Protest to demand right to stay for Tamil political activist and torture victim

Tamil Solidarity demands an end to deportation of political activists to Sri Lanka. A solidarity protest has been called in support of Janahan Sivanathan at the time he is due to report to the Home Office.

Protest at the Home Office, Vulcan House, Millsands, Sheffield, S3 8NU

Friday 12 June at 1:30pm

A young torture victim is in fear of being detained and then deported to Sri Lanka where his life will be under treat. Janahan Sivanathan (age 22) was detained at Morton Hall, Lincolnshire when he went to report to the Home Office last Monday 1 June.

Campaign group Tamil Solidarity says that he should not have been detained in the first place especially when he has never been given an opportunity to properly put his case. Tamil Solidarity demands his right to stay and opposes all deportations of political activists to Sri Lanka.

Isai from Tamil Solidarity explains: “After Janahan was detained hundreds of people including leading trade unionists, MPs and other activists supported a petition demanding his release and the end to all deportations of political activists to Sri Lanka. Under this immense pressure the Home Office suddenly released Janahan on Friday but he has been asked to report back to Home Office this Friday 12 June. There is a possibility that he could be detained again despite his case being due to be heard in court on 15 July.

“Janahan experienced detention and torture during the war in Sri Lanka that ended in 2009. Unsurprisingly his mental health is suffering. Keeping him in the prison-like environment in the Immigration Removal Centre has made this worse. But Janahan is also a fighter for human rights. He went from his release to bring solidarity to a conference of the bakers’ union BFAWU and to build the campaign against deportations of political activists.

“Amnesty International and other research shows that Sri Lanka is not a safe place to send back those who have fled that country to save their lives. Following on from his the campaign, Janahan’s photo and story have featured in all the major Tamil media and Sri Lankan national news. This makes it even more dangerous for Janahan to be deported to Sri Lanka. We fear that on return to Sri Lanka he will be certain of being arrested, imprisoned or even worse.”

Returning political activists to Sri Lanka poses a serious threat to their lives. It has been six years since the end of the bloody war against the LTTE but still there has been no independent international investigation into the alleged war crimes into the deaths of an estimated 100,000 Tamils and no justice given to the victims and survivors. What’s more reports show evidence that the trampling of democratic rights and huge repression of the Tamil people continues unabated.