    https://seenthis.net/messages/725457

  • Indignés par les conditions d’expulsion de sans-papiers, des passagers d’Air France devant la justice - Bondy Blog
    https://www.bondyblog.fr/reportages/bobigny-des-passagers-juges-pour-avoir-proteste-contre-lexpulsion-de-sans-

    Les procès s’enchaînent. Celui de Caroline est directement suivi par le procès de Jean-Luc* et Armand* qui s’avancent à leur tour à la barre. Ils ne se connaissaient pas avant d’embarquer dans le même avion Air France à destination de Dakar, le 31 décembre 2017. Pour leur avocat, Maître Teffo, ces affaires sont liées, il décrit un « mécanisme » : « La personne reconduite à la frontière apparaît, un tissu dans la bouche, un casque sur la tête, les pieds et mains liés, elle est bâillonnée, hurle et se débat, les gens vont réagir et l’administration va choisir des personnes au hasard dans le but de frapper les esprits, et de leur dire : vous ne pouvez plus vous indigner dans ce pays. ».

    Les similitudes entre les deux affaires sont effectivement déroutantes. Tous les trois ont été expulsés de leur vol à cause de leurs protestations. A bord du Paris-Erevan, Caroline interroge les policiers sur l’homme, bâillonné et casqué, qui se débat dans l’avion, un policier affirme qu’il a violé une mineure. Cette affirmation sera par la suite contredite par le dossier de l’homme en question, auquel Me Marcus a eu accès. Comme Caroline l’imaginait dès lors, il est reconduit en Arménie pour sa « situation irrégulière » mais n’a jamais été condamné.

    De la même façon, dans le vol Paris-Dakar, l’homme, maintenu de force sur son siège, est présenté comme « un dangereux criminel » aux passagers, qui ont pour consigne de rester silencieux. La consigne n’a visiblement pas été respectée. Un témoin, qui s’avère être la compagne de Jean-Luc, est appelée à la barre : « Les gens n’ont pas trouvé ça normal, tous les passagers de la cabine se sont levés. » Jean-Luc s’indigne, la tension monte. Sa compagne affirme avoir ensuite été violemment giflée par une policière. Elle perd connaissance et ne peut pas assister à la suite de la scène.

    Ému, Armand se lance face à la juge dans un récit poignant : « Il y avait un homme derrière moi, en chemise molletonnée à carreaux avec un casque, il se débattait, il criait et quand, parfois, il ne faisait plus aucun bruit, il fallait deux neurones pour comprendre qu’il était en train d’être étouffé ! ». En colère, il s’indigne contre un « traitement inhumain », se plaint d’Air France et refuse de prendre cet avion. La même policière de l’escorte lui rétorque : « Eh bien pourquoi vous n’avez pas pris la compagnie de votre pays ? ». C’est la voix chargée d’émotions qu’Armand reprend son récit. « Ça fait mal, affirme-t-il. Est-ce qu’elle savait ce qu’était mon pays ? » Me Teffo, son avocat, souligne devant le tribunal que le dossier comporte également un rapport d’Air France dans lequel une cheffe de cabine dit avoir l’habitude de ce type de vols et conseille aux hôtesses de « ne pas se laisser impressionner par des Sénégalais qui ont la manie de parler fort. »

    • Avant le décollage, j’ai dû changer la couche de notre bébé dans les toilettes de l’avion. En sortant avec la petite dans les bras, je me suis trouvée face à une scène très violente : un homme maintenu par les policiers criait et se débattait et il portait sur la tête une sorte de casque de boxe noir qui recouvrait entièrement son visage ! Très choquée, j’ai posé quelques questions et exprimé à haute voix mon refus de voyager dans ces conditions. Les policiers ont essayé de me dissuader de « me mêler de ce qui ne me regardait pas ». J’ai refusé de retourner à ma place comme si de rien n’était et ils m’ont dit que j’étais en état d’arrestation. Je les ai suivis comme ils me le demandaient à l’extérieur de l’avion. Il s’agit là d’un résumé un peu froid d’une scène pendant laquelle j’étais vraiment bouleversée et je pleurais.

      J’ai passé des heures en garde à vue et je suis finalement sortie du tribunal de grande instance de Bobigny le lendemain vers 16h. Cette expérience a été l’occasion pour moi de constater aussi bien les mauvaises conditions dans lesquelles les policiers travaillent que ce que peuvent subir des personnes gardées à vue.

      Non seulement, ça coûte un #pognon_de_dingue de déporter ces êtres humains dans de telles conditions. Mais #en_même_temps, ça engorge les tribunaux en s’en prenant arbitrairement aux êtres humains que cette façon de procéder révolte.

  • 15 personnes poursuivies pour avoir tenté d’empêcher le décollage d’un charter de 57 expulsés (Ghana et Nigeria) en se couchant sur le tarmac (voir End Deportation latest newsletter : https://us16.campaign-archive.com/?u=ae35278d38818677379a2546a&id=6be6b043c3)
    –-> reçu via la mailing-list Migreurop par Claire Rodier.

    #Stansted_15 : Amnesty to observe trial amid concerns for anti-deportation activists

    Amnesty considers the 15 to be human rights defenders

    ‘We’re concerned the authorities are using a sledgehammer to crack a nut with this case’ - Kate Allen

    Amnesty International will be observing the trial of 15 human rights defenders set to go on trial at Chelmsford Crown Court next week (Monday 1 October) relating to their attempt to prevent what they believed was the unlawful deportation of a group of people at Stansted airport.

    The protesters - known as the “#Stansted 15” - are facing lengthy jail sentences for their non-violent intervention in March last year.

    Amnesty is concerned that the serious charge of “endangering safety at aerodromes” may have been brought to discourage other activists from taking non-violent direct action in defence of human rights. The organisation has written to the Director of the Crown Prosecution Service and the Attorney General calling for this disproportionate charge to be dropped.

    The trial is currently expected to last for approximately six weeks.

    Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK’s Director, said:

    “We’re concerned the authorities are using a sledgehammer to crack a nut with this case.

    “Public protest and non-violent direct action can often be a key means of defending human rights, particularly when victims have no way to make their voices heard and have been denied access to justice.

    “Human rights defenders are currently coming under attack in many countries around the world, with those in power doing all they can to discourage people from taking injustice personally. The UK must not go down that path.”

    https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/stansted-15-amnesty-observe-trial-amid-concerns-anti-deportation-activis

    #avion #déportation #renvois #expulsions #UK #Angleterre #résistance #procès #migrations #asile #réfugiés #frontières

    –---

    voir aussi la métaliste sur la #résistance de #passagers (mais aussi de #pilotes) aux #renvois_forcés :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/725457

    • The Stansted protesters saved me from wrongful deportation. They are heroes

      The ‘Stansted 15’ face jail for stopping my flight from taking off. They helped me see justice – and the birth of my daughter

      I’ll never forget the moment I found out that a group of people had blocked a charter deportation flight leaving Stansted airport on 28 March 2017, because I was one of the people that had a seat on the plane and was about to be removed from Britain against my will. While most of those sitting with me were whooping with joy when they heard the news, I was angry. After months in detention, the thought of facing even just one more day in that purgatory filled me with terror. And, crucially, I had no idea then of what I know now: that the actions of those activists, who became known as the Stansted 15, would help me see justice, and save my life in Britain.
      Stansted 15 convictions a ‘crushing blow for human rights in UK’
      Read more

      I first arrived in Britain in 2004 and, like so many people who come here from abroad, built a life here. As I sat in that plane in Stansted last year I was set to be taken “back” to a country that I had no links to. Indeed there is no doubt in my mind that had I been deported I would have been destitute and homeless in Nigeria – I was terrified.

      Imagine it. You’ve lived somewhere for 13 years. Your mum, suffering with mobility issues, lives there. Your partner lives there. Two of your children already live there, and the memory of your first-born, who died at just seven years old, resides there too. Your next child is about to be born there. That was my situation as we waited on the asphalt – imagining my daughter being born in a country where I’d built a life, while I was exiled to Nigeria and destined to meeting my newborn for the first time through a screen on a phone.

      My story was harsh, but it’s no anomaly. Like many people facing deportation from the United Kingdom, my experience with the immigration authorities had lasted many years – and for the last seven years of living here I had been in a constant state of mental detention. A cycle of Home Office appeals and its refusal to accept my claims or make a fair decision based on the facts of my case saw me in and out of detention and permanently waiting for my status to be settled. Though the threat of deportation haunted me, it was the utter instability and racial discrimination that made me feel like I was going mad. That’s why the actions of the Stansted 15 first caused me to be angry. I simply didn’t believe that their actions would be anything more than a postponement of further pain.

      My view isn’t just shaped by my own experience. My life in Britain has seen me rub along with countless people who find themselves the victims of the government’s “hostile environment” for migrants and families who aren’t white. Migration and deportation targets suck humanity from a system whose currency is the lives of people who happen to be born outside the UK. Such is the determination to look “tough” on the issue that people are rounded up in the night and put on to brutal, secretive and barely legal charter flights. Most take off away from the public eye – 60 human beings shackled and violently restrained on each flight, with barely a thought about the life they are dragged away from, nor the one they face upon arrival.
      Stansted 15 activists vow to overcome ‘dark, dark day for the right to protest’
      Read more

      I was one of the lucky few. My removal from the plane gave me two life-changing gifts. The first was a chance to appeal to the authorities over my deportation – a case that I won on two separate occasions, following a Home Office counter-appeal. But more importantly the brave actions of the Stansted 15 gave me something even more special: the chance to be by my partner’s side as she gave birth to our daughter, and to be there for them as they both needed extensive treatment after a complicated and premature birth. Without the Stansted 15 I wouldn’t have been playing football with my three-year-old in the park this week. It’s that simple. We now have a chance to live together as a family in Britain – and that is thanks to the people who lay down in front of the plane.

      On Monday the Stansted 15 were found guilty of breaching a barely used terror law. Though the jury were convinced that their actions breached this legislation, there’s no doubt in my mind that these 15 brave people are heroes, not criminals. For me a crime is doing something that is evil, shameful or just wrong – and it’s clear that it is the actions of the Home Office that tick all of these boxes; the Stansted 15 were trying to stop the real crime being committed. As the Stansted 15 face their own purgatory – awaiting sentences in the following weeks – I will be praying that they are shown leniency. Without their actions I would have missed my daughter’s birth, and faced the utter injustice of being deported from this country without having my (now successful) appeal heard. My message to them today is to fight on. Your cause is just, and history will absolve you of the guilt that the system has marked you with.

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/10/stansted-15-protesters-deportation

    • Regno Unito, quindici attivisti rischiano l’ergastolo per aver bloccato la deportazione di migranti

      La criminalizzazione della solidarietà non riguarda solo l’Italia, con la martellante campagna contro le Ong che salvano vite nel Mediterraneo. In Francia sette attivisti rischiano 10 anni di carcere e 750mila euro di multa per “associazione a delinquere finalizzata all’immigrazione clandestina”. Nel Regno Unito altri quindici rischiano addirittura l’ergastolo per aver bloccato nella notte del 28 marzo 2017 nell’aeroporto di Stansted la deportazione di un gruppo di migranti caricati in segreto su un aereo diretto in Nigeria.

      Attivisti appartenenti ai gruppi End Deportations, Plane Stupid e Lesbian and Gays Support the Migrants hanno circondato l’aereo, impedendone il decollo. Come risultato della loro azione undici persone sono rimaste nel Regno Unito mentre la loro domanda di asilo veniva esaminata e due hanno potuto restare nel paese. Nonostante il carattere nonviolento dell’azione, il gruppo che ha bloccato l’aereo è finito sotto processo con accuse basate sulla legge anti-terrorismo e se giudicato colpevole rischia addirittura l’ergastolo. Il verdetto è atteso la settimana prossima.

      Membri dei movimenti pacifisti, antirazzisti e ambientalisti si sono uniti per protestare contro l’iniquità delle accuse. Amnesty International ha espresso la preoccupazione che siano state formulate per scoraggiare altri attivisti dall’intraprendere azioni dirette nonviolente in difesa dei diritti umani. Il vescovo di Chelmsford, la cittadina dove si tiene il processo, si è presentato in tribunale per esprimere il suo appoggio agli imputati. La primavera scorsa oltre 50 personalità, tra cui la leader dei Verdi Caroline Lucas, la scrittrice e giornalista Naomi Klein, il regista Ken Loach e l’attrice Emma Thompson hanno firmato una lettera in cui chiedono il ritiro delle accuse contro i “Quindici di Stansted” e la fine dei voli segreti di deportazione.

      Nel Regno Unito questa pratica è iniziata nel 2001. Molte delle persone deportate hanno vissuto per anni nel paese; vengono portate via dai posti di lavoro, in strada o dalle loro case, rinchiuse in centri di detenzione, caricate in segreto su voli charter notturni e inviate in paesi che spesso non conoscono e dove rischiano persecuzioni e morte. Alcuni non vengono preavvisati in tempo per ricorrere in appello contro la deportazione. “Il nostro è stato un atto di solidarietà umana, di difesa e resistenza contro un regime sempre più brutale” ha dichiarato un’attivista.


      https://www.pressenza.com/it/2018/12/regno-unito-quindici-attivisti-rischiano-lergastolo-per-aver-bloccato-la-
      #UK #Angleterre #solidarité #délit_de_solidarité #criminalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #expulsions

    • Activists convicted of terrorism offence for blocking Stansted deportation flight

      Fifteen activists who blocked the takeoff of an immigration removal charter flight have been convicted of endangering the safety of Stansted airport, a terrorism offence for which they could be jailed for life.

      After nearly three days of deliberations, following a nine-week trial, a jury at Chelmsford crown court found the defendants guilty of intentional disruption of services at an aerodrome under the 1990 Aviation and Maritime Security Act, a law passed in response to the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.

      The court had heard how members of the campaign group End Deportations used lock-on devices to secure themselves around a Titan Airways Boeing 767 chartered by the Home Office, as the aircraft waited on the asphalt at the airport in Essex to remove undocumented immigrants to Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone.

      The prosecution argued that their actions, which led to a temporary shutdown of Stansted, had posed a grave risk to the safety of the airport and its passengers.

      The verdict came after the judge Christopher Morgan told the jury to disregard all evidence put forward by the defendants to support the defence that they acted to stop human rights abuses, instructing jurors to only consider whether there was a “real and material” risk to the airport.

      In legal arguments made without the jury present, which can now be reported, defence barristers had called for the jury to be discharged after Morgan gave a summing up which they said amounted to a direction to convict. The judge had suggested the defendants’ entry to a restricted area could be considered inherently risky.

      Human rights organisations and observers had already expressed concerns over the choice of charge, which Kate Allen, the UK director of Amnesty International, likened to “using a sledgehammer to crack a nut”. Responding to the verdict on Monday, Gracie Bradley, policy and campaigns manager at Liberty, called the verdict a “grave injustice” and a “malicious attack” on the right to peaceful protest.

      Dr Graeme Hayes, reader in political sociology at Aston University, was one of a team of academics who observed the trial throughout. The only previous use of the 1990 law he and colleagues were able to find was in 2002 when a pilot was jailed for three years after flying his helicopter straight at a control tower.

      “This is a law that’s been brought in concerning international terrorism,” he said. “But for the last 10 weeks [of the trial], we’ve heard what amounts to an extended discussion of health and safety, in which the prosecution has not said at any point what the consequences of their actions might have been.”

      In a statement released by End Deportations after the verdict, the defendants said: “We are guilty of nothing more than intervening to prevent harm. The real crime is the government’s cowardly, inhumane and barely legal deportation flights and the unprecedented use of terror law to crack down on peaceful protest.

      The protest took place on the night of 28 March 2017. The activists cut a hole in the airport’s perimeter fence, the court heard. Jurors were shown footage from CCTV cameras and a police helicopter of four protesters arranging themselves around the front landing gear of the aircraft and locking their arms together inside double-layered pipes filled with expanding foam.

      Further back, a second group of protesters erected a two-metre tripod from scaffolding poles behind the engine on the left wing on which one of them perched while others locked themselves to the base to prevent it from being moved, the videos showed. In the moments before police arrived, they were able to display their banners, one of which said: “No one is illegal.”

      Helen Brewer, Lyndsay Burtonshaw, Nathan Clack, Laura Clayson, Mel Evans, Joseph McGahan, Benjamin Smoke, Jyotsna Ram, Nicholas Sigsworth, Alistair Temlit, Edward Thacker, Emma Hughes, May McKeith, Ruth Potts and Melanie Stickland, aged 27 to 44, had all pleaded not guilty.

      They will be sentenced at a later date.


      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/dec/10/activists-convicted-of-terror-offence-for-blocking-stansted-deportation

    • Stansted 15: no jail for activists convicted of terror-related offences

      Judge says group ‘didn’t have a grievous intent as some may who commit this type of crime’.

      Fifteen activists convicted of a terrorism-related offence for chaining themselves around an immigration removal flight at Stansted airport have received suspended sentences or community orders.

      The judge decided not to imprison them after he accepted they were motivated by “genuine reasons”.

      Amid an outcry over what human rights defenders branded a heavy-handed prosecution, the group, who have become known as the Stansted 15, were convicted last December of endangering the safety of an aerodrome.

      They had broken into Stansted airport’s “airside” area in March 2017 and chained themselves together around a Boeing 767 chartered by the Home Office to deport 60 people to Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone. After a 10-week trial a jury found them guilty of the charge – an offence that carries a potential life sentence.
      We in the Stansted 15 have been treated like terrorists
      Emma Hughes
      Read more

      At Chelmsford crown court on Wednesday, Judge Christopher Morgan QC, dismissed submissions in mitigation that the group should receive conditional discharges for the direct action protest, which briefly paralysed the airport, saying they did not reflect the danger that had been presented by their actions.

      He said such action would “ordinarily result in custodial sentences”, but that they “didn’t have a grievous intent as some may do who commit this type of crime”. The mood in the court had lightened considerably at the start of the hearing when Morgan said that he did not consider the culpability of any of the defendants passed the threshold of an immediate custodial sentence.

      The heaviest sentences were reserved for three of the group who had been previously convicted of aggravated trespass at Heathrow airport in 2016.

      Alistair Tamlit and Edward Thacker were sentenced on Wednesday to nine months in jail suspended for 18 months, along with 250 hours of unpaid work. Melanie Strickland was sentenced to nine months suspended for 18 months, with 100 hours of unpaid work.

      Benjamin Smoke, Helen Brewer, Lyndsay Burtonshaw, Nathan Clack, Laura Clayson, Mel Evans, Joseph McGahan, Jyotsna Ram, Nicholas Sigsworth, Emma Hughes and Ruth Potts were each given 12-month community orders with 100 hours of unpaid work, while May McKeith received a 12-month community order with 20 days of rehabilitation.

      In mitigation, Dexter Dias QC said it should be taken into account that all acted to try to help individuals they perceived to be in danger. “The reason they wanted to prevent [the flight’s] departure is that they believed the welfare and safety of some of the people on that flight was at risk,” he said.
      Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate - sent direct to you
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      “In those circumstances the court historically in this country have considered that conscientious motivations offer quite significant mitigation.”

      Dias pointed out that 11 of those who had been due to be deported to west Africa that night remain in the country, including two of whom there were reasons to believe were victims of human trafficking, and two who were subsequently found to have been victims of human trafficking. “One of them had been raped and forced into sex work in several European cities,” he said.

      Kirsty Brimelow QC, who appeared to have been specially recruited for the mitigation after not acting for any defendant during the trial, told Morgan he must balance the defendants’ rights to protest and free association against the harm their actions caused the airport.

      Brimelow last year acted for three fracking protesters whose sentences were overturned by the court of appeal as “manifestly excessive”. She continually referred to that case as she told Morgan that he must consider the “proportionality” of the sentences.

      The defendants emerged from the court to a rousing reception from hundreds of supporters who had spent the day protesting outside. Tamlit said he was “relieved that’s over”.

      “It’s been a gruelling process,” he said. “The flight that went this morning [to Jamaica] put things in perspective. We might have been in jail tonight but people could have visited us and we would have eventually been released.

      “Not going to jail is a partial victory but we are going to keep campaigning to end charter flights, immigration detention and the hostile environment.”

      McKeith’s mother, Ag, said she was pleased at the relatively lenient sentence. But, she said she felt they ought not to have been convicted at all. “Despite the judge’s stern account, it’s simply not true that they endangered anybody at the airport,” she said. “The only people who were in danger were the people on the plane. I watched the trial all the way through and watched the prosecution trying to spin straw into gold, and they didn’t convince me.”

      Graeme Hayes, reader in political sociology at Aston University, who observed the entire trial, said: “Although the defendants have not got the custodial sentence, the bringing of a terrorism-related charge against non-violent protesters is a very worrying phenomenon. It’s so far the only case [of its type] in the UK, and points to a chilling of legitimate public dissent.”

      The defendants have already filed an appeal against their convictions. Raj Chada, of Hodge, Jones & Allen, represented most of them. “We will be studying the judgment carefully to review whether there are any issues that need to be brought up in the appeal,” he said.

      “It’s striking that nowhere was there any endangerment of individuals identified.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/global/2019/feb/06/stansted-15-rights-campaigners-urge-judge-to-show-leniency?CMP=Share_An

    • Stansted deportation flight protesters have convictions quashed

      Group of 15 activists were prosecuted under anti-terror laws for blocking immigration removal flight in 2017

      Fifteen anti-deportation activists who were prosecuted under counter-terror legislation for blocking the takeoff of an immigration removal flight from Stansted airport have had their convictions quashed.

      In a judgment handed down by the court of appeal on Friday afternoon, the lord chief justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon, said: “The appellants should not have been prosecuted for the extremely serious offence under section 1(2)(b) of the 1990 Act because their conduct did not satisfy the various elements of the offence.

      “There was, in truth, no case to answer.”

      The ruling came more than two years after the 15 protesters were convicted following a nine-week trial of endangering the safety of an aerodrome, an offence under the 1990 Aviation and Maritime Security Act that carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

      It was the first time the terror-related offence, passed in 1990 in response to the Lockerbie bombing, had been used against peaceful protesters.

      The defendants said they were relieved by the decision. May MacKeith, 35, said that the time from their arrest in 2017 to Friday’s ruling put into perspective the experiences of people caught in the UK’s hostile environment immigration system.

      “It was frightening,” she said. “But all along, despite the draconian charge, we knew that our actions were justified. We’ve never doubted that the people on that plane should never have been treated that way by our government.” Of those due to be deported on the flight, 11 were still in the UK, with three granted leave to remain.

      In their appeal, lawyers for the defence argued the legislation used to convict the group was not only rarely used but also was not intended for the kinds of peaceful actions undertaken by their clients. They said the prosecution stretched the meaning of the law by characterising the lock-on equipment they used to blockade the runway as devices used to endanger life.

      Weighing the argument, Burnett said in his judgment: “The closure of the runway was undoubtedly disruptive and expensive, but there was no evidence that it resulted in likely endangerment to the safety of the aerodrome or of persons there.

      “The [deployment] of an unspecified number of police officers when the terrorist threat was severe may have increased the risks within the terminal, but there was no evidence to enable an inference to be drawn that endangerment was likely.

      “There may have been a slightly enhanced risk of a police officer slipping en route to the aircraft, but it would stretch both language and common sense to say that there was likely endangerment, both in terms of the probability of this happening and the seriousness of the consequences if it did happen.”

      Burnett added: “Both the crown’s case and the summing-up collapsed the distinction between risk and likely danger and treated the offence as if it were akin to a health and safety provision.”

      The defendants, all members of the group Stop Deportations, had taken part in a peaceful action that stopped a chartered deportation flight to Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone from taking off on 28 March 2017. Members of the group cut a hole in the airport’s perimeter fence before rushing on to the apron at Stansted.

      Four protesters arranged themselves around the front landing gear of the aircraft, locking their arms together inside double-layered pipes filled with expanding foam. Further back, a second group of protesters erected a 2-metre tripod from scaffolding poles behind the engine on the left wing. One of them perched on top of the makeshift structure, while others locked themselves to the base to prevent it from being moved.

      In the moments before police arrived they were able to display banners, including one that said: “No one is illegal.”

      Although members of the group received suspended sentences or community orders, UN human rights experts wrote to the UK government expressing concern over the application of “security and terrorism-related legislation to prosecute peaceful political protesters and critics of state policy”.

      On Friday, rights groups including Amnesty International and Liberty welcomed the ruling. But Raj Chada of Hodge Jones & Allen, who represented the defendants, said questions remained as to why the then attorney general, Jeremy Wright, had authorised the use of the charge in the first place.

      He said: “It does make me uncomfortable that a British cabinet minister has authorised a terror charge against political opponents, that the lord chief justice has decided is completely inappropriate. The appellants should be told, why was this charge used in this way? What information did the attorney general have?”

      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/jan/29/stansted-deportation-flight-protesters-have-convictions-quashed

    • Stansted 15: Activists who stopped migrant deportation flight have convictions overturned

      Lord Chief Justice says demonstrators have ‘no case to answer’ for offences they were charged with

      A group of activists who stopped a deportation flight leaving Stansted airport have had their convictions overturned by the Court of Appeal.

      They had been prosecuted following a protest in March 2017, where they ultimately prevented a charter flight that was due to deport 60 individuals to Africa.

      The group, known as the Stansted 15, were initially charged with aggravated trespass but the charge was changed to endangering safety at a public airport.

      All defendants denied the offence at trial, and said they were “guilty of nothing more than intervening to prevent harm” to migrants on board the plane.

      On Friday, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett, sitting with Mr Justice Jay and Ms Justice Whipple, overturned all 15 demonstrators’ convictions.

      Lord Burnett said the protesters “should not have been prosecuted for the extremely serious offence ... because their conduct did not satisfy the various elements of the offence. There was, in truth, no case to answer.”

      The judgment said the offence they were charged with was intended for “conduct of a different nature” after the campaigners’ lawyers told the Court of Appeal the offence used was related to terrorism and had been created in the wake of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.

      May MacKeith, a member of the Stansted 15, said almost four years of legal proceedings “should never have happened”.

      “But for many people caught up in the UK immigration system the ordeal lasts much, much longer,” she added.

      “The nightmare of this bogus charge, a 10 week trial and the threat of prison has dominated our lives for four years. Despite the draconian response we know our actions were justified.”

      Raj Chada of Hodge Jones and Allen Solicitors, who represented the Stansted 15, said the case should be a matter of “great shame” to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and attorney general.

      “Both have questions to answer as to why they authorised such an unprecedented charge,” he added.

      “Amnesty International adopted the 15 as human rights defenders, Liberty intervened in the case and even the UN, through their special rapporteurs, expressed concern, yet the case went forward.”

      In March 2017, the defendants cut through the perimeter fence of Stansted airport in Essex and used pipes to lock themselves together around a plane.

      The Boeing 767 had been chartered by the Home Office to remove 60 people to Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone, and was stationary on the airport’s apron.

      The trial heard the defendants believed the deportees were at risk of death, persecution and torture if they were removed from Britain, and many were asylum seekers.

      Campaigners said that 11 of the 60 passengers remain in the UK, and included victims of human trafficking.

      The protesters, who all pleaded not guilty, were convicted in December 2018 of the intentional disruption of services at an aerodrome under the Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990.

      A judge at Chelmsford Crown Court handed three defendants, who had previous convictions for aggravated trespass at airports, suspended prison terms and gave 12 defendants community sentences.

      Judge Christopher Morgan said alleged human rights abuses, immigration policy and proportionality did not have “any relevance” to whether a criminal offence had been committed.

      “In normal circumstances only a custodial sentence would have been justified in this case, but I accept that your intentions were to demonstrate.”

      United Nations human rights experts raised concern over the case and warned the British government against using security-related laws against protesters and critics.

      “We are concerned about the application of disproportional charges for what appears to be the exercise of the rights to peaceful and non-violent protest and freedom of expression,” a statement said in February 2019.

      “It appears that such charges were brought to deter others from taking similar peaceful direct action to defend human rights, and in particular the protection of asylum seekers.”

      The group received high-profile support from MPs and public figures, including the Bishop of Chelmsford.

      An open letter signed by dozens of politicians and academics in September condemned the practice of “secret deportation flights”, which came into renewed focus following the Windrush scandal.

      Amnesty International said the case was part of a Europe-wide trend of volunteers and activists being criminalised for helping migrants.

      Kate Allen, Amnesty International UK’s director, said the Court of Appeal ruling was a “good day for justice”.

      “The Stansted 15 will take their place in the history books as human rights defenders who bravely brought injustices perpetrated by the state into the light,” she added.

      “This case should never have been brought and there must be lessons learnt for how we treat human rights defenders in this country.”

      Lana Adamou, a lawyer for the Liberty human rights group, called the charges “an attack on our right to express dissent”.

      “All too often it is the most marginalised in society, and those acting in solidarity with them, who bear the brunt of over-zealous policing and crackdowns on protest, making it even more important for the government to take steps to facilitate protest and ensure these voices are heard, rather than find ways to suppress them,” she added.

      At November’s Court of Appeal hearing, lawyers for the activists told the court the legislation used to convict the 15 is rarely used and not intended for a protest case.

      In documents before the court, the Stansted 15’s barristers argued it was intended to deal with violence of the “utmost seriousness”, such as terrorism, rather than risks of “a health and safety-type nature” posed by those who have trespassed at an airport.

      Lawyers for the group also argued that the attorney general – who is required to sign off on the use of the legislation – should not have granted consent for the law to be used in this case, that the crown court judge made errors in summing up the case and in directions given to the jury.

      Barristers representing the CPS had said the convictions are safe and that the trial judge was correct.

      Tony Badenoch QC told the court: “We don’t accept that the act is constrained to terrorism and nothing else.”

      A CPS spokesperson said: “We will consider the judgment carefully in the next 28 days.”

      The 15 are: #Helen_Brewer, 31; #Lyndsay_Burtonshaw, 30; #Nathan_Clack, 32; #Laura_Clayson, 30; #Melanie_Evans, 37; #Joseph_McGahan, 37; #Benjamin_Smoke, 21; #Jyotsna_Ram, 35; #Nicholas_Sigsworth, 31; #Melanie_Strickland, 37; #Alistair_Tamlit, 32; #Edward_Thacker, 31; #Emma_Hughes, 40; #May_McKeith, 35; and #Ruth_Potts, 46.

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/stansted-15-deportation-flight-convictions-appeal-b1794757.html

  • « Je ne m’assieds pas » : elle bloque le décollage pour empêcher l’expulsion d’un migrant
    https://www.lemonde.fr/immigration-et-diversite/video/2018/07/25/je-ne-m-assieds-pas-une-etudiante-suedoise-empeche-l-expulsion-d-un-afghan-e

    Pour éviter qu’un demandeur d’asile soit renvoyé par avion en Afghanistan, Elin Erson, une étudiante suédoise de 22 ans, a acheté un billet sur le même vol, lundi 23 juillet, au départ de Göteborg en Suède. Une fois à bord, elle a refusé de s’asseoir, empêchant l’avion de décoller. « Je ne vais pas m’asseoir avant que cette personne soit descendue de cet avion », a-t-elle prévenu.

    Pendant de longues minutes, elle a diffusé son action en direct sur Facebook. « Il se fera certainement tuer s’il reste dans cet avion », a-t-elle répété aux passagers et au personnel de bord agacés. Peu à peu, elle a reçu le soutien de voyageurs, qui se sont levés à leur tour. L’Afghan de 52 ans a finalement été débarqué de l’avion, et son expulsion provisoirement reportée.

    #brava #résistance à #loi_scélérate #tou·tes_debout