Deported people behave pretty conveniently once they have been bundled off. They keep quiet.
There are a number of reasons why they do this. They have been shamed and traumatized by what they have undergone and want a clean break. They have landed into great danger and have gone into hiding. They have no wherewithal to support themselves and are struggling to survive. Or perhaps maintaining contact with the life they had wanted and had to leave behind is just too painful.
So when I started digging around for people who had suffered deportation and who would be willing to talk to me, I kept drawing a blank. Some were too afraid to talk, even under conditions of anonymity.
But more often the anti-deportation activists I got in touch with said that after the first few frantic exchanges, people tended to slip away. The pressures of the life they had been flung into ruled out further contact.
It’s a silence that suits the authorities of wealthy countries who continue to treat people in this inhumane fashion, branding them ‘bogus’, and claiming smugly that deportees face no danger and have been resettled. Fortunately it’s a silence I was eventually able to pierce. Read the testimonies and judge for yourself.
Elsewhere in the magazine we explore essential questions of equity that lie behind everything we do. Bob Hughes’s Special Feature makes the case cogently for an equality-based approach to tackling climate change – it has the best chance of offering lasting change and boosting wellbeing. Another article looks at what is happening on the ground on this front, reporting from the alternative climate change summit in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
I must also mention our feature on the murders of Russian journalists, who have paid with their lives for speaking out when the state would rather have them maintain silence. It’s a salutary reminder of the constant vigilance needed to protect our freedoms.
Dinyar Godrej for the New Internationalist co-operative.
John ‘Bosco’ Nyombi was removed from Britain to months of fear and persecution as a gay man in Uganda. Eventually, a British judge ruled his removal illegal and ordered that he be brought back. He tells Dinyar Godrej about his journey.
Thanks to the combination of specialization and production chains that span the globe, we consumers rarely get to see the whole picture. This book joins the dots, showing the impacts of resource extraction on local communities and the environment, making the link between games consoles, civil war, rape and rainforest destruction.