Protesters in London and Glasgow call for halt to Osime Brown deportation

·3-min read

Campaigners are calling for a halt to the deportation of a 22-year-old autistic man to Jamaica at demonstrations in London and Glasgow on Saturday.

Osime Brown was jailed for stealing a friend’s mobile phone, a crime that he and others say he did not commit. He was sentenced to five years for robbery, attempted robbery and perverting the course of justice. Now that he has been released from prison he faces deportation to Jamaica, a country he left at the age of four to settle in the UK with his mother, Joan Martin.

Along with autism, Brown has been diagnosed with depression and PTSD and has a heart condition. Martin has been campaigning tirelessly to halt her son’s deportation. She says he is innocent of the crime of which he was convicted and says his complex needs mean it would be impossible for him to survive alone in Jamaica, where he has no friends, family or support network.

Saturday’s demonstrations were organised ahead of a deadline on Tuesday that the immigration tribunal has given to the Home Office to review its decision to proceed with Brown’s deportation. If the Home Office says it plans to go ahead, a case management hearing is scheduled for 21 June. A date will then be set for the appeal.

Brown’s immigration lawyers are opposing his deportation on health and human grounds. His family is also getting legal advice about an appeal against his criminal conviction.

Brown has the support of many MPs, including Diane Abbott, John McDonnell and Claudia Webbe, the Labour peer Alf Dubbs and the former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. All are urging the Home Office to rescind Brown’s deportation order.

Martin said her son was not doing well at the moment and did not fully understand the implications of his threatened deportation. She said he had previously asked her if there was a bus he could take back to the UK if he were sent to Jamaica.

“He doesn’t like to come out of his bedroom apart from when we go for appointments,” she said. “Every time the doorbell rings he says: ‘They’re coming to take me away.’ He is scared of the police and probation and is not getting the support he needs. He has some good days but mostly they are bad days.”

She said he played the Ruth B song Lost Boy continuously.

“There has been a catalogue of failings in Osime’s case,” Martin said. “Many like my son are facing the double punishment of prison and deportation. We just want some respite to pause and breathe. We appeal to the Home Office to halt Osime’s deportation.”

She said that while the deportation order was in place she would continue to fight to try to keep her son safe. “My son is the light in my darkness. I have to keep fighting for him. His life depends on it and he can’t fight for himself,” she said.

Protesters in London are meeting outside the Home Office at midday and then marching to Parliament Square. Those in Glasgow are meeting at 2pm in George Square.

The Home Office has been approached for comment.

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