Azerbaijani artist Babi Badalov, whose asylum claim was rejected by the Home Office, was seized when reporting to the Border Agency office in Cardiff today. He was taken to Rhymney police station but his current whereabouts are unknown.
An openly gay man, critical of his homophobic government, Babi has already suffered physical and mental attacks as well as death threats which have left him psychologically fragile. The prospect of a return to the UK’s brutal detention centres, followed by a forced return to Azerbaijan, may well be an effective act of murder by the UK authorities. It is therefore essential that all those concerned about his case become active now.
There will be a demo outside the Border Agency (31-33 Newport Rd) tomorrow at noon. We need maximum publicity for this. Spread the word about Babi’s arrest as widely as possible, to friends, workmates, fellow campaigners, and any media or legal contacts; contact your AM, MP, and send letters of protest to the Home Office and to the local news media. Since Babi is an internationally renowned artist, art and media networks should also be canvassed for support. For further details about Babi’s case visit No Borders Wales.
Further details of Babi’s whereabouts will be posted asap, along with details of further actions and recommendations as to how you can help. Don’t let the British state destroy another innocent life.
17 Sept update: Babi has been scheduled for deportation on Saturday. Supporters have been in contact with him – further details here.