IRELAND: Nigerian Woman Lobbies Against Deportation

Pamela Izevbekhai Campaigning to keep daughters in Ireland
Pamela Izevbekhai
Campaigning to keep daughters in Ireland
A Sligo-based Nigerian woman facing deportation has been told to report to the Immigration Centre at Baleskin in Finglas at 10.30 tomorrow morning.

Pamela Izevbekhai has been campaigning to stay in Ireland with her two daughters. She says Naomi, 7, and Jemima, 5, face female genital mutilation if they are forced back to Nigeria.

Ms Izevbekhai's oldest daughter, Elizabeth, bled to death after undergoing female genital mutilation when she was 18 months old.

Ms Izevbekhai came to Ireland in 2005 with her other two daughters, after attempts were made by her husband's extended family to forcibly remove them and subject them to female genital mutilation also, according to her asylum application.

Ms Izevbekhai said she and her husband had spent four years in Nigeria trying to protect the two younger girls. She eventually decided to come to Ireland and apply for asylum.

Her application for asylum was turned down, however, and after an appeal failed, a deportation order was issued. Ms Izevbekhai's legal team sought and were granted leave to seek a judicial review of the Minister's decision, which was heard in the High Court in November 2007.

The court upheld the Minister's decision and Ms Izevbekhai was refused leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Ms Izevbekhai has now lodged an application for subsidiary protection with the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.

However, she does not have an automatic right to apply and is relying on the discretion of Minister Brain Lenihan to allow the application. Minister Lenihan is currently out of the country and the application has not yet been considered.

Ms Izevbekhai's supporters say she will travel to Dublin this morning, but they are continuing to lobby senior politicians to reverse the order.

A number of national organisations are supporting Ms Izevbekhai's application, including the National Women's Council, Women's Aid, the National Network of Women's Refugees and Support Services, the ISPCC and the Immigrant Council of Ireland.


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DATE: 21/03/2008

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