Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Urgent: Forcible Removal of Sima Valand

Sima Valand, an Indian woman who entered the UK legally with her husband in 2006, is due to be forcibly removed from the country at some point today, Wednesday 20th May. What did she do to merit this? After enduring 15 years of physical and sexual abuse from her husband and his family in India, in 2008 she suffered a horrific rape at his hands. Sima found the amazing courage to report him to the police and he was convicted and sentenced to a long prison sentence.

Even while living in the UK, Sima has received many threats of assault and murder from her husband's family. She applied to the government for asylum as it is clear that, should she return to India, she will be in danger. Sima was brought up in Sudan and has few relatives of her own in India now. Nonetheless, the UK government thinks it is acceptable to return her to the country. She was supposed to be forcibly removed on the 8th of May; this was postponed, for a reason not publicised, till today, the 20th.

Please write to Steve Ridgeway, the CEO of Virgin Air, who are supposed to carry Sima Valand back to India, to ask him not to take her. Writing to Jacqui Smith, Secretary of State for the Home Office, is also very helpful. Details:

You can help keep Sima in the UK by:

1) Emailing/Faxing Steve Ridgeway, Chief Executive Officer Virgin Atlantic Airways and urge him not to carry out the forced removal of Sima Valand.

You can copy, amend or write your own version using this model letter.

Please be sure to include all the following details: “Sima Valand, Indian national, due to be forcibly removed from the UK on Wednesday 20th May 2009. Full flight details are being withheld from publicly circulated documents for Sima’s protection”.


Fax: 01293 444124 / +44 1293 444124 if you are faxing from outside the UK

2) Please send urgent faxes/emails immediately to Rt. Hon Jacqui Smith, MP, Secretary of State for the Home Office, requesting that the removal order is lifted and that Sima Valand is released from detention.

Please use this model letter or write your own version. If you do so, please remember to include HO ref: A1374200

Fax: 020 8760 3132 / + 44 20 8760 3132 if you are faxing from outside UK

“CIT - Treat Official” <>

More details on Sima Valand's case are available at the F-Word blog, here and here.

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