We are pleased to announce the release of Emmanuel Surena from Harmondsworth IRC where he spent one month in detention. The Habeas Corpus Project took his case on for free, as Emmanuel was not able to afford private legal representation. We prepared the necessary paperwork and represented him at his bail hearing on 9th June 2016 after which the judge ordered his immediate release.
Emmanuel’s case was a highly complicated one. Whilst in detention, his wife who had severe medical conditions, was placed under enormous difficulty in securing the well-being of their two children without their father. We lodged a bail application on behalf of Emmanuel, which involved preparing the bundle of supporting documents for the hearing. This includes witness statements, bank statements, proof of accomodation and letters of support from social services and the NHS and totalled nearly 50 pages. Our Director Ousman Noor advocated for him on the day of the hearing.
At the hearing, the Home Office representative argued that Emmanuel could not be trusted and that he presented a serious threat to public safety. Moreover, the Home Office attempted to persuade the judge that his surety, his wife, neither would have incentive to ensure that Emmanuel complies with his bail conditions nor would she be able to exercise any influence over him. The Home Office representative also stated that Emmanuel’s family was surviving ’adequately’ without his support. However, Ousman argued that detention should always be the last resort, and cannot be used as further punishment for a sentence already served. Moreover, he showed that Emmanuel’s detention had a serious impact on the physical and mental well-being of his family. He also pointed out that not only Emmanuel’s children were deprived of their father, but his absence put an disproportionately heavy burden on his seriously ill wife. Furthermore, his wife proved to be a trustworthy surety contrary to the Home Office’s advocate. Finally, Ousman’s argument convinced the judge who released Emmanuel after the 40-minute hearing. The success of the hearing was influenced greatly by the thorough and comprehensive bundle of documents put together by our caseworkers Freddy Russell and Zsuzsanna Godany.
After the hearing, Emmanuel and his wife expressed their deepest gratitude for the Habeas Corpus Project which we would like to extend to all our generous donors and indefatigable supporters. We share his story and the photo with his permission and wish him and his lovely family the very best!