I am writing to ask you to take a few minutes to sign this very important petition for two friends of mine here in Belfast, Northern Ireland who are faced with deportation to DR Congo.
Kazadi and Arleth M’Wepu arrived in Belfast in 2005 after fleeing their native DR Congo. Members of a minority tribe and related to opposition activists, they were both arrested and tortured by that country’s military. Practically all of Kazadi’s family were arrested; of those who are not dead he knows very little.
Various human rights organisations and international bodies (from the UN to Human Rights Watch) have documented a long history of arbitrary arrest, widespread torture, mass rape and a host of other abuses in the DR Congo (officially 2nd most dangerous country in the world) throughout its devastating conflict which has left many millions dead. It also a country where deportees are known to be tortured and "disappeared". It is absolutely essential that this young family remain safe in the community they have so whole-heartedly joined.
Understandably, Kazadi and Arleth are terrified to return, especially with their Irish born daughter, Benita. The UK Home Office has refused their case, admitting that they have suffered "discrimination" but probably not "persecution". While they try to appeal this, the family are left with no state support and no right to work – simply put, they are destitute.
We urge everyone to support this campaign and help our friends be granted the Refugee Status that would change (and possibly save) their lives.
Please please pretty please sign this petition and pass it around as much as you can. I know everyone is busy and has their own problems to deal with, but i like to think that a bit of pressure (international especially) will help this campaign and it could just save 3 lives.
Caitlín Nic Íomhair
Friends of the Kazadi Family