Press Release: Office of Jean Lambert MEP

29th August 2006

 

Green MEP Urges Government To Cancel Deportation Of Disabled Activist

Green MEP Jean Lambert has today spoken out against the Government's plans to deport a disabled activist to Kenya.

Mr Peter Gichura, who has been in a wheelchair since 1990, has been active in campaigning for disability rights throughout society including on London's buses and about the appalling conditions in Harmondsworth detention centre. He has been threatened with deportation even though his life would be in danger if he returned to Kenya due to a lack of access to vital medical attention.

Today Jean Lambert called on the Government to grant him leave to remain on humanitarian grounds; "The Government have an obligation to grant Mr Peter Gichura humanitarian protection but deporting him to Kenya may see his life cut short. Not only would Peter's life be threatened by the authorities there but, on the basis of conditions in Kenya, disability advocates have also warned that Peter's life would be in danger.

"If the Government really are going to deport someone with disabilities they must ensure that someone so vulnerable is granted the protection and assistance they need in their destination country.

"Sadly this case seems to indicate that if asylum seekers stay quiet and 'below the radar' the Government let them stay. As soon as they try and positively contribute to society though asylum seekers increase their chances of deportation.

"It is now vital that the Government cancel Mr Gichura's deportation and release him from detention immediately. Peter should be granted the right to stay so that he can continue to receive medical support his life depends on."


ENDS

For more information please contact:
Morwenna Holland, Media Officer
tel: 020 7407 6280 or 07813149812
email: media@jeanlambertmep.org.uk
www.jeanlambertmep.org.uk

Notes to editors:
Jean Lambert: In October 2005 Jean was named MEP 2005 for Justice and Human Rights. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections. She was re-elected in 2004. She is one of nine MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green representatives in the European Parliament.

Heyday: a not for profit membership organisation, backed by Age Concern, for all people who are thinking about planning for or in retirement.

Heyday has been developed by Age Concern following a long period of research and consultation. The membership scheme model reflects other similar successful organisations across the world including AARP in the US and Dane Age in Denmark.

Statistics
The introduction of Heyday comes as population statistics show that almost half the adult population will be aged over 50 in just 10 years time (source: Government Actuary). As older people are living longer, healthier lives, they must take greater care in planning their financial, social and recreational lives if they are to avoid many of the difficulties being faced today by those in later life. Heyday will provide a catalyst to creating a dialogue with this younger group before it is too late; and focus a national debate on improving the lives of all older people.

About Age Concern
Age Concern is the leading charity in the UK concerned with ageing and older people, and works to improve the quality of life for all older people. Nationally, it is involved in campaigning, policy guidance, research and information, and through its trading arm, Age Concern Enterprises (ACEnt), offers a range of products and services specifically designed for older people. The creation of a membership scheme which attracts a younger audience will allow Age Concern to achieve greater impact in helping prevent many issues facing older people, particularly in relation to financial and health matters.