On Saturday 26 May 2012 Roseline Akhalu (“Rose”), 48, a kidney transplant patient currently detained in Yarl’s Wood detention centre was served with removal directions for Lagos, Nigeria on 7 June 2012.
Rose, a Nigerian university graduate, came to the UK in 2004 on a Ford Foundation scholarship to do a Masters degree in development studies at Leeds University. Soon after arriving she was diagnosed with renal failure and began treatment the following year. In 2009 she had a successful kidney transplant.
As a kidney transplant patient Rose needs to take immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of her life. However, the cost of such drugs in Nigeria means that there is no way Rose will be able to afford them and so, if deported, she faces certain death.
Rose is a respected and popular member of her community and many have appealed to the Home Secretary to show compassion but all such appeals have fallen on deaf ears.
Public Interest Lawyers (“PIL”) are now instructed to challenge Rose’s removal and to bring a civil claim for damages for the ill treatment she has suffered at the hands of UKBA and their contractors Reliance. When Rose was first detained in March 2012 she was prevented from using a toilet and forced to urinate in a plastic bag in the back of a van before being left to sit in her urine sodden clothes for the rest of the journey to Yarl’s Wood. As a result of this unlawful treatment Rose suffered a serious urinary tract infection. Since being re-detained on 16 May 2012 Rose has become extremely unwell because she has been denied access to adequate medical care.
On Friday PIL made representations to the Home Secretary demanding Rose’s immediate release. If Rose is not released we will seek an emergency injunction preventing her deportation.
Tessa Gregory of Public Interest Lawyers, the solicitor acting for Rose, stated:
“The Government’s treatment of Rose and the determination to deport her truly beggars belief. This is an exceptional case where the Home Secretary should clearly allow Rose to remain in the UK to receive the treatment she so desperately needs. To do otherwise is inhumane, unspeakably cruel and a profound insult to the person who donated their kidney in the hope of giving another life.”