2007 - 2021

Free Osime Brown: Protesters gather in George Square to stop deportation

UPDATE: The Home Office has decided to stop the deportation of Osime Brown. You can read Brown’s interview with The Guardian here.


“Is there a bus from Jamaica to Dudley so I can visit you?” This was the first thing Osime Brown asked his mother as he was issued deportation orders. 

A 22-year-old man from Dudley, England, Osime is a severely autistic man who is facing potential deportation to Jamaica, – a country he left when he was only four and where he has no family, friends or support network. 

Over the weekend, demonstrations took place in London and Glasgow ahead of today, which represents the Home Office’s deadline to review its decision to proceed with Brown’s removal. 

sign saying "free osime brown end deportations blm"

A sign from the rally in George Square, Glasgow

The case

In 2018, Osime Brown was jailed for stealing a friend’s mobile phone, a crime both he and others say he did not commit. He was subsequently sentenced to five years under the controversial Joint Enterprise Law, which establishes that an individual can be jointly convicted of the crime of another if the court decides they foresaw what the other party was likely to commit.  

As a consequence of the conviction, Brown’s indefinite leave to remain was automatically retracted, thus meaning that his early release from prison translated into Osime being threatened with deportation.

His family have expressed their fear and concern about the situation, which they defined as a “life-death”. Diagnosed with autism and depression, Osime’s condition seemed to have deteriorated during his time in prison. The man now experiences sensory overloads, fainting, self-harming, severe anxiety, and PTSD on a daily basis.

Joan Martin, the man’s mother, told The Guardian that, should her son be deported, his complex needs would make it impossible for him to survive alone in Jamaica, where he doesn’t know anybody. For this reason, in fact, Brown’s immigration lawyers are opposing his deportation on health and humanitarian grounds.

As the case attracted national attention, more than 100 influential names have signed a letter asking the Home Secretary for a U-turn on the decision. A petition to allow Osime to stay in the UK has also attracted more than 408,000 signatures.

Roza Salih, Paul Sweeney MSP, and Chloe Whyte holding signs saying "free osime brown"

Roza Salih, Paul Sweeney MSP, and Chloe Whyte in Glasgow

A rally in George Square 

In Scotland, George Square saw supporters join a rally featuring speeches by Roza Salih, Paul Sweeney MSP and many others.

Speaking at the event, Glasgow Girl Roza Salih stressed the inhumane nature of the UK’s immigration system. “For how long are we going to fight this inhumane system?” she said. “Until I’ll be 90 and I’m going to be on my deathbed? I want a country that respects human rights. Deportation is life destruction which I and many of my friends have experienced.”

According to both campaigners and Osime’s family, the man has been repeatedly failed by the social care and education system. Over the years, he has been moved through 28 care home placements and hasn’t been provided with adequate support to cope with the challenges that come with his learning disability.

Chloe Whyte, one of the organisers of the rally, was appalled when she first read the man’s story in the autistic networks she’s personally involved with. “I’m not a person of colour nor do I have a background as an immigrant,” she said. “As an autistic person, however, we’ve all faced some difficulties with the police, such as them interpreting our behaviour as either rude or aggressive.” 

These misinterpretations are part of a pattern in which the needs of people with autism are neglected. This is most common with autistic Black men who, Whyte said, “are already misinterpreted so often by police.” In the case of Osime Brown, for instance, Whyte explained that the judge refused to hear the psychological report in court because, he said, “it will not affect his decision.”

Should the Home Office decide today to go ahead with Brown’s deportation, a case management hearing is scheduled for 21 June. A date for an appeal will then be set.

 

If you would like to help or get involved, you can do so by signing the petition against Osime Brown’s deportation, donating on GoFundMe or by writing to your local MP about the case. More information can be found here.

Comments (14)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Lordmac says:

    Are you. Not entitled to a UK passport if you are from a Commonwealth country’s, or were from Isle of man , Northern Ireland , Gibraltar the Falklands. Hong Kong,

    1. Colin Robinson says:

      You can be, but other terms and conditions apply. The rules governing inward migration and residency are complex; the devil’s in the detail.

      1. James Mills says:

        ”the devils’s in the detail ”- unfortunately , the Devil appears to be running the Home Office !

        1. Colin Robinson says:

          Apotheosis isn’t helpful here. The problem has b*gg*r all to do with the personalities involved; it’s structural. Simply replacing Priti Patel at the Home Office with a ‘whiter’, ‘more angelic’ character wouldn’t make the slightest difference to ‘black’ lives in Britain. Only the decolonisation of the whole establishment – the whole matrix of official and informal relations within which power is exercised in civil society – will do.

    2. Tom Ultuous says:

      The trumped up theft charge would likely make him ineligible in any case.

      “Brown was imprisoned under the Joint Offences Act in 2015 for stealing a mobile phone. His five-year jail sentence triggered the automatic revocation of his indefinite leave to remain, which was granted after he and his family arrived in England from Jamaica at the age of four.”

      A group of people were imprisoned for up to 5 years for stealing a friend’s mobile phone? Was the judge BNP or was it a mobile phone mast they stole?

      1. Colin Robinson says:

        Indeed! Even with the other offences that were taken into consideration, five years does seem comparatively steep. Where was his lawyer?

        1. Mouse says:

          The article is misleading. He got done for perverting the course of justice (among lesser charges). That can get really serious. Legally he should be deported, but I would think that his background checks will stop that.

          1. Colin Robinson says:

            Given his condition, it’s a wonder he was convicted of the offences that led to the retraction of his indefinite leave to stay in the first place. Like I said, where was his lawyer? Why couldn’t a defence on the basis of his condition be made?

            Anyway, I hope the retraction is retracted and he gets the social support he needs to live safely and autonomously.

          2. Mouse says:

            Colin – you don’t get let-off criminal charges for being autistic, the same as you don’t get let-off criminal charges for being drunk. He may have gotten reduced responsibility if his autism affects his understanding of right and wrong, but that all gets done to death before sentencing.

          3. Colin Robinson says:

            The relationship between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and criminal responsibility is complex. Furthermore, the features inherent to ASD can have a significant bearing on a wide array of other issues in this context including police interviewing, fitness to be tried, culpability and the appropriateness of custodial disposal. In terms of criminal responsibility, having autism and being drunk just aren’t comparable.

          4. Colin Robinson says:

            And, yes, all this does get ‘done to death’ before sentencing. Which is why I asked: if Osime’s capacity is as impaired as his supporters claim it is, where was his lawyer when he was being interviewed by the police and when the case against him was being tried by the courts?

  2. Tom Ultuous says:

    From a change.org petition I signed

    The Home Office has chosen NOT to pursue the deportation, now we continue to fight to clear Osime’s name! He committed NO crime and served time while being racially abused, physically assaulted and over medicated to the point if self harming and developing a life long hear condition, justice MUST be served.

    Osime’s name must be cleared.

    1. Colin Robinson says:

      Did he commit no crime, Tom? The case brought against him was tried in a court of law and found to be sound. If the prosecution’s evidence was flawed and/or he had diminished responsibility, where was his lawyer to deconstruct the case against him accordingly?

      Are his interests only being taken up now because he’s become something of a political cause célèbre? Is there no depth to which we won’t descend in our exploitation of the vulnerable?

      1. Tom Ultuous says:

        I don’t know enough about the case Colin. There was a further update with a letter from his mother.

        16 JUN 2021 —

        UPDATE OSIME BROWN

        I am pleased to let you know that the Home Office has made the right decision for Osime to remain with his loving, caring Family.

        To all our wonderful supporters, who have been with us throughout this long, and painful ordeal, who believed in justice, fairness, dignity, and a country that is welcoming to everyone, no matter the colour of their skin: We thank you. You have fought hard and tirelessly by our side, and together, we DID IT!!!The Home Office has withdrawn the Deportation Order!!

        I could not have done it by myself. Without you, my family would have been lost and my son, Osime, would have been condemned to a very short and miserable life. Because of you, I remained rooted in hope, when sometimes, all things around me were falling apart.

        Because of you, Osime will remain at his home. I have restored trust in humanity because of you. You have demonstrated truly what true love is and should look like.

        I was fallen in the streets and was at the mercy of thieves and robbers: you all were the Good Samaritan; you rescued me and healed me. Your deeds of kindness are the noblest!

        To the Home Office, I will not be ruthless as the people, who have inflicted pain and suffering on my family. I will respond with love, because we know no other way. Thank you for allowing my son to stay in his home and in the only country he has ever truly known; we are grateful! This goes to show that you can respond in a dynamic and just way.

        I hope this is a reflection and learning curve for people in power, to know that they are dealing with real people, real lives, and when they make wrong choices or decisions people are injured, sometimes to a point of no return.

        We have seen 1 light, we will now fight on to clear his name, like that of Richard Kimble, in the ‘Fugitive’: the One Armed Man is still out there!

        God Bless and thank you all: I love you!

        Joan Martin

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.