A group of protesters in London, United Kingdom, successfully prevented a charter plane from taking off after they locked themselves to the aircraft.
The unusual protest was held by campaign groups called “End Deportations,” “Plane Stupid” and “Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants,” to stop a “mass deportation charter flight” from the Essex airport to Nigeria and Ghana. The flight, as per the campaigners, carried people who feared for their lives at home and had sought asylum.
“My ex-husband said he knows I am being deported. He is waiting for me. He is planning to kill me,” said a woman on the flight, according to the Guardian.
“I have been in this country for almost 18 years. My family and my life is here, in the U.K. If they take me back to Ghana I will kill myself,” stated another deportee.
At least 14 activists had locked themselves to a tripod to prevent the deportation plane from taking off. Soon, the police were called and the runway was closed as a “precaution.”
In the wake of the Brexit vote, the British government under Prime Minister Theresa May is all set to make the country’s immigration policies more stringent than ever, even when it comes to European citizens. Last year it was reported around “a million EU citizens living in the U.K. could be at risk of deportation.”
Human rights organizations have accused the U.K. of deporting people, even those who had never had any criminal conviction or who fear for their lives back at home.
The Independent reported in February, the U.K. deported at least 100 immigrants on “secretive” charter flight, including a bisexual man who was facing persecution in Nigeria.