Please see links below to support the campaign to free this innocent man. Stevenage Labour Party pledge to campaign to stop the deportation of Osime Brown.
At an online meeting of the Stevenage Labour Party on Thursday 17th September, the Stevenage Labour Party unanimously passed a motion pledging them to support the campaign to free Osime Brown, and support the campaign with a donation of £300.00.
Osime Brown is a black, 21-year old autistic man, who in 2018 was sentenced to a 5-year jail term under a ‘joint enterprise’ law over the theft of a mobile phone. A witness on the crime scene confirmed he was trying to stop the robbery, but despite his autism, learning difficulties and vulnerability, was imprisoned.
On Wednesday 9th September Osime received a letter stating that on the 7th October, he will be taken to a detention centre in preparation for deportation to Jamaica, a country he has not visited since age 4, has no family in, nor support, home or care plan.
Cllr Josh Lovell, who proposed and moved the motion said: “Osime Brown’s case highlights the gross ableism and racism of the British State; it has imprisoned an autistic black man, for a crime he did not commit, and now seeks to deport him away from safety. It underlines why we need to overturn joint enterprise laws which are disproportionately used against young black men, and fight to end the barbaric and inhumane systems of detention and deportation.”
Osime’s mother, Joan Martin, has been campaigning vigorously and has been supported by Autistic Inclusive Meets and Neurodivergent Labour, and by Labour MPs including John McDonnell and Nadia Whittome. More than 38,000 people have now signed Osime’s petition on Change.org however unless there is a significant shift from the Home Office in the next 3 weeks, Osime will be cruelly detained awaiting deportation. Mass public outcry is now necessary.
Cllr Michelle Gardner, Stevenage Labour BAME Officer who also supported the motion said: “Now is the time to act. Please take a little time out of your schedule and read up on the background of this case. A young man’s life depends on your action. Send the link to everyone in your network. Encourage them to support this young man’s case. We have a small window of opportunity to correct an injustice: just 3 weeks. Please think of Osime. We are his only chance.”
The campaign to Free Osime Brown is calling on all supporters to sign and share the petition, donate to the campaign fund at https://uk.gofundme.com/f/stop-deportation-of-vulnerable-man-osime-brown, and write to their MPs. At the end of this article is a suggested letter you can send to our MP, Stephen McPartland.
Suggested letter asking Stephen McPartland, MP for Stevenage, to help prevent the deportation of Osime.
Dear Stephen McPartland MP,
I am living in Stevenage and I want to ask you to help Osime Brown: a young Black autistic man with high support needs, who is now facing imminent deportation to a country that he left at four years old and where he has no family and no support.
Osime is autistic, dyslexic, learning disabled and suffering from severe PTSD from his time in care and in prison. He also suffers from a heart condition that has required several surgeries. He is currently serving a five year prison sentence. Despite a friend of the victim testifying that Osime was not directly involved in the crime, he was eventually sentenced to five years in prison under the now unlawful joint enterprise law. He is in prison, and is self harming to the point that he has hundreds of scars on his body.
On 9th September 2020, this vulnerable young man received a letter stating that he will be held on release on October 7th and will be taken to a holding facility for deportation to Jamaica – a country that he left at four years old and has never been back to. When told that they were planning to deport him, Osime asked his mother which way he would have to walk to get home. There is no one to support him in Jamaica. As Joan, his mother, says: ‘if they deport him, he’ll die.’
We are also concerned that Immigration Removal Centres are not properly equipped to meet his needs, and believe that, as someone at high risk for COVID-19, it would be incredibly dangerous for him to be detained in one of these facilities.
The Citizen’s Advice Bureau advises: You shouldn’t be taken into detention if you’re particularly vulnerable to harm in detention, for example because of your mental health, you’re pregnant or because of a physical disability. If you are detained despite being vulnerable you should apply for bail.
I am asking you, as my MP, to step in and help rescue this young man from a death sentence. You can find out more about his case here: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/deport-autistic-jamaica-osime-brown-uk-home-office-a9400101.html.
We cannot let this young man die. Please will you help me, as a constituent, by pushing for these things that need to happen:
For Osime to be released on bail on 7th October rather than being moved to a holding facility;
For Osime to have his deportation order removed immediately;
For Osime to receive the support he needs (and was previously denied) immediately upon release.
Osime is disabled. He is vulnerable. He has been failed by the services and people that were supposed to protect him. He has been harshly and wrongfully imprisoned. He is traumatised and has been worryingly ill since July (he has a heart condition that has previously required two surgeries). Now he faces being torn away from everything he knows and loves.
We can’t let that happen. Osime’s case is an indictment of the racist and ableist systems that autistic people of colour must face every day. I am urging you to stand up against this injustice and save the life of this young man.
Please stand with Osime Brown, and your autistic constituents, in righting this terrible wrong.