It’s 4.45 in the morning. Something is happening out on the street. Flashing blue lights, a car door, a woman’s voice, a child crying. The door slams, the car speeds off. “They” have picked someone up.
East Germany in the 1960s? No. England in 2009. From the people who brought you “extraordinary rendition”; from the Home Office that has produced more new laws in a decade than in the previous century: welcome to the brave new world of post-civilisation Britain. This is how we treat frightened people who have lost almost everything and now stand to lose the rest.
The treatment of refugees is about the obligation – which civilisations much older than ours have known in their bones – to care for the stranger in need. What’s the point of “human rights” becoming a mantra for every special-interest fad if we ignore the most basic human rights of deeply vulnerable people?
Anselme Noumbiwa is 32, and comes from Cameroon. His father was chief of the Bamileke. When he died, Anselme was chosen as chief, and taken away for initiation ceremonies. These involved having sex with several of his father’s wives, and taking further wives. Anselme, a devout Christian, refused. He was thereupon degraded and tortured. The Bamileke need a chief to embody their wellbeing; but, if Anselme will not comply with their traditions, another chief cannot be named until he is dead. There is no chance of him being safe in Cameroon.
Anselme escaped to England in 2006, and has been trying to make a new life. But in October he was seized for deportation via Paris. Fortunately, the other aircraft passengers, seeing his appalling treatment, refused to sit down, so he was returned to England. …
Now, the authorities are making another sudden attempt to send him back. He was “picked up” last week and is to be deported this Friday.
I will never understand British human rights laws. A pirate, a terrorist, and a high-rise full of benefits scammers can’t be deported, but a decent Christian whose life is in danger and whose (tax-paying) neighbors clearly want to help him can and will be, in the dark of night, sneakily, furtively, underhandedly, finally, like a bunch of neocons in a bad episode of 24…