#Gender Rights and Issues
Immigration Minister, UKBA
United Kingdom

Mama Must Stay!

Stop Deporting Women to Forced Marriage & Rape! Free Mama! Grant Her Asylum Now! End the Inhuman Treatment of Asylum Seekers! Shut Down Yarl’s Wood!

Mama is one of Britain’s foremost fighters for human rights and the rights of women. She is a central leader of the Movement for Justice women in Yarl’s Wood detention centre and the on-going struggle for freedom and equality by women detainees. She is a leader who shows others how to fight for themselves.

She has spoken in the plain truth about Britain’s racist, inhuman treatment of asylum seekers and immigrants.

Like so many women in Yarl’s Wood, she has been treated as a liar and told to prove she is not lying while being rushed through interviews and hearings in the isolation of detention.

Mama learned from her experience and from previous leaders who have since won release. She has passed these lessons on to a growing group of women asylum seekers and immigrants of different nationalities and religions. As a result many Yarl’s Wood women have successfully resisted deportation, organised their own petitions, and written about their experience of detention so that it can be exposed. Many have secured release or won asylum.

Now the Home Office plans to deport Mama to the Gambia on Wednesday 7 August. In the Gambia Mama defied her family and a system that treats women as property for male relatives to dispose of at will. She refused to stay in a forced marriage with her uncle and escaped to Britain. She has suffered the traumatic effects of violence and repeated rape at her husband’s hands, and now these have been compounded by the psychological torture of Yarl's Wood. Deportation will further undermine her mental well-being and make her more vulnerable if she is returned to the Gambia.

When Mama escaped her forced marriage and came to Britain she struck a blow for women’s rights in the Gambia and internationally; she lifted the hearts and hopes of the growing number of women in the Gambia who long to be free. If Britain deports Mama it not only condemns her to the state-sanctioned oppression of women and a life of bondage, rape and torture – it is dashes the aspirations of every woman who dares to believe that she too could be free, and props up the fragile authority of a brutal, reactionary regime in the Gambia.


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The Mama MUST STAY! Asylum NOW! petition to Immigration Minister, UKBA was written by Movement for Justice and is in the category Gender Rights and Issues at GoPetition.