Sushil helping raise awareness of asylum seekers at Sharrow Festival 2013

UK’s deportation of Buddhist monk delayed

The deportation order of Buddhist monk, Sushilananda Sraman, who feared persecution if deported to his native Bangladesh, has been lifted and he remains in the UK for now.

I wrote about Sushil here last Wednesday, just hours ahead of his planned deportation.

Campaigners were relieved to wake up on Thursday morning to the news that Sushil was still being held at Morton Hall near Lincoln, and that he had not been moved to Colnbrook Immigration Centre, from where he would have been transported for the scheduled 8am flight back to Bangladesh.

City of Sanctuary Sheffield support worker Katelyn Mckeown, who has been campaigning for Sushil, expressed relief that he was not deported and said that she hoped that there would now be a chance for further legal representation:

“Sushil is relieved the deportation order was lifted and he hopes the Home Office will allow time for new legal representatives to submit a fresh claim with all the available evidence.”

She added:

“Further legal representation may be possible but nothing is certain nor should we take for granted that victory is imminent. To put it another way, Sushil is not much better off but at the same time, he would have been on the plane right now so it’s brilliant news!”

Campaigners are still urging people to keep sharing and signing their petition (online here) which they plan to resubmit to Home Secretary Theresa May with more than 1000 signatures.

One signatory, Liz Hawkins, wrote:

“I want to believe that we the people of Sheffield can still offer sanctuary to people who are genuinely under threat in their own countries. We offered this to Chilean miners and their families fleeing from the persecution by the Pinochet regime. Let us do the same for this serious and devout man.”

Another, Kay-Rose Hattrick, wrote:

“Sushil has much to offer our local community and seems to have more passion about Sheffield and working for this community than most locals! Surely this will benefit us, we’d be fools to let him go! And please, for humanity’s sake.”

Image courtesy of City of Sanctuary

Article also pulished on Open Democracy