‘If they do not release me, they can have my dead body’

‘If they do not release me, they can have my dead body’

Chinakam Ali

Chinakam Ali, a Sudanese man from Darfur currently detained in Harmondsworth IRCis has now gone 16 days with out food.

In protest at his continued detention, Chinakam started a hunger strike on the 4th April. He is saying that ‘if they do not release me, they can have my dead body’.  Even before going on hunger strike, he was often refusing to eat, as he had delusional thoughts that  the food in the detention centre might contain poison. That is, he was already malnourished, adding to the effects of a protracted hunger strike.

Chiakam Ali was detained under immigration powers after serving a short sentence for possession of a false passport, first in Brook House then Harmondsworth IRCs.

His entire family have been killed in the Darfur war, and Chinakam was imprisoned, beaten and tortured by rebels, resulting in a number of scars and partial loss of sight from one eye – now the loss of sight seem to be extending to the other eye too; according to Chinakam the loss of sight resulted from a fragment of bone damaging the eye’s nerve, after they broke his skull when they were beating him. He is still undergoing medical examinations to ascertain the extent and origin of his eyes problem.

A doctor from Medical Justice, who visited Chinakam in detention shortly before he began the hunger strike, noticed a number of scars on his body and the development of a psychotic illness that are both consistent with suffering trauma such as he describes. The doctor recommends psychiatric evaluation and treatment as a matter of urgency.

The Health Care personnel in Brook House have assessed Chinakam as being at serious risk of self-harm, and he has been put on 24 hours watch.

Chinakam has been in immigration detention since January 2011. According to the Home Office’s own rules, torture survivors should be only detained ‘in exceptional circumstances’.  The High Court has ruled it would be exceedingly harsh to deport Darfuri of non-Arab origin to Sudan. It is therefore difficult to figure out why this courageous, but also very vulnerable and traumatized man is being detained. His mental condition is deteriorating in detention, as the doctor’s report clearly indicates.  A previous application for bail was refused at the hearing.

Sudan is a failed state, 3rd worst country in the world

A state having little or no governance, endemic corruption, profiteering by ruling elites, very poor Human Rights, the government cannot/will not protect the population from others or itself, massive internal conflict, forced internal/external displacement, institutionalised political exclusion of significant numbers of the population, progressive deterioration of welfare infrastructure (hospitals, clinics, doctors, nurses) not adequate to meet health, needs, progressive economic decline of the country as a whole as measured by per capita income, debt, severe child mortality rates, poverty levels.

Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, is the only sitting head of state wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity

Sudan ranked as one of the worlds most corrupt states by Transparency international.

Sudan, Africa’s biggest country and a former UK Colony, has faced constant conflict since independence from Britain in 1956.


Friends of Chinakam Ali, want him released from detention immediately so he can receive proper medical and psychiatric care.
What they are asking you to do:
Email/Fax Damian Green Minister for Immigration, a model letter is attached, which you can copy/amend/write your own version, if you do remember to include his Home Office reference  C119963512
Damian Green
Home Office
2 Marsham St
London SW1 4DF
Fax: 020 7035 4745
(00 44 20 7035 4745 if you are faxing from outside UK)

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