|It has taken nearly four years of pressure from the family and supporters of Mr Mubenga, and much public outrage, for the Crown Prosecution Service to finally bring criminal charges against his G4S killers.
An inquest in 2013 heard how three G4S guards deporting Mr Mubenga on a British Airways flight, violently restrained him in a position known to cause asphyxia. Having considered the evidence of Mr Mubenga’s harrowing death, the jury found that he had been “unlawfully killed”.
Despite the verdict, Mr Mubenga’s relatives heard nothing from the CPS for a further eight months. They wrote in February, reminding the CPS that the jury had found that the guards “were using unreasonable force and acting in an unlawful manner.” The family said: “the CPS should act following the comprehensive verdict of the inquest. We urge you to bring justice to our family with due speed. We cannot rest while this trauma hangs over us.”
The All Africa Women’s Group, a self-help group of women asylum seekers some of whom who attended the inquest, said: “The family has suffered terribly; no one should have to endure that. What happened to Jimmy could have happened to one of our members; a number of us have suffered assaults in detention and violent deportations. Unless those abusing asylum seekers – women, children and men fleeing genocide, war and rape – are stopped, all our lives are at risk.”
Over 70 members of AAWG signed the petition, plus hundreds of others including MP Jeremy Corbyn, Linton Kwesi Johnson, whistle-blower Ayo Amotade (who protested against a violent deportation on another BA flight), Melissa Benn, poet Dean Atta; members of family campaigns for justice including Carol Duggan, Nas Mahmood, Marcia Rigg, Becky Shah, Myrna Simpson; and Winston Silcott, Satpal Ram, Alfie Meadows, Deepa Naik and Trenton Oldfield.
Despite the death of Mr Mubenga and harrowing evidence from the Inquest, a report this month found that brutal and inhuman deportations continue. Racist violence and other degrading treatment in detention centres remain largely unreported. Vulnerable and traumatised people are facing daily cruel and degrading treatment. 70% of women in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre report being victims of rape and other torture and are being held in detention in breach of gender guidelines.
In September last year, the Observer reported rape and sexual assaults by guards in Yarl’s Wood. Instead of acting against criminal guards, the authorities routinely threaten to deport detainees before they can bring the perpetrators to justice.
Mr Mubenga’s family should never have had to wait so long. Nor should the many others whose loved ones have been killed in custody – or who have had their lives destroyed in other ways. Increasingly the public is demanding justice and an end to the police and other cover ups, lies, corruption and botched CPS and IPCC inquiries and investigations, like the ones into the killings of Stephen Lawrence, Ian Tomlinson, Jean Charles de Menezes, the 96 Liverpool fans at Hillsborough, the victims of undercover policing, and the victims of rape like Layla Ibrahim and Gail Sherwood who were prosecuted and imprisoned while their attackers went free.
Please continue supporting Mr Mubenga’s family’s efforts to get justice. Pressing on the demands below helps keep up momentum for: the CPS to present a robust case in court against the G4S guards; G4S corporation also to be brought to justice not just the guards; an end to all violence against detainees; and an end to police and guards being allowed to rape and kill with impunity.
Please keep signing the petition
Keep up pressure for corporate manslaughter charges against G4S, and for the government to revoke their contracts.
Sign the on-line petition here to demand that: