It’s time for a migrant rights movement (Justice for Jimmy Mubenga)

Justice for Jimmy Mubenga
Justice for Jimmy Mubenga

source: Open Democracy
published: 8 October 2020

On October 12, 2010, Jimmy Mubenga was bundled onto a British Airways charter flight by G4S security guards. He was 46 years old. A father to a young family, Jimmy had been fighting for the right to remain in Britain with his wife and children.

After speaking with his wife over the phone, he became emotional, telling her that he didn’t know what he was going to do if separated from her. Returning to his seat he was handcuffed into his chair and forcibly held down by G4S security guards. Passengers on the flight report that Jimmy said to them “All you people are watching them kill me. I can’t breathe. They are going to kill me.”

Despite Jimmy’s death being ruled an unlawful killing, nobody has ever been held responsible. The G4S guards were cleared of manslaughter charges: at their trial, evidence from their phones which were littered with obscene racist ‘jokes’, was deemed inadmissible.

There has never been justice for Jimmy, but this weekend a nationwide mobilisation will seek to mark the tenth anniversary of his death and call for justice for him and all those killed by the brutality of British immigration policies.

Jimmy’s killing is but one in a string of deaths associated with Britain’s cruel border regime. This includes those whose lives were cut short in obvious ways – killed by the police, immigration officers or private contractors – as well as many thousands of others drowned at sea, suffocated in trucks, denied healthcare or forced to eke out an existence at the margins of society unable to work, rent, study or live freely.

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