Tag Archives: Lemlem

RASAG Meeting 27/07/10

26 Jul

Meeting tomorrow – Tuesday 27th July at 3pm at Learn For Life, 241-243 London Road, Sheffield S2 4NF.  All Welcome

– refugees and asylum seekers most welcome.

The agenda will include;

i. What next for the Legends project?

ii.  Views on the Big Lunch,

iii.  The campaign for Lemlem,

iv. What next for RASAG – football team, talent contest, art project, band…?!

The possibilities are endless 🙂


Lemlem Coming Home To Stay?

23 Jul

Great news has come through that Lemlem will be released from Yarls Wood and allowed to come back to Sheffield – she must feel so relieved and campaigners will be elated.  However, until Lemlem is granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK, the battle will not be over.  It is still vital that we put pressure on Meg Munn, Lemlem’s constituency MP to lobby the Home Secretary on her bahalf.   Theresa May and the Home Office are the best chance for Lemlem. The legal team is preparing a judicial review for today so there is hope, but there’s still some way to go.  For now, Lemlem has been granted “temporary admission” and will be returning to the UK’s first City of Sanctuary, her home.

If, like me, you have read the two news articles in the Star about Lemlem online you may have been as shocked as I have been about the ignorant, racist and vitriolic comments that have been made about Lemlem and her situation.  There is clearly some way to go in making sure that the inhabitants of Sheffield are “proud to be a place of safety”.  A BBC Radio Sheffield journalist is preparing a feature on City of Sanctuary and is looking for 7 case studies of people who have come to Sheffield for Sanctuary.  Preferably the participants will have been in Sheffield for 3 years or less, people from any stage of the asylum process (including enforced destitution) are welcome.  Participants will be willing and able to tell the story of how and why they came to Sheffield and may have someone support them while they meet the journalist.  The output, ie, their story in the feature, will be totally anonymous….  Of course, RASAG are taking part.

For more info on this or any RASAG project, get in touch on katelyn_mckeown@yahoo.co.uk

Keep Campaigning For Lemlem

21 Jul

Lemlem has got a temporary reprieve but we need to make sure that this is not just a stay of execution.  Please copy the text below, personalise it if possible and send it to Meg Munn’s email address which is at the top – Meg Munn is Lemlem’s MP and is the only person who has the chance to successfully lobby Theresa May, home secretary on Lemlem’s behalf.

Ms. Meg Munn, MP
PO BOX 4333,
Fax: 0114 258 6622
Tel.: 0114 258 2010
Email: munnm@parliament.uk

RE Lemlem Hussein Abdu, HO ref number: A1357578

Dear Ms. Munn

I am writing to ask you to lobby the Home Secretary to halt the deportation of one of your constituents, a 60 year old Eritrean woman called Lemlem Hussein Abdu, and to request that she be granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK. Lemlem is currently being detained at Yarl’s Wood. A flight booked for Wednesday 21 July has now been cancelled but she is still liable for imminent deportation.

Here is a brief outline of her story. Lemlem was born in what is now Eritrea. Her whole family was murdered by Ethiopian forces due to their support for a group called the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) in 1978, but she was one of the few in her village who managed to escape. She fled to Sudan and then Saudi Arabia where she worked as a nanny/household helper for a Saudi family. Lemlem suffered an accident in 2000, which left her with difficulty walking and meant she could not carry out some tasks. The family she worked for stopped paying her wages, and then some years later (on a trip to the UK) they abandoned her alone in London with no money and no identification.

Lemlem is unable to return to Eritrea due to her affiliation with the ELF, which is persecuted by the government there. She has sought asylum in the UK but has been refused. It should be noted that the United Nations has called on all countries to cease returns to Eritrea due to severe human rights abuses. Human Rights Watch also observes that Eritreans who have tried to flee the country “risk severe punishments” if returned (http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/04/16/eritrea-repression-creating-human-rights-crisis).

Despite the tragic events of her life so far and her uncertain and seemingly hopeless situation, Lemlem has thrown herself into her life in Sheffield, and due to her enthusiasm to master English and her friendly, warm and caring attitude she has won many friends. She is an inspiration to all of us who know her.

The Home Office is planning to deport Lemlem to Ethiopia. This is despite the fact that she has never lived in Ethiopia and has no contacts there. Her age and disability (a very bad limp and eyesight problems) mean that she would be unable to obtain work and support herself in a new country. She would have no means of earning a living and no support whatsoever in Ethiopia where the main language spoken is not her first language. Lemlem is furthermore a member of the ELF, which Ethiopia has waged war against.

I would urge you to look again at Lemlem’s case with the utmost urgency.
I look forward to your reply

Yours sincerely

Name: Address:

Injunction Halts Deportation Flight

20 Jul

Lemlem among friends at Legends workshop

Following the demonstration outside the UK Border Agency at Vulcan House news came through that an injunction has been granted to stop the deportation of Lemlem tomorrow.  The fight will not be over until she is granted permenant leave to remain in the UK and returned here to her friends in Sheffield.  For now, however, it’s great news!

Please watch this video and email Theresa May, the home secretary and if you live in Sheffield, Meg Munn, Lemlem’s constituency MP


Protest for Lemlem

20 Jul

This could be our last chance to make a difference.

Lemlem is due to be deported to Ethiopia tomorrow, despite the fact that she is not from there and has never been there before.  Lemlem does not speak Amharic, the first language of Ethiopia.  Her family and village were murdered by Ethiopian forces in 1978 due to their association with the Eritrean Liberation Front, so Lemlem will be seen as an enemy in Ethiopia.  She is 60 years old, has a bad limp and poor eyesight – she has no chance of surviving in a new country where she has no friends or contacts.

If you’re in any doubt about how failed  asylum seekers are removed from the UK and who by, check out the Independant’s front page on Monday 5th July 2010


There is a facebook event for the protest at;


The details are Vulcan House, 6 Millsands, Sheffield S3 8NU,  Today · 15:00 – 17:00

For more information look at the facebook group.  Sign Lemlem’s petition at;


Don’t let them send this poor lady away from the UK where she is safe and much loved.

Lemlem must stay!

RASAG Did Lunch!

19 Jul

Yesterday was  a very early start for the RASAG hardcore who were on BBC Radio Sheffield at 7.40 am – it was very rainy and things weren’t looking great for picnicing outdoors!  Check us out at 1 hr 40 here

However things started to look up when we were offered a room in doors for our picnic and nine RASAG members turned out to help with the cooking and cleaning – which was brilliant!

Some of the spread and the first lunchers!

We were also supported by some of my Learn For Life ESOL learners who brought along food and leant a hand.

There were queues out of the door and the room was full!

Everyone enjoyed the food and after an hour and a half it was all gone – we think we fed about 200 people!  we put the Legends display up in the room and we got lots of feedback about that.

Everyone had a great day – another successful RASAG event!

RASAG crew!

We also took the opportunity to collect signitures for Lemlem – we got about 120 and the petitions have been dropped at the Law centre today.  We had an emmotional phonecall from Lemlem as we were preparing the food in the morning and it was horribly clear that she should have been there with us, enjoying the day and getting involved with the community, instead of locked up and terrified.  Please sign Lemlem’s petition at


City of Sanctuary and Roundabout Homeless Charity had displays at the event and it was great to see Side By Side performing Communicatease again…  This was a very successful case of refugee and asylum seeker activities being combined with a wider community event…  The RASAG aim in action!

Promoting Sunday’s Events and Appealing for Lemlem

16 Jul

Lemlem with Legends storyteller Roisin

Today 3 RASAG members took to the airwaves of Sheffield Live to promote the Sharrow Flea Market, Chef of the Year competition and Big Lunch.  We also discussed the Summer of Sanctuary, City of Sanctuary and made an appeal for people to sign Lemlem’s petition and bring her back to Sheffield where she belongs.

You can listen back on the show at


Please sign Lemlem’s petition at


Letter/ email template to send to the home office for Lemlem


And please come along to the flea market/ big lunch/ chef of the year competition on Sunday at the Old Junior School, South View Road, Sharrow…  Lots of entertainment for adults and kids, tasty treats by RASAG and our neighborhood chefs and a great day in store for all.