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Sinn Féin MLA writes to British and Irish governments to urge compassion over deportation case

12 September, 2007

Sinn Féin South Belfast MLA has written to the British Immigration Minister Jacqui Smith and the Leinster House Minister for Justice Brian Lenihan to appeal for compassion in regard to the Zimbabwean family who were removed from their home in Belfast on Sunday.

Mr Maskey said,

"The Immigration authorities have acted prematurely as this case was already going through the courts. This snatch squad tactic is wrong.

"The case of Upenyu Hove and his young family who were detained this on Monday and moved to Dublin is a scandal. Mr Hove' life is in certain danger if the Home Office take the draconian measure of returning him and his family to Zimbabwe.

"Mr Hove' daughter was born in Ireland and they have lived in Belfast for the past five years. He and his family have played a positive role in Ireland and are welcome additions to our society.

"The point of the matter is that Mr Hove has not committed any crime. Sinn Féin is wholly committed to the rights for all our people including those who have sought refuge with us. Upengu and his young family should now be allowed to live in peace.

"I urge Jacqui Smith and Brian Lenihan to show compassion and allow the Hove family to return home to Belfast where they belong." Críoch

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