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Friday, February 18, 2005

Doreen Kyomugihsa Update.

Following this and this, there is some good news.

Dear Friends,

"We are delighted to report that Doreen Kyomugihsa was freed on bail yesterday (details of full case below). She was very unwell when she was released at 5pm and improved as the evening went on. Charges of “deception” and “failing to produce an immigration document or passport” are still outstanding against her and she is due back in court on 9 March 2005 for a committal hearing.

Ms Kyomugisha send her thanks to everyone who visited and sustained her in other ways while she was in Bronzefield and who sent kind letters of support and/or wrote or called Harriet Harman about her situation. When we spoke to the Home Office they knew about the case and said they had received many faxes. We would be glad to know what the HO said to you when you contacted them. And, as we are also gathering copies of the letters which were sent on behalf of Ms Kyomugisha so that she can see the wonderful support she received from around the country, we would be glad if you can fax us a copy on 020 7209 4761.

Many thanks also to the lawyers who did a good job and to the churchman who stood bail. Sixteen women, many of whom had travelled up to two hours across rush-hour London to be at the court in time. The majority were from the All African Women’s Group (AAWG), an organisation of women asylum seekers based at the Crossroads Women’s Centre and some had themselves been detained in similarly devastating circumstances. The public gallery was full and this clearly had a big impact on the District Judge who was not initially inclined to grant bail. The case took all day.

Many of the women from the AAWG are living on National Asylum Support System (NASS) benefits (70% of poverty rate benefits) or are destitute and have absolutely no income at all. Money for fares and food for sandwiches came from the emergency legal fund administered by Legal Action for Women (LAW). With the additional expenses of phone calls (particularly mobiles) and copying etc, the total cost was approximately £230 which is a big drain on our resources for just one day in court. For those of you who have asked what further help is needed, we would very much appreciate a donation, as generous as you can, to cover these costs and to help towards the expenses not only of fighting the rest of Doreen's case, but also for those of other women seeking asylum who come every day for help to the Centre where we are based.

Please send cheques to Women in Dialogue (Asylum Appeal), who will pay over the donations to LAW. Women in Dialogue (WinD) is the registered charity running the Crossroads Women's Centre where BWRAP and LAW are based. If you sign the Gift Aid Declaration below and return it with your donation, WinD can claim back the tax paid on it, increasing the value of the donation. Alternatively and much appreciated, you can arrange to make a regular donation to support our work by standing order.

The committal hearing on 9 March is at 9.45am in Bromley Magistrates Court. Please come along to support if you are able.

Best wishes,

Cristel Amiss,

Black Women's Rape Action Project

For information about our work with Black and immigrant women and other women of colour, including asylum seekers,visit: and


SoundsEmerging said...

This is encouraging news. I hope there is more to follow.

Just thought I'd also let you know, I am resurrecting my blog at blogspot. I know, it's about time, but livejournal so pretty!
Keeping 2 blogs is hard work.