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An activist on the runway at Stansted airport to stop the flight from forcibly deporting dozens of people to Nigeria and Ghana.on Tuesday / Photo: Stop Charter Flights – End Deportations’

Activists prevent deportation of Nigerians, Ghanaians from London airport

It was drama at the Stansted airport in London on Tuesday as activists prevented the mass deportation of Nigerians and Ghanaians.

The activists, working under the name Stop Charter Flights – End Deportations, blocked the runway of the Stansted airport carrying banners and chanting songs condemning deportations.

A video recording showed some of them were under the wing of a plane, while some others chained themselves to the runway.

As a result of the protests, several flights scheduled to land at the airport were diverted.

Members of Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants and Plane Stupid also participated in the campaign.

A Facebook page called ‘Stop Charter Flights – End Deportations’ broadcast live from the protest.

Susan James, from Plane Stupid, said: “Mass deportations like the one we stopped tonight are immoral, unfair and illegal.

“I don’t want to stay silent in the face of mass deportations that are deliberately rushed and secretive.

“In the wake of the Brexit vote, this government is more keen than ever to be seen to be ‘tough’ on immigration.

“But its mass deportations have devastating human consequences. Everything about these deportations points to the fact that they are inhuman, and must be stopped.”

One woman who the activists said was on the flight was quoted as saying: “My ex-husband said he knows I am being deported. He is waiting for me. He is planning to kill me. If he kills me- who will I look after my children?”

Another male deportee was quoted as saying: “I have been in this country for almost 18 years. My family and my life is here in the UK. If they take me back to Ghana I will kill myself.”

The Home Office refused to comment on the scheduled flight from Stansted but said deportations were an “essential element” of an “effective immigration system”.

Felix Dappah

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