We are delighted to announce Susannah Ekpo’s release from Yarl’s Wood detention centre. Susannah had been detained in Yarl’s Wood for months without any charges made against her. She was unable to afford private legal representation and so the Habeas Corpus Project took her case on for free. On 22nd April 2016, after our representation at a hearing, a judge ordered her immediate release.
Our caseworker Freddy Russell, assisted by our volunteers, helped prepare all of the paperwork for a bail application. This included filling in the bail form, collecting statements, bank accounts, passports, and proof of accomodation, speaking with sureties and drafting arguments for Susannah’s release. Our Director, Ousman Noor, then travelled to Yarl’s Wood on Friday 22nd April 2016 to advocate for Susannah on the day of her hearing.
At the hearing, the Home Office representative falsely accused Susannah of having ‘an atrocious immigration history’, of ‘using deception’, of having ‘poor sureties’ and saying that ‘she cannot be trusted’. Ousman argued that, on the contrary, Susannah had a good immigration history, that her sureties were strong, that there was no prospect of her removal and that it was unlawful to maintain her detention. After an approximately 1 hour hearing, an Immigration Judge was convinced to release Susannah from detention immediately.
After the hearing, both Susannah and her sureties expressed enormous delight and gratitude for the work of the Habeas Corpus Project. We wish to extend this thanks to all those who have supported and donated to this project and helped secure the release of individuals such as Susannah.
We asked Susannah for her permission to write this story and she sent this lovely picutre of her to go on our blog. Thank you Susannah!