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No. 2. 24th January 2012 I Tel. 020 7300 7320; 020 7300 7321; 07846062331 I Email:

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ŠHannah Maule-ffinch

African music as precious as diamond

Removal of playwright Lydia Besong suspended at last minute

Ministers: We need more Black and Asian judges page 3

Exclusive interview with veteran musician Kanda Bongo Man, King of Kwassa Kwassa

Death in custody campaigns launch petition for justice

pages 10 - 11

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THE GUIDE How to apply for Settlement Visas for FiancĂŠ(e)s or Proposed civil partners page 13

Winston Riley, legendary Jamaican producer is dead page 17

Too many foreign women locked up for non-violent crimes - Report

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No. 2. 24th January 2012

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Ochieng and Quigley battle for English Light Middleweight title at York Hall Erick Ochieng and Nick Quigley are set to fight for the vacant English Light Middleweight title at York Hall, Bethnal Green on Saturday 28th January 2012, live on Sky Sports. Ochieng and Quigley will provide the chief support for Carl Frampton’s Commonwealth Super Bantamweight title defence against Kris Hughes, and their clash promises to be the perfect appetiser to the Irishman’s big night. It’s a first title fight for the pair although the 23 year-old Quigley has gone tantalisingly close to major honours when he reached the Prize-fighter Light Middleweights final at the east London boxing Mecca last September – losing to Robert Lloyd-Taylor but gaining a new following with his tremendous displays against fellow Scouser Ste Harkin and Brentwood’s Kris Agyei-Dua.

Quigley bounced back last December with a shut-out win over Dee Mitchell in Wigan taking him to 10-1. Stoke Newington man Ochieng coming into the fight on the back of three wins in 2011, the hotly-tipped 24 year-old is itching to claim the strap after recovering from the sole defeat of his career in March 2011 with a win over Liam Cameron in May. Also on the bill are Islington’s unbeaten Middleweight prospect John Ryder, Upminster Lightweight Ryan “Crash Bang” Taylor, Canning Town’s Heavyweight debutant Wadi Camacho and a real tear-up in store between former two-time World Champion Robin Reid and Waltham Abbey’s Daniel Cadman. “January 28 promises to be a classic York Hall night,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “We’ve got a great main event with new sensation Carl Frampton out to impress in his defence against Kris Hughes, Ochieng versus Quigley

Naturally 7 + Muntu Valdo at the Barbican

Naturally 7 and Muntu Valdo join forces for a special concert at the Barbican on 7th February 2012. Naturally 7 take classic close-harmony style to stratospheric new heights, mixing beat boxing, bass lines and uncanny instrumental imitation with rap and hook-laden soul, pop and jazz. This is a vocal group in a league of its own, and their genuinely fresh use of the voice and astonishingly versatile talent have garnered diverse fans including Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Jay Leno and Brian Eno. Muntu Valdo opens the

show. His music is rooted in the blues, mixing African traditions with striking modernity and technical mastery. He returns with a mesmerising solo set that juxtaposes his raw, passionate voice and intensely emotive melodies with an ingenious use of loops, samples and effects.

NATURALLY 7 + MUNTU VALDO Date: 7th February 2012 Time: 7:30pm Venue: Barbican, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS Tel: 020 7638 8891 Tickets: £25 - £10 +bkg

Erick Ochieng (left) will take on Nick Quigley for the English title should be a classic a John Ryder is out to show everybody he’s the real deal – the perfect way to start a big year ahead, with a sold-out Prize-fighter on February 11 in Wolverhampton.”

Tickets for Carl Frampton vs. Kris Hughes for the Commonwealth Super Bantamweight title plus full championship undercard led by Ochieng and Quigley’s English

title battle are on sale now from Matchroom Sport priced £35 unreserved, £60 ringside and £100 VIP. To book call 01277 359900 or visit

Tales from the Shed

Interactive children’s shows back at Chickenshed Theatre

“Tales from the Shed,” Chickenshed’s hugely popular interactive performances for children aged 0-7 years, take children and performers on a theatrical journey together, meeting characters such as Can-Can the beautiful bird, and The Thing That Goes Blurgh on the way! Each show is different, but all shows creatively help to improve literacy, numeracy and communication skills. “Tales from the Shed” uses theatre driven by the children’s imaginations. Since 1996 the Tales team have collected and created numerous stories, songs and characters. These are delivered using puppets, humans and

bags of energy all underpinned by after-show Tales party where the belief that children are the you’ll have a designated area in most creative and demanding the bar, scrummy party food and audience and deserve proper big the Tales cast leading on the singtheatre! ing of Happy Birthday! What’s “Tales from the Shed” format more, the birthday boy/girl will allows the Tales team to react to even get a mention during the the children’s thoughts, experi- show! ences and requests and to use Tales parties can also come to them within the show. your home – contact the Box No show will ever be the Office on 020 8292 9222 to find same – so for first time visitors or out more. serial guests - another tale is now beginning!! TALES FROM THE SHED You are invited to come and join a world where every- Venue: Chickenshed Theatre, Chase body can share Side, Southgate, London N14 4PE together, believe in Dates: 3rd February – 24th March the magic and make Times: Friday at 11.30am. Saturday at 10am & 11.30am it happen. Party in the Ticket Price: £5.50/free to babies under Shed: After the 6 months 11.30am Saturday Each show approx 50 mins to an hour. show (or Thursdays, To book tickets please telephone the Fridays and Chickenshed Box Office on 020 8292 Saturdays during 9222, email school holidays), you can have an uk or visit

AFRONEWS | My Own Media Ltd. The Old Fire Station, 140 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4SD, United Kingdom | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Stephen Ogongo Ongong'a | TEL: +44 (0)20 7300 7320 or +39 06 94354517 |Fax: 0207 253 23 06 | Email: | ADVERTISING: TEL: 020 7300 7320; 07846062331 | Email: sales@myownmedia. | DISTRIBUTION: Tojake Uk-Wade | Email: | PRINTING PRESS: Newsfax Ltd, London. | Advertiser and advertising agency assume liability for all content (including text representation, illustrations, and photographs) of advertisements printed or posted, and also assume responsibility for any claims arising there from made against the publisher | Supplement of Africa News, Registered at the Tribunal of Rome. Registration No. 22/2003 - 21-01-2003

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No. 2. 24th January 2012



Ministers: We need more Black and Asian judges I think we are right to make sure, or point in the direction of, having a judiciary that in some way reflects the society to which they are delivering justice. “That’s me, but it’s one I feel very strongly about because I think that’s how you keep society harmonious.” Mr. Clarke said the judiciary must be independent and chosen on merit, adding that the aim was to improve diversity. “We’ve got to speed up, we’ve got to

“I don’t think you can have a really harmonious society if your judiciary, however excellent, does not seem to reflect the society in which it is dispensing justice to. You don’t sacrifice quality for that aim, but I think we are right to make sure, or point in the direction of, having a judiciary that in some way reflects the society to which they are delivering justice” Justice Minister Lord McNally Ministers have criticized lack of diversity among judges, saying that it threatens the harmonious nature of society. Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke and Justice Minister Lord McNally said more women and people from BME communities were needed so cases could be heard

by judges who were more representative of the general population. Giving evidence to the Lords Constitution Committee, Lord McNally said: “I don’t think you can have a really harmonious society if your judiciary, however excellent, does not seem to reflect the society in which it is dispensing justice to. You don’t sacrifice quality for that aim, but

achieve more on the ground. In gender terms, we should have an ever steadily and more rapidly rising proportion of women,” Mr. Clarke said. “What worries me more, actually, because the figures are worse, on black and minority ethnic representation we should be trying to make sure that the bench starts looking somewhat more like the general population so long as you’ve got the most talented and independent people selected from the population.”

“What worries me more, actually, because the figures are worse, on black and minority ethnic representation we should be trying to make sure that the bench starts looking somewhat more like the general population so long as you’ve got the most talented and independent people selected from the population” Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke

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No. 2. 24th January 2012

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MPS develops new strategy to tackle gangs and youth violence The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is working on a new strategy to tackle gang-related crime and serious youth violence in London. The MPS said that the new approach will enhance their anti-gang activities, improve coordination and tasking, and increase police operations, while making sure their skills and expertise in this area are used more consistently and effectively. The new plan will also look at how the MPS can enhance their work with partners to divert young people away from gangs so they are able to make more positive contribution to London’s communities. Contrary to media speculation, Trident is not subject to a “radical overhaul”, the MPS said. The unit is already responsible for preventing and investigating shootings in London and is a key part of how the MPS tackles gangs. The MPS confirmed that it aims to build on Trident’s success and develop a co-ordinated police response, whilst working with partners to divert young people away from gangs “With community support it has taken Trident more than ten years to develop its current specialism and expertise in the prevention and investigation of shootings

in London,” Claudia Webbe, joint chair of the Tr i d e n t Independent Advisory Group said. “The Trident Independent Advisory Group is pleased to have the assurance from the MPS that Trident is not subject to a complete overhaul, and that it retains its focus on preventing and investigating shootings.” As the new strategy to tackle gang-related crime and serious youth violence in London is being developed, the Trident Independent Advisory Group urged the MPS to carefully consider how it engages with London’s communities. The group also urged the MPS to “avoid any over simplification of the term

Oxfam launches fundraising campaign to support women The fabulous DJ and television presenter Lauren Laverne has launched Oxfam’s new fundraising campaign Get-together, to raise money for women around the world. Lauren was joined by Miquita Oliver and Whistles’ Jane Sheperdson, who both spoke about visiting Oxfam’s programmes and seeing how the charity’s work is transforming the lives of women. A host of other female celebrities including Shazia Mirza attended the exciting event on 17th January 2012 in London in support of the campaign. There are 1.3 billion people living in poverty worldwide – more than two-thirds of them are women and girls. Lauren and pals are leading by example aiming to inspire UK ladies to get together and hold their own fundraising events for International Women’s Day on 8th March. Oxfam is inviting women to arrange anything from a dinner party or cocktails to an afternoon of knitting or doing a favourite work-out routine, all to raise money to support women living in poverty around the globe. Oxfam hopes women around the country will jump at the chance to get involved as a survey carried out by the charity reveals that many UK women don’t get together with friends as much as they would like.

way of catching up with friends, and what better reason to get together than to raise vital funds to support other women worldwide. Every minute a woman with no medical care dies in pregnancy or childbirth, but £46 raised through a Get-together coffee morning could enable Oxfam to train a midwife in Ghana, saving the lives of babies and their mothers. Two thirds of all children denied school are girls, but £135 raised at a dinner party with friends could train five teachers in Mali, providing a whole generation of children with the skills Ms. Lauren Laverne, Television prethey need to work their way out of senter and Get-together ambassador poverty. Get-together ambassador According to the survey, 54% of British Laverne says: “Nothing beats a women get together with their girlfriends night out with your favourite ladies - and less than once a month and this figure rises what better excuse for a get together than to 62% amongst the 35-44 age group who to raise money to help other women around are often juggling careers and young chil- the world? On 8th March we want everydren. The survey also showed that 58% of one to celebrate International Women’s women say one of their biggest motiva- Day by hosting a Get-together which raises tions for getting together with friends is to money for Oxfam and is fantastic fun. I’ve have fun, while 63% say they are looking started organising mine already!” for good company, and 44% want to catch For more information on the campaign, up on gossip. please visit Get-together events will be a great ensday.

“gang” and work with partners to protect some of the most vulnerable sections of London’s communities.”

“With community support it has taken Trident more than ten years to develop its current specialism and expertise in the prevention and investigation of shootings in London. The Trident Independent Advisory Group is pleased to have the assurance from the MPS that Trident is not subject to a complete overhaul, and that it retains its focus on preventing and investigating shootings” Ms. Claudia Webbe, Joint chair of the Trident Independent Advisory Group

Man imprisoned for violent disorder

A man who pleaded guilty to August disturbances last year has been jailed. Odilon Soumalat, 23, of Stevens Avenue, E9, was sentenced to 27 months imprisonment on 17th January 2012 at Wood Crown Crown Court. On 8th August 2011 Soumalat was seen on CCTV in Clarence Road, E8, throwing bottles at police officers. He was later identified via the footage by an officer from Stoke Newington police station. Detective Constable Gemma Wade, from Hackney’s Operation Withern team, said: “This is an excellent result and shows that officers at Hackney continue in their efforts to identify and bring to justice those people responsible for the August disturbances. Results such as this make the hard work seem even more worthwhile.”

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No. 2. 24th January 2012


Death in custody campaigns launch petition for justice The United Families & Friends Campaign (UFFC) has launched an online petition calling for independent judicial inquiry into all suspicious deaths in custody. UFFC is a coalition of families and friends of those that have died in the custody of police and prison officers as well as those who died in psychiatric and immigration detention. It also has members and supporters from campaign groups and advocacy organisations from across the UK. The Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody report published in 2011 states that in total, there were 5,998 deaths recorded from 2000 to 2010. This is an average of 545 deaths per year. Despite the fact that there have been 11 unlawful killing verdicts since 1990 there has never been a successful prosecution. UFFC’s efforts have so far yielded some results. The police self-investigation of deaths was replaced by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). Also, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman now investigates deaths in prison and immigration detention. The cam-

paign made the Attorney General undergo a review of the role of the Crown Prosecution Service. Corporate manslaughter laws are also now extended to custody deaths. However, UFFC points out that these reforms have not addressed the lack of justice in outstanding cases. “We believe that equitable dispensation of justice in the UK must be done and be seen to be done if the general public are to enjoy high levels of trust and confidence in the fair administration of justice,” UFFC says. “The poor quality and speed of independent investigations conducted by the Independent Police Complaints Commission and an Inquest process that is seriously under resourced, subject to delay and limited in remit is not fit for purpose. Both critically fail to protect or support the rights of victims or their families.” In the online petition, UFFC is demanding replacement of the

IPCC to ensure open, robust, transparent and thorough investigations from the very outset of police deaths in custody - with a removal of all ex-police officers for it to be a truly independent body. UFFC is also calling for the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman to be placed on a statutory footing. Deaths in psychiatric detention and/or of those detained under the Mental Health Act must be subject to a system of properly funded investigation that is completely independent of the Health

Service, UFFC says. Officers and officials directly involved in custody deaths, UFFC says, must be suspended until investigations are completed. At the same time, all officials concerned with the death should be immediately interviewed. UFFC is also calling for full and prompt disclosure of information to the families affected. Prosecutions should automatically follow ‘unlawful killing’ verdicts at Inquests and officers responsible for those deaths should face criminal charges, even if retired, UFFC says.

The other demands of the Campaign include placing of CCTV in all police vehicles and an automatic right to non means tested legal aid for families. The campaign observes that there are no funds for family legal representation at Inquests whilst officers and NHS staff get full legal representation from the public purse. This is unbalanced, UFFC says. To sign the petition, please go to: uk/petitions/26276 Visit UFFC’s website: http://

Ethnic minorities still ‘largely absent’ from British press A new survey has revealed that ethnic minorities are still “largely absent” from a lot of British media houses especially in senior executive roles, opinion or column pages, and staff jobs. New Statesman magazine conducted the survey in the wake of the Stephen Lawrence verdict and Diana Abbott’s tweet. The survey showed: 0 national newspaper editors are nonwhite; 0 national newspaper political editors are non-white; one of the 100 most important media people in The Guardian’s 2011 guide was not white; and two of the 99 named witnesses in the current Leves on inquiry into

the press are from ethnic backgrounds. The magazine also surveyed the main comment pages of selected newspapers in the week between Monday 5th and Sunday 11th December 2011 to count the number of non-white writers who appeared. It emerged that three newspapers did not have a single non-white writer on the comment pages and five non-white writers have a regular weekly fixed column in the British broadsheet press. By looking at the number of non-white writers compared to the total number of writers in each mainstream publication (including Sunday sister publications), three didn’t have any nonwhite writers. These were The

Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday (0/23); The Daily Telegraph/ Sunday Telegraph (0/46); and The Daily Express/Sunday Express (0/22). The Times/Sunday Times had only two out of 39; The Independent/Independent on Sunday had one out of 34; I had one out of 14; The Guardian/ Observer had four out of 48; and The Financial Times had three out of 35. Mr. Rafael Behr, Chief Political Commentator at the New Statesman questioned whether the Westminster lobby could report fairly on issues of race when they are “almost exclusively white, forty-something men”. The New Statesman’s senior editor (politics) Mehdi Hasan

commented that between 5th and 11th December 2011, “Three of the country’s bestselling newspapers and their Sunday stablemates – the Telegraph, the Mail, the Express – failed to publish a single column by a non-white person. That’s right, not a single one. “The liberal-left papers did better than their centre-right counterparts but not by much. Over the same seven-day period, four out of 48 columnists in the Guardian/Observer were nonwhite; for the Independent/ Independent on Sunday, it was one out of 34 columnists.” Hasan asked: “How long can newspaper editors carry on hiring and publishing columnists who have little or no experience of

these lives, backgrounds, cultures or faiths?” He concluded that: “In 2012, 64 years after the arrival of the Empire Windrush on our shores, 36 years after the passage of the third Race Relations Act, 19 years after the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence, the great British commentariat is, in effect, a monoracial, monocultural closed shop.” The New Statesman’s survey has highlighted the fact that racial reporting can at times be biased and less positive, especially if one has no insight or background experience in the very communities or faiths they are publishing or writing about. By Monica Hayward


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No. 2. 24th January 2012


Removal of playwright Lydia Besong suspended at last minute Celebrities urge Theresa May to stop her removal

Lydia along with her husband Bernard Batey, had been given removal orders for 21st January 2012, despite very real fears that they will face further persecution if returned. Lydia is currently being held in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre and Bernard is being held in Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre. On 20th January 2012 Judge Mark Pelling QC ruled that the Home Office had acted unlawfully and that Lydia and Bernard cannot be removed from the UK as was scheduled. He also ruled that all costs must be paid by the government and that a Judicial Review of their case can take place in the UK. The date has not yet been set. The Women for Refugee Women said their campaign continues until Lydia and Bernard are safe and granted leave to remain in the UK. Lydia sought asylum in the UK in 2006. She was persecuted in Cameroon as a result of her peaceful political activities on behalf of the English-speaking minority in the country, and was imprisoned and raped in prison.

“Of course it would put me in danger if I was returned to Cameroon. There is no hiding that my work is critical of the current government. I would be detained indefinitely. There is no freedom of expression in Cameroon, this is happening every day” Cameroonian playwright Lydia Besong

She fled here with her husband Bernard and sought asylum. Since arriving in the UK she has written three plays, one of which, “How I Became an A s y l u m Seeker”, was performed in London in 2010 at an event produced by Women for Refugee Women and hosted by Actress Juliet Stevenson. Another is currently in rehearsal with a performance scheduled for March. Bestselling authors and leading human Lydia Besong (Right) and Juliet Stevenson at Women for Refugee Women’s rights dignitaries production of “How I Became an Asylum Seeker” at the Riverside Studios, London have urged the government to The letter, which was organised by head above the parapet to talk about her stop the removal of Lydia and Bernard. English PEN and Women for Refugee experience and write her plays. This counMore than 30 leading writers and actors, including Monica Ali, Alan Women, and signed by a number of lead- try should not send her back to a situation Ayckbourn, Joan Bakewell, Nick Hornby, ing writers, states: “The UK should be where she could be in very real danger.” Michael Morpurgo, author of “War Helena Kennedy, Caitlin Moran, Michael proud to offer Lydia protection from the persecution she suffered in her home counHorse” and ex-Children’s Laureate, said: Morpurgo and Juliet Stevenson have signed “How this country treats asylum seekers is a letter to Home Secretary Theresa May try.” Natasha Walter, Director of Women for the measure of what kind of people we are. expressing support for Lydia. Refugee Women and author of “The New Lydia was oppressed in Cameroon. That Speaking from Yarl’s Wood, Lydia Feminism” and “Living Dolls”, said: there is risk she will be imprisoned and said: “Of course it would put me in danger if I was returned to Cameroon. There is no “Lydia’s courage and creativity is a real abused again seems undeniable. That she hiding that my work is critical of the cur- inspiration for those standing up to oppres- is extraordinarily brave in her stand against rent government. I would be detained sion. It is shocking to see how she has oppression is clear. And that her talents indefinitely. There is no freedom of expres- struggled to get a fair hearing in the UK would be of great value to us as a citizen in our society would seem to be obvious. On sion in Cameroon, this is happening every asylum process.” Gillian Slovo, novelist and president of these grounds, I would ask, beg, the Home day.” English PEN urged the government on Secretary, Theresa May, to look again, But she would not stop writing, she behalf of English PEN, “to stop Lydia’s think again, and allow this remarkable added. “I wanted to highlight what was happening at home,” she said. “If it couldn’t deportation as well as the deportation of woman the right to stay here and live be beneficial to me maybe it could be ben- her husband to a country that continues to amongst us.” Lydia and Bernard and their campaign eficial to others. I didn’t know I would find use force to silence its critics.” Juliet said: “Lydia Besong is an incredare very grateful to all who have been supmyself in this situation. I am very, very, ibly courageous woman who has put her porting them. scared.”

©Hannah Maule-ffinch

Last minute legal action by Women for Refugee Women campaign has prevented the forced removal of Lydia Besong, a playwright who is seeking asylum in the UK after being imprisoned and raped in Cameroon as a result of her political activities.

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No. 2. 24th January 2012



Migrant & Refugee Woman of the Year Award launched Nominate and say “thank you” to women doing inspirational work in London Do you know a migrant or refugee woman who is doing inspirational work at the grassroots in London? If yes, please nominate her for the newly launched Migrant & Refugee Woman of the Year Award. The Migrant & Refugee Woman of the Year Award aims to recognise and celebrate women who having migrated or fled persecution themselves, find time to provide essential support and inspiring leadership at grassroots level to other new Londoners attempting to start a new life in the city. The Migrant & Refugee Woman of the Year Award is administered by the Migrant and Refugee Communities Forum, 2 Thorpe Close and London W10 5XL. The Award is the product of a partnership between the Equals Coalition, IMKAAN, Migrant

and Refugee Communities Forum, Oxfam, Refugee Women’s Association, ROSA and Women for Refugee Women. Migrating to a new country brings many challenges and it is often women who step forward and find solutions on behalf of a wider group and help more vulnerable members of the community. They fight for equality, challenge prejudice and come up with innovative, practical and strategic solutions for those in need and all while working, studying and raising families. The organizers of the Award say that the achievements and contribution of migrant and refugee women to London often go unnoticed. This is why as a group of women activists, they feel it is time to pause and say thank you to these committed and courageous individuals. Any woman who self defines as a migrant or refugee is eligible to be nominated for the Award.

She must consent to be nominated and have been actively involved in community work in London during the last 12 months. Nominees do not have to lead a legally constituted organisation. The work for which you wish to nominate someone does not need to have been with or for women, or on gender issues, but it must have supported migrants and/or refugees to settle in London. Nominees can be paid workers or volunteers. The deadline for submitting nominations is 6th February 2012. Nominees will be shortlisted and then interviewed by a panel of at least three people drawn from the partner organisations. All nominations must be supported by two referees who know her and her achievements well. The Award will be presented for the first time in March 2012 at a high profile ceremony as part of London’s International Women’s Day celebrations.

The winner’s community or organisation will receive a £1,000 donation to spend on community work as she sees fit and she will also be offered mentoring support. This support will be tailored to her needs and could be for her individually or for her community/organisation.

Nomination is by application form which can be downloaded from woman-of-year-award. For further information, please contact Beth Crosland: Email:, Tel: 020 8962 3042.

Students working in breach of visas to be removed Non-EU students will be removed if found working illegally beyond permissible 20 hours a week, the UK Border Agency has warned. “Non-EU students are generally allowed to work up to 20 hours a week, but if people ignore the rules by working illegally we will find them and seek to remove them from the country,” Alex Legg, Chief Immigration Officer from the UK Border Agency said. “We will not tolerate illegal working which undercuts wages and

can exploit vulnerable workers.” Mr. Legg said they’ll also target employers of such workers. “We’re happy to work with businesses to let them know what checks need to be done on staff, but those who do break the law should know that they will face heavy fines,” he said. Five Indians are in fact facing removal from the UK after being caught in Fulham working illegally beyond their permissible hours. Acting on intelligence, UKBA officers visited three stores owned

by the Idea Bright DIY chain, two on Fulham Road SW6 and 1 in New Kings Road, on 12th January 2012 to question staff and check if they had the right to work in the UK. “Two men aged 34 and 21 were arrested for working in breach of their student visas at the New Kings Road store, while a 26-year-old man was also arrested for working in breach of his visa at the store at 672 Fulham Road,” the UKBA said. “At separate premises at 772 Fulham Road a 22-year-old man was arrested for working in breach of his student visa, while a 29-year-old

was arrested for obtaining leave to remain by deception.” The five Indians are now in detention awaiting their removal from the UK. “Idea Bright Ltd were served with notices telling them that they face fines of up to £10,000 per illegal worker unless proof is provided to the UK Border Agency that the correct right-to-work checks were carried out,” the UKBA said.

“Non-EU students are generally allowed to work up to 20 hours a week, but if people ignore the rules by working illegally we will find them and seek to remove them from the country. We will not tolerate illegal working which undercuts wages and can exploit vulnerable workers” Mr. Alex Legg, Chief Immigration Officer, UK Border Agency

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No. 2. 24th January 2012

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UK stops sending to France unaccompanied children The ‘Gentlemen’s Agreement’ between the UK and France enabled unaccompanied children to be sent back to France within 24 hours if they did not immediately ask for asylum, a new report has revealed. This resulted in a significant failure of child protection. The “Landing in Dover” report by Maggie Atkinson, Children’s Commissioner for England also uncovered excessive periods of detention prior to release into local authority care due to the number and length of immigration interviews undertaken at the point of arrival. The report results from an investigation by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner (OCC) into the treatment of unaccompanied children asylum seekers when they first arrive in the UK. Once the Children’s Commissioner brought the issue to the attention of Rob Whiteman, UKBA’s new Chief Executive, he ended the practice - in respect of children immediately. Just over 1,700 unaccompanied children that entered the country in 2010 sought asylum, whilst a number of those returned to France under the Gentleman’s Agreement, may have been trafficked for exploitation. Investigations by OCC have found children seeking asylum include those escaping war zones and persecution. They are often hungry,

“Children arriving unaccompanied in the UK are some of the most vulnerable that my office and society encounters. That is why we have continued to investigate how they are dealt with, working constructively with UKBA, to improve their treatment. This has been advanced through the end of the `Gentleman’s Agreement’. I commend Rob Whiteman for acting decisively” Ms. Maggie Atkinson, Children’s Commissioner for England ill, exhausted and distressed when they first arrive. “Children arriving unaccompanied in the UK are some of the most vulnerable that my office and society encounters,” said Ms. Atkinson. “That is why we have continued to investigate how they are dealt with, working constructively with UKBA, to improve their treatment. This has been advanced through the end of the `Gentleman’s Agreement’. I commend Rob Whiteman for acting decisively.” Ms. Atkinson said UKBA has also ceased to conduct screening interviews on asylum seeking children when they first arrive. “We welcome this further step in reorganising the arrangements for unaccompanied children arriving in Kent. My office will continue to work with the key agencies in

the county to achieve the best outcomes for children and to ensure UKBA delivers on the commitments it has given me.” The “Landing in Dover” has recommended using face to face interpreters and stopping the use of telephone interpreters for interviews other than for gathering basic details about the child’s identity. It also recommended exploring ways in which the police can gather bio-data such as finger prints on UKBA’s behalf when they are the first agency to encounter children who have just entered. This would enable them to arrange for the child to go directly into local authority care rather than to the immigration office for processing. The report urged the authorities to ensure that the child has

had the chance to gain support from a legal representative and that their representative is able to accompany them, along with a Responsible Adult, to the immigration interviews. The Refugee Council welcomed the report and UKBA’s decision to stop sending to France unaccompanied children, including trafficking victims. “We are very relieved that as a result of this welcome report, the disgraceful ‘Gentlemen’s Agreement’ that has long put the wellbeing and safety of children at risk of harm and exploitation, has now been put to an end,” Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council said. “The report has shone a light on the lengths our government is prepared to take in order to pass the responsibility for children arriving here back to

other countries.” Apart from fleeing horrifying situations in their own countries, many of these children “have undertaken hugely traumatic journeys to reach safety in the UK,” Ms. Covey said. “They need time and support to recover as well as access to legal support before they make their claim for asylum, and it is unjust to expect them to fully explain why they need protection here so soon after arrival.” Ms. Covey asked the government to heed the recommendations to improve the screening system for children when they arrive in ports across the UK, “to ensure children seeking safety in this country are properly supported, in line with our international obligations to protect children in our care.”

Border check relaxations shock MPs A breakdown of communication between different arms of the UK Border Agency and the Home Office led to UK border controls being relaxed too often last year, MPs have said. Home Affairs Select Committee’s report concluded that “Whilst the situation may or may not have been caused by the actions of an individual, a lack of supervision of senior staff at the UK Border Agency allowed the situation to continue.” The report revealed that during last summer’s border chaos, the number of people stopped at the border and turned away went down by 12 per cent compared to the previous summer. Noting that the Home Office Warnings Index Guidance (HOWI) 2007 may be being used inappropriately, the MPs called for a review of its use. Clarifying guidelines should also be issued to staff if necessary, they said. Rt. Hon Keith Vaz MP, Chair of the

Committee said: “Border checks carried out at airports and ports in the UK are the final line of defence against those who should be prevented entry. “The apparent low levels of supervision at the UK Border Agency are highly troubling. The overuse of the HOWI guidelines and the fact that no one appears to have been aware of what was happening demonstrates a lack of oversight and a failure of communication.” The MPs asked the Home Office to make available to the Committee certain documents which have been given to the internal inquiries instigated by the Home Office. “Parliamentary scrutiny is a vital part of UK democracy and the refusal of the Home Office to provide us with several key documents has prevented us from reaching an informed conclusion as to the sequence of events. It is also inconsistent with the Government’s commitment to transparency and accountability,” Mr. Vaz said. Labour’s Shadow Immigration Minister

Chris Bryant MP described the report as “damning”. “Ministers failed to oversee their own pilot of reduced border checks resulting in a significant fall in those stopped and returned, then kept all official papers from Parliament to make it impossible for the Committee to get to the truth,” Mr. Bryant said. “It reveals that senior officials were aware for some time of the suspension of border checks, yet the so-called pilot was left to carry on with no oversight from the Immigration Minister or the Home Secretary.” Mr. Bryant wondered why the Home Secretary had refused to provide vital official papers to the Select Committee. “If Theresa May has nothing to hide, why is she hiding documents?” he asked. Mr. Bryant criticised the Home Secretary and her Ministers for displaying incompetence and poor management. “They took their eye off border security during the busiest period of the year, and left Britain

unprotected. Their actions since have displayed no interest in accountability, nor in providing answers for the border fiasco they oversaw,” Mr. Bryant said.

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No. 2. 24th January 2012


Too many foreign women locked up for non-violent crimes - Report Far too many vulnerable foreign national women are locked up in England and Wales for nonviolent crimes. Most of them have often been trafficked or coerced into offending, a new report shows.

NO WAY OUT A briefing paper on foreign national women in prison in England and Wales January 2012

According to a joint briefing by the Prison Reform Trust and FPWP Hibiscus, coercion, intimidation, misinformation and threats are frequent factors behind the offending of foreign national women behind bars in the country. FPWP Hibiscus is a female prisoners’ welfare project with a specific focus on foreign national women coming through the British criminal justice system. Women from foreign countries represent around one in seven of all the women held in custody in England and Wales and are one of the fastest growing groups in the female prison population (+49%). Drawing on Hibiscus’ records of its work with foreign national women in prison, the report titled “No Way Out” attempts to gain a better understanding of the current situation of these women. The report stresses the importance of understanding why these women left their country of origin and took the decision to come to the UK. This is not a decision taken lightly by any woman, as it often means leaving children and the support of the family network. The factors are complex, but for many it is the hope of a better life. For some, this is described as the need unrest or the threat of persecution such as to access better education and work oppor- Iran, Somalia and Uganda. tunities. For others it is the desperate need The report shows similar geographical to support their family and send remittances patterns in relation to those coming here to home. Others said that they had no option alleviate poverty and start a better life. For to leave because of threats they faced and example a high percentage of those from how they saw the UK as a positive country China and Vietnam have been brought in by to seek asylum. smugglers to alleviate family poverty. The For all these women changes in immi- same is true with some of those from gration and employment legislation have Eastern Europe, particularly the A8 coundecreased their ability to enter the UK or tries. access work within the country without Unfortunately a number of these women breaking the law. This has increased their get drawn into sex work and are victims of reliance on agents who exploit their power- resultant abuse by pimps and clients. lessness. Research published by the Association of The factors driving these women to Chief Police Officers (ACPO) in 2010 leave home are evidenced by the geograph- found that nearly two thirds of women ical distribution of their countries of origin. involved in off-street prostitution were For example women from Zimbabwe rep- migrants and half came from Eastern resent 3% of all new Hibiscus cases and Europe and a third from Asia. Asian women, almost 75% have been charged with false primarily from China, were also more likely document, deception or fraud. The same is to 1 02/12/2011 11:21:52 be victims of trafficking, representing true for women from other areas of civil

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85% of all migrant women deemed to have been trafficked. By failing to recognise the path of these women into crime and address their specific needs and vulnerabilities, the UK authorities are wasting taxpayers’ money on needless imprisonment and could be in breach of international legal obligations to protect the victims of human trafficking, contests the report. The UK is a signatory to the UN Protocol for the Protection of Victims of Trafficking and the European Convention on Trafficking. Damian Green, Immigration Minister, has stated that combating trafficking and looking after its victims is a priority for the government, and that “having any number of people trafficked into the UK is unacceptable”. Despite these commitments the report reveals that insufficient effort is made by the UK authorities to identify evidence of exploitation or persecution of foreign national women in contact with the justice system. Many of these women have no option but to plead guilty and are sentenced, with the assumption of deportation, before they can be assessed as potential victims. “Far too many foreign national women are languishing in British jails having been coerced or trafficked into offending,” Juliet Lyon, Director of the Prison Reform Trust,

says. “There are ways out of this mess but only if the government is prepared to redouble its efforts to catch the traffickers, who profit from their grubby trade, rather than allowing the burden of punishment to fall on vulnerable women many of whom have been victims as well as perpetrators of crime.” Olga Heaven, Director of Hibiscus, says: “There is increasing diversity of nationality in the female prison population. High numbers of women are brought into the UK deceived and exploited. “Many are young women with a dream of going to a first world country to achieve something but what they are brought in for is either prostitution or some other kind of enforced labour.” Heaven observes that many foreign women who have been provided with false documents are detained by immigration or custom officials. They often find themselves imprisoned on arrival. “Many women who are here legally face multiple social and economic disadvantage which places them at high risk of offending. More needs to be done to identify vulnerable foreign national women in need of protection before they get into trouble with the law,” Heaven says. “What we should be doing is educating people about British criminal justice.” Lyon reveals that the majority of the women in prison do tell them: “We did not know what this was about.” “We have women who do it out of total desperation to pay school fees, to pay for rent, for food. How are we to justify giving a woman coming from these situations 12-14 months of prison? It cannot work, it will never work and also it will never stop,” Lyon says.


No. 2. 24th January 2012

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African music as precious as diamond Exclusive interview with Kanda Bongo Man, King of Kwassa Kwassa Africa is rich of natural resources which are constantly exploited and exported. But there is one which the continent is yet to appreciate and benefit from - African music. Kanda Bongo Man, a veteran African musician based in the UK, holds that African music is one of the most valuable resources the continent can export. African music, he says, is “just as valuable as natural resources such as diamonds and minerals.” Kanda Bongo Man revolutionised soukous music in the late 1980s. His style of dance “Kwassa Kwassa” made him a darling of soukous music fans across Africa and beyond. In this dance which earned Kanda Bongo Man the accolade “King of Kwassa Kwassa”, the hips move back and forth vigorously while the hands move to follow the hips. Kanda Bongo Man is an exciting stage performer, capable of attracting huge crowds and breaking down the barriers between him and fans, making them sing and dance with him. Kanda Bongo Man’s performances are fast moving and a captivating combination of music and dance. This in fact, made a famous Kenyan Rumba musician, the late

Ochieng’ Kabaselleh, introduce a common phrase in his songs: “Hapana Kwassa Kwassa wazee, peleka pole pole” (It’s not Kwassa Kwassa, dance slowly), to remind his fans to take it easy and dance majestically to his music. Kanda Bongo Man’s famous hits such as “Sai”, “Isambe”, “Liza”, “Zing Zong”, “Ekipe” and “Iyole” became infectious, and dominated airwaves in most African countries in the 1990s. The songs could be heard in pubs, discos, public transport vehicles, public gatherings, etc. In this exclusive interview with The AfroNews, Kanda Bongo Man, for the first time, denies rumours that he was deported from Kenya in the 1990s because he had an affair with Ms. Catherine Kasavuli, a news anchor, who was alleged to have an affair with the then President of Kenya, Daniel arap Moi. Here’s an excerpt of the interview. Kanda Bongo Man, your artistic name is quite unique. What exactly does Kanda Bongo Man mean? What’s your real name? My real name is Bongo Kanda! Are you working on a new album? If yes, when should we expect it out?

I am currently working on a new album, which I hope will be released this year. What are the challenges you face as a musician? As a musician, it’s necessary to constantly look for new sounds and new beats. The main challenge is to remain in the music industry and you can only do this by constantly reinventing your music. If you don’t have any form of career strategy, you won’t stay in the market for very long. What kind of messages do you try to convey through your music? To be honest the lyrics of my music are secondary to my main aim, which is to make good music which makes people happy. Music can lift people’s mood, especially during difficult periods of their lives. For example, I was listening to a Lucky Dube album the other day – this music makes me soft! I’m also a big fan of the music of Jimmy Cliff and Maxi Priest for the same reason – they bring African spice to reggae music. Similarly when Africans fuse their music with Salsa – these cultural exchanges really enrich music. However, I do also convey messages through my lyrics – most of the time I’m complaining about what’s going on in the Democratic Republic of Congo, reminding the politicians that their people want honesty from them! Many African musicians I’ve interviewed say that piracy is killing them. Does this affect you as well and how can African authorities fight piracy? Piracy affects all of us. African politicians should recognise that music is one of the most valuable resources which the continent has to export, just as valuable as natural resources such as diamonds and minerals. If the music industry was better organised, we could bring a lot of money into DR Congo for example. We need a good Minister of Culture to work on these things. In the early 90s your popularity in Kenya made some government officials fear letting you stage concerts in the country. Do you feel like talking about the incident? Actually, I do want to talk about this. There was a lot of misinformation being circulated at the time and I’d like to put the record straight. The Chief of Security in Kenya at the time, while President Daniel arap Moi was in power, was called Mr. Hezekiah Oyugi. Mr. Oyugi’s daughter, Rose, was getting married and, as I was on tour in Kenya at the time, he asked me to stay on to play at her wedding.

However, my visa was due to expire two days before the wedding, so I told him it wouldn’t be possible unless he could extend my visa. Mr. Oyugi said that as he was the Chief of Security, there would be no problem. However the Principal Immigration Officer Francis Kwinga, found out that I had overstayed those two days

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No. 2. 24th January 2012


tell the truth and to stop stealing votes!

“Piracy affects all of us. African politicians should recognise that music is one of the most valuable resources which the continent has to export, just as valuable as natural resources such as diamonds and minerals. If the music industry was better organised, we could bring a lot of money into DR Congo for example. We need a good Minister of Culture to work on these things” Kanda Bongo Man, King of Kwassa Kwassa heroes include Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye and Jimmy Cliff. What’s your advice to young people aspiring to become musicians? The most important thing is if you want to be taken seriously in the music industry, you must be professional at all times. Always be on time, be polite and respect your audiences.

A message to the Congolese in general? Right now the Government wants to steal our election. We need to stand up to them and fight back in order to stop their dishonesty or we have a great deal to lose. What are your future plans? My future plans are to record a new CD and tour even more internationally. I really enjoy travelling the world to perform because God gave me the gift of music to promote my culture overseas. Living abroad you must have heard of the challenges immigrants face in Europe. What do you think of UK’s immigration policies? I was 18 years old when I arrived in Europe, so I probably view things differently from someone who has just arrived. I have been here so long that I feel things as a European would. We are no different. Everybody, Africans, Europeans and other nationalities are all having to deal with the current difficult economic circumstances in their own way. Now, when you are not preparing for a concert or recording, how do you spend a typical day? How do you spend your free time? Taking care of my family. I also love cooking! What’s your favourite food? Fish and seafood. By Stephen Ogongo Ongong’a

You are a vigorous dancer. Does your dance style have a particular meaning? No! I just enjoy dancing! In the recent years we have lost very popular Congolese musicians who popularised Congolese Rumba. Many young Congolese musicians seem to be getting into rap, hip-hop, etc. How do you foresee the future of Congolese music? Fortunately not all young musicians are turning to rap, etc. The majority are still keeping our roots music alive. Those who are turning away are not so popular in the DR Congo, although it is good to pursue other forms of music as well. How would you describe your style of music? Congolese Rumba.

illegally to attend Mr. Oyugi’s daughter’s wedding and a fully fledged argument ensued between the two politicians. So Mr. Kwinga kicked me out of the country just to annoy Mr. Oyugi. The worst of it was that nobody explained the problem and all sorts of rumours started, including one that I was deported because I had stolen the President’s

girlfriend Catherine. I didn’t even meet her until 12 years later! Who are your musical influences or heroes? My main influences are our traditional Congolese musicians, but my musical

Many look at musicians as commentators on social affairs and often follow appeals by musicians. As a Congolese, what’s your message to Congolese politicians? There is no love lost between Congolese politicians and myself. They don’t like me and I don’t like them! I am always telling them to

KANDA BONGO MAN’S CONTACTS Ms. Geli Berg, Artist Manager, Tel: 07816 648 288

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No. 2. 24th January 2012


How to apply for Settlement Visas for Fiancé(e)s or Proposed civil partners If you have permanent settlement status in the UK, such as British citizenship or Indefinite leave to remain, and you are engaged to or would like to marry someone from abroad in the UK rather than in their home country, and settle permanently here after the wedding, you may sponsor your partner’s application for what is known as a Fiancé(e) Visa. ©

If instead you are a same-sex couple and you wish to acquire legal status in the UK by formally recognising your bond as a civil partnership in view to settle here permanently, you should apply for a Proposed Civil Partner Visa. In order to qualify for admission as a fiancé(e)/proposed civil partner, you will need to meet the following requirements: • the sponsor is present and settled in the United Kingdom, or is to be admitted for settlement at the same time the applicant arrives in the UK; • you are both aged 21 or over; • you intend to live permanently with each other as a spouse/civil partner after the marriage/civil partnership; • you actually have met; • adequate maintenance and accommodation without recourse to public funds will be available for the applicant

until the date of the marriage/civil partnership; • after the marriage/civil partnership there will be adequate accommodation for you and any dependants without recourse to public funds in accommodation which you own or occupy exclusively;

UK with temporary permission to stay in a different immigration category (for example, as a student), they cannot switch into this category. A substantial amount of documentation must be submitted to support a visa application in these categories. Among these, divorce certificates or a death certificate in the case of a late spouse to prove you are free to marry. The appropriate form is always Form VAF4A – settlement (see page 7 of the form). Please note that form VAF1F, instead, is meant for marriage visitors, who want to marry in the UK, but not settle here after the wedding. Form VAF4A can be downloaded from:

Terms of leave

• after the marriage/civil partnership you will be able to maintain yourselves and your dependants adequately without recourse to public funds. • both parties are free to marry If your partner is currently in the

If your application is approved, you will gain entry clearance as a fiancé(e)/ proposed civil partner. You will initially be admitted to the United Kingdom for 6 months. You cannot take up employment until after the marriage or civil partnership. Once the marriage or civil partnership has taken place, you will need to make a further application to the Home Office to request a variation of your visa status from fiancé(e)/ proposed civil partner to that of a

Urgent spouse visa application Question: I applied for a settlement visa three weeks ago in Nigeria. I married my wife a year ago in the UK on an (overstayed) visit visa. When I got back to Nigeria to do my spouse visa application, we found out she was pregnant with our first child. It would be devastating to be refused or delayed to go and support my wife through the pregnancy and birth period! I stated on the application that I would like to travel to the UK by the end of the month, does this assist in getting a response quicker? Answer: Generally applications for settlement may be concluded within up to 1- 4 months. In our experience, the British High Commission in Lagos takes on average between 1-2 months. Applications may sometimes be delayed where immigration officers feel it necessary to make further enquires. It is always helpful to indicate a reasonable date for your return to the UK, although this does not mean that your application will automatically be processed by

the date you have requested. If there has been a change of circumstances such as your wife’s pregnancy, you may wish to update the Entry Clearance Officers with a letter and documentary of your wife’s pregnancy and ask that this information is considered with the rest of your application. By Greenfields Solicitors, Disclaimer: The above articles are meant to be relied upon as informative articles and in no way constitute legal advice. Information is offered for general information purposes only, based on the current law when the information was published in this newspaper. You should always seek advice from an appropriately qualified solicitor on any specific legal enquiry. For legal advice regarding your case, please contact Greenfields Solicitors for a Consultation with a Solicitor on 020 8884 1166.

spouse or a civil partner. Once this application is approved by the Home Office, a 2-year probationary period visa will be granted. During this time, you can live and work freely, but you will not be able to claim public funds. After satisfactory completion of the 2 year probationary period, you will need to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. After 3 years and assuming the marriage/civil partnership is continuing, you may make an application for naturalisation as a British citizen.

Extension of leave You may apply for an extension of your visa if: • you can show good cause why the marriage or civil partnership did not take place within the initial period of leave granted; and • there is satisfactory evidence that the marriage or civil partnership will take place at an early date; and • you still meet the original visa requirements (listed above). If your extension of stay is granted, the prohibition on employment will remain as per the original visa. By

Greenfields Solicitors are leading specialists in Immigration, Nationality and Human Rights law. Our experienced Solicitors can help you in all aspects of Immigration law including: » Visas » Entry Clearance Applications (visitor, student, marriage, fiancée, Tier, dependants) » Extensions to Remain in the UK » Appeals & Administrative Reviews » Overstayers » Discretionary Leave and Long Residence » Human Rights » PBS Tier visa applications » British Nationality & Citizenship » Removal/Deportation » Advocacy If you have an Immigration problem, please call our experienced legal advisors to discuss your case. Our Solicitors provide advice through consultations at our London offices or by telephone. We have an excellent success rate and can help you secure your legal status in the UK. Contact our experts on:

020 8884 1166 "Greenfields Solicitors - the name you can trust in Immigration law. Your success is our success".


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No. 2. 24th January 2012


African football stars commit to malaria fight viewers watching the tournament to deliver messages about the prevention and treatment of malaria.”

Andrew (Dede) Ayew, midfielder from Ghana, Gervinho, forward from Cote d’Ivoire, and Moussa Sow, forward from Senegal, were just a few of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations stars who delivered malaria prevention and treatment messages in new United Against Malaria (UAM) public service announcements (PSAs) that will air throughout Africa during the tournament. Other UAM champions who lent their voice to the new PSAs include Jordan Ayew, striker from Ghana, Charles Kabore, midfielder from Burkina Faso, and Asamoah Gyan, striker from Ghana. The PSAs focus on the importance of malaria prevention and treatment for children in Africa, “because all children deserve a chance at greatness, just like their heroes on the football pitch.” If left untreated, Malaria in its most severe forms can lead to a coma and death. Malaria is preventable and treatable, but continues to kill a child every 45 seconds and nearly 800,000 people each year. Furthermore, malaria contributes to the cycle

“Malaria still kills many children in Africa, and it’s important that we educate fans on how to protect themselves and their families. Until we have no children dying from malaria in Africa, we need to spread the word about ways to prevent and treat this disease”

©Esprit d’Ebène

Some of Africa’s biggest football stars have joined the campaign to deliver messages about the prevention and treatment of malaria.

Moussa Sow, forward from Senegal supporting United Against Malaria Campaign of poverty and limits economic development. “Malaria still kills many children in Africa, and it’s important that we educate fans on how to protect themselves and their families,” said Ghana Football Association President and CAF Executive Committee member Kwesi Nyantakyi, whose national

team starred in a UAM PSA ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. “Until we have no children dying from malaria in Africa, we need to spread the word about ways to prevent and treat this disease.” The new PSAs is being shown at half-time during matches aired in Ghana, Senegal and many other African countries through

local and cable television stations. “We are so grateful to the players and their national associations for their commitment to the fight against malaria,” said David Kyne, United Against Malaria Campaign Manager. “Their support offers us an unparalleled opportunity to reach millions of

Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi, Ghana Football Association President and CAF Executive Committee member

© Demotix

Amnesty asks Gambia to release activists jailed for distributing T-shirts

Gambian activist Dr. Amadou Scattred Janneh has been sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour for treason

A m n e s t y International has called for immediate release of four activists arrested over the distribution of T-shirts calling for an end to dictatorship in the Gambia. One activist, Dr. Amadou Scattred Janneh, the country’s former Minister for Information and Communication, was on 17th January 2012 sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour for treason. Modou Keita, Ebrima Jallow and

Michael Uche Thomas were each sentenced to three years with hard labour for sedition. The four were arrested in June 2011 after distributing T-shirts made by the NGO ‘Coalition for Change – The Gambia’ (CCG) which featured the slogan “End to Dictatorship Now”. “The conviction of these men is a violation of their rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association,” said Lucy Freeman, Amnesty International’s researcher on the Gambia. “President Jammeh is once again proving that he does not tolerate any form of criticism and is ruthlessly persecuting anyone who speaks out against his regime.” Dr. Janneh, who has American citizenship, was arrested in his office on 7th June for being in possession of the CCG T-shirts. Mr. Thomas, a Nigerian, and Mr. Keita and Mr. Jallow, both Gambians, were arrested on the same day, accused of printing the T-shirts.

The four men were sentenced at the Special Criminal Court in Banjul. Charges were initially brought at the Banjul Magistrate Court on 13th June and the case was later transferred to the High Court. “These men are prisoners of conscience and must be released immediately and unconditionally. Gambia must stop such acts of persecution and allow criticism to be heard in the country,” said Ms. Freeman. Journalists and activists in the Gambia, are routinely subjected to human rights violations such as unlawful arrests and detentions, torture, unfair trials, harassment, assaults and death threats, making it extremely difficult for them to do their work. Amnesty International has urged the international community to publicly condemn human rights violations in the Gambia, such as arbitrary arrests, torture, extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearance.

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No. 2. 24th January 2012


Leaders condemn multiple terrorist attacks in Nigeria Jonathan: Terrorists will “face the full wrath of the law” World leaders have strongly condemned the latest co-ordinated attacks by Islamist militants in the northern Nigerian city of Kano on 20th January 2012 which killed at least 165 people. The Boko Haram group confirmed that they carried out the series of explosions which ripped apart police buildings around the city. Abul Qaqa, a Boko Haram spokesman, said they carried out the attacks because Nigerian authorities had refused to release their group members arrested in Kano. Boko Haram, which loosely translates from the local Hausa language as “Western education is forbidden”, has been behind a string of attacks in recent years. President Goodluck Jonathan expressed his condolences to all victims. Among the persons killed in the incident was a reporter with Channels Television in Kano, Mr. Enenche Akogwu. Mr. Akogwu was reportedly shot and killed while on duty during the exchange of fire between officers of the Nigeria Police and the terrorists at the Farm Centre Police Station, Kano. President Jonathan said he was greatly saddened by the incident which led to the loss of lives of innocent Nigerians, and

pledged to get to the root of the incident. He assured all Nigerians and the international Community that those behind the acts of terrorism would be made to face the full wrath of the law.

the Kano incident do not die in vain. He said all the people who lost their lives in the acts of violence in Kano on 20th January 2012 “are honest and patriotic Nigerians who were brutally and

“As a responsible Government, we will not fold our hands and watch enemies of democracy, for that is what these mindless killers are, perpetrate unprecedented evil in our land” Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan President Jonathan commended the media as the Fourth Estate of the Realm for living up to its constitutional and noble responsibility in these critical times. “The Federal Government will continue to partner with the media in a robust and patriotic manner in the drive to build, institute and sustain the administration’s transformational values and programmes for our dear country and indeed Nigerians,” President Jonathan said. The President further commended the media for its historic role in protecting constitutional democracy and the rule of Law in Nigeria and promised to ensure that those who lost their lives in

recklessly cut down by agents of terror.” “As a responsible Government, we will not fold our hands and watch enemies of democracy, for that is what these mindless killers are, perpetrate unprecedented evil in our land,” President Jonathan said. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the deadly attacks. Mr. Ban said he was “appalled at the frequency and intensity of recent attacks in Nigeria, which demonstrate a wanton and unacceptable disregard for human life.” Mr. Ban voiced his solidarity with the Government and people of Nigeria, and expressed his

hope for swift and transparent investigations into the attacks to ensure perpetrators are brought to justice. Mr. Ban also extended his sincere condolences to the people of Nigeria and to the bereaved families. The African Union (AU) also condemned the attacks. The

Chairperson of the African Union Commission Dr. Jean Ping reaffirmed the AU’s “total rejection of terrorism in all its forms,” and promised the AU’s “full support to the efforts of the Government of Nigeria aimed at bringing to an end all terrorist attacks in the country.”

Diop appointed World Bank Vice President for Africa Makhtar Diop, a Senegalese who will return to Nigeria in early May May 2012. A former Finance Minister in Senegal national, has been appointed the after serving as the region’s Vice President and Chair of the West African Monetary World Bank’s Vice President for since 2007. Mr. Diop, who has been the World Union (WAEMU) Board of Finance Africa. He succeeds Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili

Bank’s Country Director for Brazil since 2009, will take up his new position on 6th

Ministers, Mr. Diop joined the World Bank in 2001 and has served in various senior

positions, including as the World Bank’s Country Director for Kenya, Eritrea, and Somalia, as well as Director of Strategy and Operations in the Bank’s Latin America and Caribbean region.


No. 2. 24th January 2012

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Minister: Interest rates in Jamaica will stay low Sanctions should be imposed for breaches of fiscal responsibility

He advised banks to assist in taking active steps to contain their costs, increase their efficiencies and contain the growth in their spreads. The first aspect of the way forward “relates to macro-economic stability,” the Minister said. This, he said, must be maintained and will include low inflation and low interest rates. “There is no policy of high interest rates and there will be no policy of high interest rates,” he emphasized. Restating the Government’s commitment to provide the macro-economic framework that supports low and competitive interest rates, the Minister expressed the administration’s desire to “get the rates even lower, if conditions allow.” He argued that macro-economic stability was not an end in itself. “There is stability now, partly because there is low demand for credit and foreign exchange due to the weakness in the economy. Banks are competing vigorously to lend and, in doing so, are lowering interest rates,” he observed. However, Dr. Phillips noted that, while

this was happening, borthis type of behaviour,” he rowers were not getting declared. the full benefit. “As rates With respect to the Jamaica are lowered, the banks Development Infrastructure Project need to assist in taking (JDIP), he said that the amount active steps to contain earmarked to be spent in the their costs, increase their 2011/12 budget “was deliberately efficiencies and so conignored and was over-shot by tain the growth in their US$80 million or close to J$7 bilspreads,” he said. lion.” Dr. Phillips also called The Minister also observed that for sanctions against more debts were accumulated by deliberate breaches of fisthe former Government, through cal responsibility resultthe ordering of some 96 million ing from ministerial Euros worth of buses that were not action. budgeted for, but which will have Addressing investors to be paid for. Minister of Finance, Planning and the Public at the Mayberry “This financial profligacy took Service, Hon. Peter Phillips (right),being welcomed to place despite the existence of a Investment Forum in the Mayberry Investment Forum by CEO, Mayberry Kingston on 18th January Fiscal Responsibility Framework Investments, Gary Peart, at the Knutsford Court 2012, the Minister said entrenched in law that prohibits that, despite the existence such actions,” Dr. Phillips Hotel, New Kingston on 18th January of a Fiscal Responsibility observed. Framework “entrenched “This fact speaks to the need and pension reforms. in law” to safeguard fiscal prudence, sigHe cautioned that the country now for sanctions for such deliberate breaches nificant fiscal breaches have occurred. risks squandering the relief provided by flowing from Ministerial action. It was Pointing to expenditure controls, Dr. the Jamaica Debt Exchange (JDX). these breaches that contributed to the Phillips stated that there has been a lack of “Without wishing to get into a futile breakdown of trust between Jamaica and fiscal prudence as evident in: the misman- blame game, we must acknowledge that our international partners over the last agement of contract negotiations with pub- there has been a failure to adequately man- year,” he stated. lic sector workers; massive off-budget age the fiscal situation and to contain expenditures; and the failure to effect the expenditure in the face of declining reveBy Allan Brooks, timely implementation of public sector, tax nues. We must draw the line and say no to JIS Senior Reporter

Dudley Thompson served Jamaica “with honour and distinction” Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has expressed deep sadness at the passing of Ambassador Dudley Joseph Thompson, OJ, QC. He died on 20th January 2012, a day after his 95th birthday. “I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the Hon. Dudley Thompson, an outstanding Jamaican politician, diplomat and statesman, and a personal and dear friend for more than four decades. His passing is exceptionally painful for me, as it was only recently after my electoral victory, that he called with a most heart-warming congratulation,” the Prime Minister said. “A man of firm convictions, articulate, sharp on his feet and witty, Dudley Thompson loved his country with a passion and served it with honour and distinction. I wish to express profound condolences to his widow Cecile, children, grandchildren, and great grandchild, and pray that they find comfort in this time of grief,” the Prime Minister added. Hon Thompson was a life member of the People’s National

Party (PNP), and was elected Chairman of the PNP in 1979. He was a PNP Senator in the years 1962 - 1978, and was leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives in 1978. He served as MP for St. Andrew Western from 1978 to 1983; Minister of National Security in 1978; Minister of Mining and Natural Resources from 1977 to 1978 and Minister of State, with the responsibility for Foreign Affairs from 1972 to 1975. Hon Thompson was Jamaica’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Namibia. He was Jamaica’s chief representative in the conference on the Law of the Sea and played a leading role in securing Jamaica as the permanent headquarters for the International Seabed Authority. He also introduced the Office of the Ombudsman to Jamaica. A freedom fighter and Pan Africanist, he was a leading member of the team of lawyers who represented the former leader of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta, in the 1950s. At the time of his death, Hon Thompson was the President of the World Africa Diaspora Union.


Jamaica’s Minister of Finance, Planning and the Public Service, Hon. Peter Phillips, has calmed fears that the new administration might implement policies which will generate high interest rates.

Jamaicans urged to continue seeking God’s guidance Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, has encouraged Jamaicans to continue to pray and seek God’s guidance, even as they celebrate and reflect on the nation’s achievements over the last 50 years. Sir Patrick, who was speaking at the 32nd staging of the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast (NLPB), at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston on 19th January, said this year must be regarded as a remarkable time of renewal, re-affirmation and recommitment. “We have just installed a new government and we are 50 years old, so I think it is a grand moment, if only for these two things that we gather for prayer,” he said. This year’s NLPB was held under the theme, ‘Jamaica 50: Reconcile… Rebuild… Rejoice’. In attendance were leaders and dignitaries from the political, church, academic and business communities. They

included Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller; Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Andrew Holness, and Convenor, Umbrella Group of Churches, Rev. Dr. Lenworth Anglin. The Governor-General said this jubilee year also provides the nation with the “wonderful opportunity” to celebrate and rejoice in its achievements of the past 50 years. “Indeed, we have accomplished much, and most importantly, we are conscious that although the journey is still difficult, we have no fear for the future,” he said. He asserted his belief that prayer and hard work are the key to creating the kind of nation that all Jamaicans desire. He therefore encouraged Jamaicans to continue to pray, even as they remain steadfast in overcoming the many social and economic challenges that they face. “I believe that it is the prayers of the faithful that have kept the nation of Jamaica steady, even as we cope with the challenging social and economic climate,” he declared.

The Governor-General reminded the many leaders present of their enormous and enviable role as shapers of society. “We must always, as leaders, remember that the people have given us their hands to hold. We should honour that confidence reposed in us. No matter how challenging and difficult the journey, let us give them the assurance that every little thing will be alright - that we will not release their grasp,” he said. He also told them that as leaders of this present generation, they are tasked with the critical responsibility to make the country a place where people can feel safe, work and share their lives with each other. “As we move forward, it is my hope that we will more intentionally involve our young people in leadership and decision making, thus nurturing the next generation of leaders,” the GovernorGeneral said. By Athaliah Reynolds, JIS Reporter

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No. 2. 24th January 2012


Winston Riley, legendary Jamaican producer is dead Legendary Jamaican Reggae and had several big hits record producer, song- during the 1980s. Riley went through a slew of writer and vocalist has incidents over the past year. He died. Riley fell into a coma after he was shot in Kingston on 1st November 2011. He died on 19th January 2012, aged 65. He was a founding member of Jamaican group, The Techniques and was also known and respected as a pioneer of his time for scoring hits including “Double Barrel” by Ansel Collins and Dave Baker. Jamaica’s new Minister of Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna said she was saddened to receive news of Riley’s death. She described him as a cultural giant. “Winston Riley surely numbered among our best record producers of quality Jamaican music,” Ms. Hanna said. “He was a pioneer in popular music and made an indelible mark in the recording industry.” Riley is credited with creating the Stalag Rhythm, which later influenced hip-hop and dancehall. Unlike his contemporaries who shunned dancehall music, Riley embraced contemporary

was shot at in August and stabbed in September 2011. Few years ago, his record store located in downtown Kingston, was burnt to the ground. Riley’s son, popular Radio Jamaica DJ, Kurt Riley told the Observer that his father’s grieving relatives could not figure out a motive behind the attempts on his father’s life. “Unfortunately Daddy didn’t wake up so we could talk to him to find out if there was something he was not telling us. He was a straightforward man, who was allergic to hypocrisy,” he said. On the website, Riley is remembered as a pivotal figure in expanding Reggae internationally. Riley’s successful productions stretched well into the 1990s with hits for numerous deejays including Red Dragon, Cutty Ranks and a teenaged Buju Banton while the career of cultural singers including Admiral Tibet and Courtney Melody also benefitted from their association with Riley.

Krar Collective sign to Riverboat, record debut LP

London-based Ethiopian group Krar Collective has signed to the World Music Network’s original premium artists’ label, Riverboat Records. Recently returned from a successful WOMEX in Copenhagen where the group had hardened music professionals dancing

on stage at their showcase rather than sitting at the back with arms folded, Krar Collective have been getting good responses wherever they perform their gritty and upbeat take on traditional Ethiopian songs. Two weeks later the WMN rushed them into the cosy north London Cowshed Studios with producer Colin Bass to record

their first album. In their current live lineup Krar Collective have between them six open strings on the krar lyre, four small keberodrum skins, two great lead and one backing vocal. With these minimal of tools, they deliver the most amazing and dynamic live set you’ll hear anywhere. They didn’t bring much more to the studio – a one stringed fiddle (masenqo), a short flute (washint), a bass krar and bags of excitement. The krar goes back a long way in history, with some saying it is related to King David’s harp. Played by minstrels in Ethiopia for centuries, the way Temesgen Taraken plays it, plugged in and strummed like a guitar as well as being plucked, brings traditional cultures together with modern technology in perfect harmony. The bass krar is a modern development, though who is to say that King David didn’t maybe long for a funky groove! Engineer and studio owner Joe Leach set the 24-track reel to reel Otari tape machine rolling and they were off. The group are so familiar with their cultural heritage and song arrangements that they easily adapted to the recording process, laying down live takes and going back where necessary to add in the bass krar, masenqo, washint and vocal overdubs. Colin maintained a watchful eye over the seemingly unplanned what-shall-wedo-next recording fashion of the Collective,

giving a prod here and there but recognising that it was important to capture the group’s natural dynamic. Recording to tape rather than digital focussed the mind. A solo was dropped in here and there; if they decided to have another try the previous solo was wiped in the process. This was not about achieving some kind of manufactured perfection, but real and honest music. Four days, nine tracks, job done! With the Masters in Colin’s hands and ready for mixing, World Music Network are hugely excited about the end results.

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No. 2. 24th January 2012

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Open letter to Boris Johnson from Lee Jasper The fact that Mayor of London Boris Johnson has become solely responsible for the Metropolitan Police Service will no doubt have gone unnoticed by many. No doubt Boris will be delighted that his power base now extends to total control of the police. Having been Policing Director for London for eight years I offer him New Year’s greetings and this definitely unsolicited assessment and advice. Dear Boris Mayor of London, salutations! Greetings and a Happy New Year! Just thought I drop you a word of advice given your ever-burgeoning Mayoral Empire. I know you read my blog every day. Did you know you’re my biggest fan? It’s a love that dare not speak its name. City Hall visits my page more than any other single London institution. Anyway back to business. With ultimate control of the police resting with you, in the minds of the public, the confusing constitutional fog and maze of tripartite police accountabilities of the Met to Government, the Mayor and

Metropolitan Police Authority is finally lifted. By the way, I love the new name for the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime pronounced MOPSY! It reminds me of a lovely fluffy dog. Let’s hope it’s not of the nodding variety. In the old days of course the MPA was made up of Greater London Assembly members, Home Office appointees, and statutory representatives from the Government and the judiciary and broad range of feisty fiercely independent members many of them being black. I guess yours will be a less colourful affair, but do try at least to make some token gestures; it really does brighten up the place. In the past the MPS, (in the wake of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry), invited in its most ardent critics to work with them on sensitive issues of policing performance and policy. I note your list: the list of London Assembly members, who, with one notable exception, lacks anyone who can act as an effective and credible conduit to consult with London’s Black communities. My concern Boris, seriously, is that, knowing you as I do; you simply don’t

have what it takes to take a balanced approach when dealing with sensitive policing issues in London. You don’t like criticisms; we all know that, much less with the type of critics who will often speak out publically on the policing issues of the day. In addition, you don’t have a policing adviser, who is capable of ensuring that you’re able to effectively achieve the right balance, deal with public concerns, frustrations, demonstrations, unrest and discontent in an effective way. That was brutally exposed in August when the MPS shot Mark Duggan in Tottenham and the subsequent disturbances. That acute and monumental political failure on your part cost both Londoners and the country dear. New Mayor’s Office for Policing and Why do I lay that at your door Crime is pronounced MOPSY. Time for you may well ask? Well the simple truth Boris is, had Ken been a new accessory Boris? Lee Jasper asks in office, with me as his adviser, those riots would simply not have racial profiling, black officer recruitment, happened. We would have ensured that we retention, promotion, discipline, cuts to attended Tottenham and dragged the policing numbers and the whole panoply Commissioner with us of consultative forums and community immediately. Why? groups are all heading your way. Because we underNow I know your great ‘friend’ and stand the significance of confidante, Deputy Mayor Kit Malthouse Tottenham, it’s historical is notionally in charge and no doubt you context and that of a high- are hoping that he will act as some sort of ly controversial death in political firewall between you and the custody. Do you remem- worst excesses of the MPS. Dream on oh ber Roger Sylvester? blond one. Same issue, same anger, You see the clue is in his title ‘Deputy different outcome. Mayor’. As for reforming the MPS, well That’s the price of down in Brixton we have a saying and that failing to understand the is, that the path to radical reform of the issue of race and policing MPS is littered with the white, sun bleached in London. Ignorance and bones, of previous Home Secretaries who ideological blind spots on have gone before. these issues do not come The MPS is an empire Boris and you cheap. The really tragic are going to have to work hard to ensure thing is that people need- that the tail does not wag the dog. They lessly lost their lives as a have endless reserves and an infinite capacresult of a series of politi- ity to soak up opposition. I have no doubt cal and policing errors in my mind Commissioner Hogan Howe, that could have and should reading the runes of the previous two have been avoided. Commissioners and his new management Of course this is not team, will be assessing their new political widely understood and environment and developing contingency most people’s ire is political strategies as we speak. focused on the rioters but I can’t help wondering, was it your that riot was completely mate Dave or Kit that convinced you this avoidable. was a good idea? Either way I am remindAs for you, from here ed of the words (I know you love the clason in, you are going to be sics) of the ancient Greek dramatist put centre stage in any Aeschylus who wrote: “In every tyrant’s significant debates, on a heart there springs in the end this poison, range of critical policing that he cannot trust a friend.” issues facing London. Or as they say in classical Jamaican Public inquiry into philosophy: “They hold the handle and you suspicious deaths in cus- hold the blade”. tody? From today onward So Boris you will be seeing lots more that’s your call. of me in the New Year given your new Police racism, failure responsibilities. So just thought I’d drop to prosecute perpetrators you a line and say hello. of domestic and youth violence, rape, stop and Best wishes, search and the culture of Lee Jasper

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No. 2. 24th January 2012


Religion “a long term investment”, says Archbishop of Canterbury Prison service should help prisoners make choices that will make a difference The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams has praised the Prison Radio Association at HMP Brixton as a “wonderful idea”. He visited the radio station on 20th January 2012 and gave an interview for broadcast. The Archbishop described the radio as something which “gives people the chance to open up their relationships and possibilities” and as “a great gift.” He added: “I really want to encourage it as much as I can.” The National Prison Radio Service reaches 40,000 prisoners and aims to educate prisoners, to support rehabilitation and to reduce reoffending. Countering the perception that prisoners have a limited number of choices to make, Dr. Williams reminded listeners that “moment by moment there are choices that make you a bit more human, a bit less human. A bit more open, a bit less open. A bit more understanding, a bit less understanding.” Dr. Williams went on to say that the prison service should focus on helping prisoners to make choices that will make a difference, “to help people take more of their own authority, freedom and capacity, and go out with it and do something creative with it.” In praise of the prison radio service, he said that “one of the great jobs that this radio station does is to remind people they’ve got those choices, they’ve got the capacity to turn things around for them-

selves bit by bit. It doesn’t happen overnight, but getting those choices right, and getting the vision that helps you along, and getting the friends alongside who really encourage that.” On the subject of restorative justice, the Archbishop described the process where criminals meet the victim of their crime as a “really important idea”. Giving people the opportunity to see the consequences of what they have done, not in abstract terms, but by being face to face with the person who has been affected by their actions, provides a big “growing point”. Dr. Williams told the extraordinary story of a couple who had met their son’s murderer, describing the experience as both incredibly painful, but providing a significant breakthrough. The Archbishop was also asked about whether he felt that religion should be a more significant part of daily life, not only during hardship or crisis. He responded

The prison service should focus on helping prisoners to make choices that will make a difference, “to help people take more of their own authority, freedom and capacity, and go out with it and do something creative with it” Dr. Rowan Williams, The Archbishop of Canterbury that religion should be considered “more as a long term investment,” offering a way to connect, both with yourself and with God in good and bad times – “connecting to something bigger than you will carry you through the bad times.” He ended the interview by reemphasising the importance that prisoners seriously consider the choices facing them. “It’s worth it because of who God sees in you, not what your neighbours see, not what society sees, not even what you see, but what God sees in you.” Archbishop Rowan continued his visit by joining Peter Gibson, Director of

Central London Samaritans, HMP Brixton Governor, Edmond Tullett, and Co-ordinating Chaplain, the Revd Phil Chadder, for the presentation of certificates to prisoners who had recently completed a ‘Listener’ training course run by the Samaritans. Listeners are prisoners who have been trained to listen and provide peer support to prisoners in distress. The Archbishop praised the prisoners who volunteered to be listeners for being willing to take the risk of opening themselves up to someone else’s feelings and being ready to help.

Sunbeds increase risk of skin cancer Friends and family encourage youngsters to risk health for sunbed glow Many young people in the UK are risking damage to their health and appearance by using sunbeds on the recommendation of friends and family, a new survey by Cancer Research UK has revealed. The poll of almost 3,000 UK adults, was commissioned by the charity’s new SunSmart initiative R UV UGLY?. It found that of 176 sunbed users aged 18-24, 40 per cent received encouragement from friends, and 26 per cent received encouragement from a family member or partner when using a sunbed for the first time. The main reason these 18-24 year olds first used a sunbed was to improve their appearance (30 per cent chose this option). Using a sunbed for the first time before the age of 35 increases the risk of malignant melano-

ma, the most serious form of skin cancer, by 75 per cent. Over the last 30 years in Britain malignant melanoma incidence rates have more than quadrupled, and the disease is the second most common form of cancer in 15-34 year olds.

Despite this, around one in four (26 per cent) of the survey’s sunbed users aged 18-24 said they weren’t bothered by the serious health warnings around sunbed use. This could be because over half the people in this age group (53 per cent) believed that tanned skin has become more fashionable. Sixty two per cent of sunbed users in the 18-24 year old group admitted they first used a sunbed when they were 18 or under. Following new legislation introduced last year banning under-18s from using sunbeds, this would now be illegal.

Chris Lunn, SunSmart campaign manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “It’s surprising to see that two thirds (66 per cent) of young sunbed users received encouragement from a friend, family member or partner when using a sunbed for the first time, despite the long-term health risks they pose. “By highlighting the health risks, we hope people will become more aware that using sunbeds can increase the chances of developing skin cancer, and so discourage their friends and family from using them in future.” Sunbeds aren’t the answer to improving our appearance to help alleviate the mid-winter gloom, Mr. Lunn noted. “As well as increasing your risk of skin cancer, you could be left with wrinkles, leathery skin and age spots. If you must have a tan, faking it is the best option.” The R UV UGLY? initiative sees Cancer Research UK team

up with sk:n to offer free skin assessments at its 37 clinics nationwide, to raise awareness amongst Britons about the skin damage, premature ageing and health dangers of sunbed use. Sk:n is offering exclusive ‘two for none’ skin assessments (usually £25 each) to encourage people to come along with a friend or family member to experience the scans for free. The clinic will use specialist skinscanning technology to highlight the hidden damage, such as dehydration and premature wrinkles, lurking beneath the skin’s surface caused by overexposure to UV, both from sunbeds and the sun. Cancer Research UK’s SunSmart R UV UGLY? campaign is offering free skin assessments at all UK sk:n clinics. To book call 0800 822 3037 quoting R UV UGLY?, text R UV UGLY? to 63757 (standard rates apply), or visit

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The AfroNews 23 Jan 2012  

The AfroNews 23 January 2012