Vigil to be held for disabled asylum seeker

Article published: Friday, December 16th 2011

Campaigners in support of disabled asylum seeker Manjeet Kaur’s fight to remain in the UK will hold a solidarity vigil outside Manchester Civil Justice Centre this Monday.

Manjeet Kaur working on her case with her lawyer Gary McIndoe of Latitude Law, Manchester

Kaur has been granted permission for a judicial review of her case at the High Court in Manchester after the UK Border Agency (UKBA) refused to grant her an “in country” appeal following the rejection of her asylum claim.

Originally from Afghanistan, Kaur says she left her home in India after being beaten and threatened with rape and murder by men looking for her husband, human rights activist and journalist Amitt Bhatt, who disappeared in February this year after investigating suspected human rights abuses against the Kashmiri Pandit ethnic minority.

If the judicial review is turned down there is a risk that Kaur, a wheelchair user will be sent back to India. Whereas Kaur has relatives in the UK who can support her she has no family in India following the disappearance of her husband, and supporters say her disability will greatly restrict her ability to both work and travel and protect herself against future attacks.

Kaur labelled travel for a wheelchair users in India a “nightmare”, saying most roads and paths have “high bumps, broken surfaces and steps not feasible for a wheelchair user”, adding how it was in “no way possible to get from point A to B in a manual wheelchair without any help.”

Kaur’s solicitor Gary McIndoe of Latitude Law said: “Her evidence of her husband Amitt’s politically motivated disappearance, and the physical harm she has suffered, make this a clearly arguable case.”

The campaign ‘Keep Manjeet safe in the UK’ has been organised by asylum seeker charity RAPAR and has the support of community and disability rights activists and trade unionists – who have also contributed towards the financial backing for Kaur to pursue the case.

In May of this year, Kaur faced eviction from her home in Whalley Range when the UKBA terminated her housing support as a result of the rejection of her claim for asylum. The decision to evict a disabled asylum seeker attracted public attention when protesters rallied to her aid, winning the support of Stretford Labour MP Kate Green.

The protest, organised by RAPAR and the Disability Action Network, successfully resulted in Kaur being allowed to remain at her home in Whalley Range. This latest campaign, fighting for her right to appeal the decision of asylum in the UK, similarly has a broad group of supporters.

Dr Rhetta Moran, of RAPAR, said: “The level of support Manjeet has attracted from all sections of the community is a testimony to the strength of her case and to the way she has used her skills to work with people in her community and with other people seeking asylum.”

The UKBA were contacted but declined to comment.

Sam Cordon

The vigil will be held outside Manchester Civil Justice Centre, 1 Bridge Street West  (corner of Gartside Street), Manchester at 10am Monday 19 December

For further information of the ‘Keep Manjeet safe in the UK’ campaign visit RAPAR’s website 

More: Manchester, Migration and asylum, News


  1. If she has relatives in the UK who can support her why was she ever threatened with eviction from her home in Whalley Range because taxpayers refused to pay her Housing Benefit?

    Get your story straight before publishing or people will think it isn’t properly researched and therefore not worth reading.

    Comment by pete on December 21, 2011 at 1:26 am
  2. Now Simon, why are you using a different name for this one? We can see it’s from the same email address, why are you pretending to be someone else? Not to make it look like more people share your views I hope…

    Comment by andyl on December 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm
  3. One of the main reasons why some people seek asylum here are their countries’ historic links with good old colonial Britain, the
    presence of family and friends and the fact thatEnglish is a global language. Not because it is a sure-fire bet for a new life that’s sugar-coated with state benefits.

    If you were that person, uprooting your entire life, wouldn’t you try and find the safest place to go to? Somewhere that you think you might fit
    in more easily, where you wouldn’t be faced with the same set of problems. It’s not a crime to try and find a decent quality of life thats why we’ve progressed from sitting on a cave floor bashing bits of flint together to a more compasionate view on people seeking asylum and refugees…or some of us have.. People who have a tad more difficulties than the yearly rugby scrum for consumer goods that we used to call “Christmas” tend to have a more compasionate view on those needing to claim sanctuary because we have a more rounded view of life and what it is to be a well rounded human being and have an ability to count our blessings tather than condem strangers whos circumstrances they have no empathy or understanding of becausawe they’ve only ever led lives of relative privellage and been spoilt with an abunsance of consumeristic materialism that has left them infantised as citizens and people.

    Comment by Nim Chimsky on December 22, 2011 at 6:28 pm
  4. “If she has relatives in the UK who can support her why was she ever threatened with eviction from her home in Whalley Range because taxpayers refused to pay her Housing Benefit?”

    Manjeet has to live where the border agency tells her, where she has to sign in at Dallas Court. She would live with her family in London if she could. Oh, and taxpayers don’t choose where their taxes go to. If we could, I would refuse to let it go to the ECGD.
    The story is straight, you’re the ignorant one, pete.

    Comment by sarah on January 3, 2013 at 12:46 am

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