Shay speaks about his campaign and hunger strike at Strike Club’s event at Manchester's Band on the Wall
Shay speaks about his campaign and 35-day hunger strike to challenge Serco’s treatment of hotel residents seeking asylum in the UK. (Link to youtube video.)
Shay spoke at Strike Club’s event at Manchester's Band on the Wall on the 23rd of Feb. 2023. It was an incredible night of solidarity between strikers and anti racist organisers. We look forward to the next event in March!
The music featured is the amazing Yemi Bolatiwa. Solidarity!
Liverpool anti-racist rally on the 18th of Feb. 2023
"Serco report profit of £216 million in 2022, a 21% increase in profit worldwide. Hotel residents receive £9.10 each per week."
"We stand before you today, continuing our campaign to stop the inhuman and degrading treatment, underpinned by racism and xenophobia, that has happened to us and other people inside Serco-run hotels. We stand with you today, to go forward together to stop what happened outside the hotel [in Knowsley] last Friday night."
- Vitalis and Shay, 18th Feb. 2023, Liverpool
See RAPAR's speech (video and transcript) at the rally here.
Yvette Cooper speaks out about missing children and Home Office negligence in contingency 'asylum' hotels
Last night (24th Jan.), Yvette Cooper, Labour MP for Normanton, Pontefract, Castleford & Knottingley, posted a tweet exposing the UK Home Office's negligence in safeguarding children in asylum contingency 'hotels'.
Cooper said that 1 in 4 children in one Home Office-funded hotel have gone missing, that half of them are still missing, and that the UK Government is failing to act.
For many months, RAPAR has been calling for change to the Home Office's accommodation of people seeking asylum in the UK.
In early 2022, RAPAR uncovered and reported neglect and safeguarding concerns in a Serco-run hotel in Manchester when we found that the children there were not registered in school and were being taught by other residents and volunteers in the carpark of the hotel: Refugee pupils with no school places have lessons in Manchester car parks (Guardian, 8th April. 2022)
Read the rest here.
29th - 30th Nov. 2022: Press conference with person seeking asylum on 27th day of hunger strike sparks further coverage
'Hasan', who revealed in a press conference yesterday, the 29th of November, that his real name is Shay Babagar, joined a zoom with journalists to tell them first-hand about his family's experiences at a Serco-run contingency hotel in Stockport, Greater Manchester. Mr Babagar is seeking political asylum in the UK after fleeing Pakistan where he was involved in political activity.
During the hour-long conversation, held in the RAPAR offices as Mr Babagar and his wife and 'sofa-surfing' with friends of RAPAR, and with the help of an interpreter, Shay described the residents' treatment and conditions at the hotel and explained why he took the drastic action of going on hunger strike.
Read the rest here.
Open letter by email to:
Stockport Council Leader
RAPAR has recently learned of further human rights abuses in a SERCO-run hotel in Greater Manchester.
As part of our on-going campaign - SERCO MUST GO! - we have written a letter to Stockport City Council leader to describe the hotel's conditions and violations in terms of education, health, food, maintenance and cleanliness, security, freedom of movement, and staff behaviour.
This open letter is based on reports from the hotel's residents, RAPAR members.
View the open letter here: Open letter from RAPAR to Stockport Council
And see our press release here.
The open letter begins:
Dear Mr Hunter
Profound concerns about safeguarding and security at the Home Office subcontracted SERCO-controlled hotel located within the Stockport Council boundary
I write to you as a member of the Human Rights organisation RAPAR and a Greater Manchester resident.
Over the last ten days several RAPAR members who are in the National Asylum and Support system have begun to share extremely disturbing information about safeguarding and security issues related to the Stockport located SERCO run hotel that houses people seeking asylum. (You will of course know the name and location of this hotel and appreciate that it is not appropriate for me to disclose it in this Open Letter from RAPAR, thereby creating further safeguarding issues. Its identity is included in my cover email to you.)
See this latest PRESS RELEASE from RAPAR: Father seeking safety in the UK is left vulnerable after exposing safeguarding breaches at SERCO-run Manchester hotel
Reaching for Rumi’s family’s rights means stopping SERCO
A year ago on 15th August 2021, the Taliban took over control of Afghanistan. Following threats on his life, RAPAR member Rumi left just before the takeover. His wife Farishta and their middle child fled Afghanistan in January 2022. They had to leave their eldest and youngest children behind with family because they didn’t have the travel documents necessary to leave. The Home Office allocated them a SERCO-run hotel room in Manchester.
RAPAR’s ongoing campaign to STOP SERCO has been working since 2021.
See The Guardian and The Mill for media coverage of the appalling conditions and rights violations in the SERCO-run Manchester hotel, and here for RAPAR's SERCO must go! campaign.
See also this leaflet for info. on for how you can help stop SERCO and help Rumi and many other families to achieve rights.
Can't click through at the moment? That's fine. Here's what you can do to support Rumi and this campaign.
- Invite Rumi and other campaign members to speak at your event/ group/ trade union meeting, etc. Please either email firstname.lastname@example.org or message our twitter account @raparuk or Instagram @rapar4housing
- Donate to RAPAR to help with the costs of this campaign: HOW TO HELP - RAPAR
Hotel car park becomes a classroom as children seeking safety miss out on school
RAPAR is demanding that the city council introduce a systematic approach with an accurate count of all the children of refugees living in hotels in the city, along with their ages, whether they have applied for schooling or not, and how long ago.
This report has recently been covered by The Guardian and Arab News.
Learn More >>>
We are deeply sad to tell you that the inimitable Manjeet Kaur, born on International Women's Day in 1979 , died peacefully on 25th April 2020.
RAPAR member since 2011 and our brilliant Chair for several years, in 2019 she finally won her gargantuan battle - without compromise - to achieve her safety and that of her wonderful daughter. RAPAR thanks The Meteor for publishing this full obituary about Manjeet's truly extraordinary and inspirational life. x