The Stansted 15 activists should be supported, not punished | Letters
Supporters including Diane Abbott, Phillip Pullman, Emma Thompson and Caroline Lucas write in defence of the 15 human rights activists who acted to stop a ‘brutal, secretive and barely legal deportation flight’ last year
We the undersigned express our deep concern and disagreement with the recent prosecutions at Chelmsford crown court against the 15 human rights activists who acted to stop a brutal, secretive and barely legal deportation flight last year (Report, 11 December). The “Stansted 15” have been convicted of “endangering an aerodrome” under the Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990 – a terrorism-related law. The use of this draconian legislation is grossly disproportionate and a clear abuse of power.
Helen, Joe, Lyndsay, Ben, Mel, Nathan, Laura, Jo, Nick, Ali, Eddie, Emma, May, Ruth and Melanie chained themselves around a deportation charter flight bound for Nigeria and Ghana in March 2017 with the sincere belief that they were preventing the 60 people on board from coming to harm. As a result of their 10-hour blockade, 11 people – including victims of trafficking recognised under the Modern Slavery Act – are still here in the UK with their loved ones.
Source: Guardian Transport