For some residents forced eviction next month could be a death-sentence, representatives from Dale Farm will tell the UN in Geneva.
Flying out on Sunday, president of the Gypsy Council Richard Sheridan says this is a last bid to get the UK to comply with UN requests to call off what would be the biggest clearance operation against an ethnic minority in modern Britain.
UN agencies have twice requested that the UK Government, which is funding the mass eviction, instead find a peaceful resolution. In its latest move, the UN Human Rights Commission has placed the UK under an Earning Warning Procedure notice stating that forced removal may breach human rights.
“The UN will be placing specific focus on Dale Farm while we are in Geneva,” commented Matthew Brindley, of the Irish Travellers Movement, which is mounting the mission. “We’ll be feeding in the latest evidence, including the chronic health condition of several residents.” He said among these were two people dependent on the life-support of nebulisers, which require a regular electricity supply.Basildon Borough Council has announced that electricity is to be cut off when hired bailiffs enter the estate after 31 August.
In an urgent action call-out Amnesty International says the eviction will leave residents homeless and without access to proper medical treatment for those with serious illnesses. It draws attention to the UN call for an agreement on relocation in conformity with international human rights standards. emphasising the needs of residents with disabilities and chronic ailments.
So far, Basildon’s Tory party leader Tony Ball has brushed aside all appeals for exceptions to be made where proof of severe illness has been submitted. In face of this life-threatening situation, lawyers representing Dale Farm are preparing to take the matter back to court through an application for a temporary injunction to stay the eviction.