In memory of Jimmy Mubenga (vom 30.10.2010),
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[30. Oct 2010]

In memory of Jimmy Mubenga

Statement by London Detainee Support Group (LDSG) on the killing of Jimmy Mubenga during a forcible deportation on 12th October 2010.

Jimmy Mubenga died on Tuesday night on the runway at Heathrow Airport. He was being deported to Angola, and was apparently being heavily restrained by three security guards. According to eye-witnesses, he complained that he was unable to breathe for ten minutes before collapsing. He was pronounced dead in hospital.

Jimmy's death has been reported in today's Guardian (15. Oct 2010) at

We supported and visited Jimmy for two months in 2008, until he was released on bail and returned to his young family. He had already been detained for a year when we met him. I remember him as calm and strong, the kind of person who other detainees look to for support, who can keep a cheerful demeanor even while quietly despairing. He had lived in Britain for 14 years, so struck me as a thorough East Londoner.

His overwhelming concern was for his wife and his four young boys. He found it hard to understand how his whole family could be so punished for his mistake, a mistake for which he had served his time. Not being there to support them through the events and difficulties of family life was very painful to him. He could not imagine being separated from them permanently, or taking them to Angola as they did not speak the language. He had an idea that maybe they could all move to Canada.

Jimmy was an intelligent and reflective man, always concerned about the welfare of those around him, including us. He had a strong and questioning religious sensibility, and spent time in detention reading widely from different religious traditions.

Our sympathies are all with his wife and now five children.

Concerns over the treatment of people being deported have existed for many years. The "Outsourcing Abuse" report, by Medical Justice, NCADC and Birnberg Pierce, highlighted injuries suffered by large numbers of people during deportation attempts. It is available at

Published first on 15. Oct 2010 @ ::