#Human Rights
Rt. Hon Pat McFadden MP, Rt. Hon Teresa May MP
United Kingdom

Allen is a 28 year old man from Zimbabwe who arrived in the UK on a visitors visa in 2001. He left Zimbabwe in order to escape forced military service under Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF regime.

Allen grew up living in government housing allocated to military, police and government officials, a situation which made avoidance of forced military obligations impossible. Upon arrival Allen made contact with his Uncle who was residing in the UK, and whom arranged for Allen’s asylum process to be dealt with by a solicitor.

On three occasions (in 2001, 2004, 2006), the solicitor returned Allen’s passport to him with stamps extending his stay. Unbeknown to Allen, these stamps turned out to be counterfeits, the scammer posing as a solicitor is currently serving a prison sentence for producing fake Home Office Documents. It was not until he was arrested for dangerous driving in 2007 that Allen realised that the stamps were fake, having used his passport for UK government correspondents in the past.

Having served half of a nine month prison sentence for the driving offence, Allen has spent the last three years in Immigration Detention Centres around the UK, his asylum application upon arrest having been rejected.

Until as recently 2010 the UK Home Office operated a four year freeze on deporting asylum seekers back to Zimbabwe on the grounds that those seen as opposing Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party were at risk of persecution. In that time Allen was being detained with no chance of removal, his numerous appeals for bail being rejected.

The ban on deportations has since been lifted, however this change in policy has been met with deep reservation by the Refugee Council and other human rights groups as harassment and arrest of political opponents continues. Having spent almost a decade in the UK, Allen has developed deep personal ties here. He had a two year relationship with a British woman which ended in part due to the strain caused by his detention. The couple had a daughter who is now three years old.

Allen is still in contact with his child through visits at the Colnbrook detention centre where he is being held. His mother is also resident in the UK, having been granted refugee status. Allen is a kind, gentle and affable man who is being held under the deeply unfair and ineffective policy of indefinite detention. He has already served his sentence and should be granted bail while his asylum application is being processed.

The policy of indefinite detention is a violation of human rights, costing the British tax payer millions of pounds as well as immeasurable damage to those detained. Allen has been unjustly imprisoned for three years. His detention must end now.

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The End Allen Sibanda's Detention petition to Rt. Hon Pat McFadden MP, Rt. Hon Teresa May MP was written by Allen Sibanda and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.