Joey Bediako, the Thornton Heath man facing forced deportation, was given an 11th-hour reprieve last night when he was released from the notorious Brook House detention centre near Gatwick Airport.
The news was announced just after 8pm last night by the campaign group Detention Action.
Bediako had been held – effectively in a remand prison – for 24 days without charge, and was due to be flown out to Ghana today.
Amoura Curry, his girlfriend who led the campaign to secure his release, tweeted her delight with a photo of Bediako outside the detention centre with the simple joyous message, “Look who I’ve found.”
Bediako, 26, had been taken “without warning” to Brook House on May 5. He had been advised just days before in a letter from the Home Office that he could apply for long-term residency under the EU Settlement Scheme. Once detailned in Brook House, the authorities took away Bediako’s passport, making it impossible for him to apply for residency.
Bediako is a Ghanaian citizen but is eligible for the scheme because his parents and sister are Italian nationals and his father lives and works in the UK.
And while Bediako, Curry and their family and friends were obviously delighted at the latest development, the experience had made them determined to campaign for justice for others who have been subjected to similar, and worse, treatment at the hands of Priti Patel’s Home Office.
Curry cited one case, of Abdul, who has been detained on the same wing as Bediako for five years.
Last night, Curry tweeted, “There’s so many people to thank for this. There’s so much yet to be explained about Joey’s release.
“Joey’s fight isn’t over and the men in Brook House need rescuing.”
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Thankfully an MPs interventions are worthwhile and listened to. but perhaps someone should be looking at why this happened.
There are good reasons we have an immigration service and we all should be in support for the hard work in difficult circumstances that they do. But the regular horrendous mishaps and miscarriages bring the whole service into disrepute.
I would like to known the full out come of this story.