Friday, 11 April 2008

Justice for Ama Sumani - End Deportations

Assemble 1 pm, Nye Bevan Statue, Queen Street, Saturday 19 April

Supporters and friends of Ama Sumani, who died in Ghana on March 19th after being removed from the University Hospital of Wales whilst receiving treatment for cancer, have called a demonstration in her memory.

Campaigners hope that the event will be both a tribute to Ama and a message to the authorities that this kind of situation must never be repeated.

“This protest is important because we have to make sure this kind of thing doesn't happen again” said Janet Symmons, Ama's friend and co-ordinator of the campaign. “Ama's tragedy touched a lot of people, but it is important to understand that there are hundreds of people in similar situations right now. I know a Zambian lady who has a baby daughter with brain damage, a Cameroonian boy with Hepatitis – all have the threat of deportation hanging over them.”Ama Sumani had contracted cancer whilst living in Britain and required dialysis after her kidneys became damaged.

Despite protests that Ama would die in Ghana due to a lack of necessary medical resources, Ama was removed from hospital at 8am on January 9th and had been deported from the country by mid-afternoon.

The decision was condemned by the likes of medical journal The Lancet and Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan, and thousands of pounds were donated to help pay for Ama's medical care.

Despite this, Ama died just hours after hearing that doctors who could treat her had been found. She was just 39 and left two orphaned children, a daughter and son aged 16 and seven.

Karen Tyre, a local government worker and trade union rep who had been involved in the campaign, said that “Ama's deportation shows just how cruel politicians can be when dealing with human life. It was a disgrace that local MP Alun Michael, rather than condemning this appalling act, chose to defend the actions of the Immigration Service.”

She continued: “To them, Ama was a statistic, a number, but for millions of people who learned of her plight she was a real person who was ignored by those who had the power to help her. This event will be a chance for people around the country to come together in memory of Ama and say 'never again'.”

Organisers of the event, including African groups, refugee support groups and trade unionists, hope that they will bring British people and migrants closer together.

The demonstration will take place on Saturday April 19, exactly one month after Ama passed away. It will assemble at 1pm at the Aneurin Bevan statue on Queen Street. Speakers and supporters will be announced soon.

Ms Symmons summed up the appeal to people by saying: “I remember the case of the terminally ill woman who was denied the right to travel to Switzerland so she could take her life painlessly. Yet Ama wanted to live and she was sent away. This is not the way to treat human beings, so please join us and help get the message out.”

1 comment:

No Borders Wales said...

The deportation of Ama Sumani (described by Lin Homer, chief executive of the Border & Immigration Agency, as “not exceptional”) not only shows a total lack of compassion, it suggests a vindictive cruelty in the methodology of the Border & Immigration Agency.

By denying her the drugs she needed & the support people were willing to give, the Border & Immigration Agency are guilty of no less than culpable homicide.

It is horrific that someone receiving treatment vital to their survival can be removed from hospital against their will. What is chilling is that this is the operational practice of a government funded executive agency.