After hearing the amazing news late last night that Hamed was not going to be put on the flight this morning (from a guard at the deportation centre…with no more information), we decided we had better travel to Gatwick just in case. I had a seat booked on the flight and i wanted to make sure he was not on it, and if he was, I wanted to be there comfort and reassure him and let him know that there were people thinking of him.
So I set my alarm for 4 in the morning and made my way to the airport early. We didn’t know what the authorities would do and we didn’t want to take any chances. I got to the airport with our little brother Fin and we set up by the departure gate to look out for Hamed. The departure time got closer and closer but there was no sign of him so we headed down to the deportation centre where he was being held and where Sophie and the others had stationed themselves.
The deportation centre is a pretty soulless place right next to the Gatwick runway. The big ‘WELCOME’ sign painted in multiple languages on the wall seemed a little ironic…
Noisy and grey, with high fences and barbed wire, there were little signs of life. We pulled up just as our flight took off right in front of us. We ran into the visitor centre to find Sophie on the phone and she straight away told me – “It’s Hamed, he’s still here!”
Absolutely ecstatic, emotional and exhausted, we sat down to wait and find out more. His solicitor was there, waiting for the right documents to come through so she could actually go in and see him. At this point nobody really knew why Hamed wasn’t on the flight and not much had been communicated. Me and Fin tried to get some footage of the detention centre but were quickly told off. They were very strict and made me wonder what there was to hide.
We sat there for a while just wanting to see Hamed, to be able to reassure him and make sure he’s OK, but it soon became pretty apparent that he wasn’t going to be allowed to go anywhere today. We still don’t know the home office changed their mind about Hamed flying this morning, but as soon as we do we will update you all… Somehow our efforts worked, but we tried EVERYTHING, so we’re yet to understand what the deal breaker was…
We want to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for signing and sharing the petition, for messaging EasyJet’s facebook page and for helping in anyway possible to change Hamed’s life.
His journey is far from over and we’re not sure what will happen next, but what an incredible outcome in the short term at least. The love and support shown by everyone has been amazing.
Hamed is lucky to have this powerful network of support behind him, but there are lots of others just like him being deported on a daily basis. We need to fight for these people.
We have been documenting Hamid’s story and our short film about him will be coming out ASAP. We hope to raise as much awareness as possible about these unjust breaches of human rights happening every single day…
Hopefully he will be back with Sophie and her kid (including baby Noah who has been missing him), very soon!