17 people arrested at Stanstead airport over deportations

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SEVENTEEN PROTESTERS have been arrested by the police after they locked themselves to an aircraft at Stansted airport, stopping a charter flight filled with asylum seekers and other migrants from the UK from taking off.

The protesters locked themselves to the wing of a Titan Airways flight and refused to move, resulting in their arrest. They are now being held in police custody.

Campaigners said the protest was to stop a Home Office “mass deportation charter flight” from the airport to Nigeria and Ghana. They claim that deportees on the flight included people who feared for their lives and had claimed asylum.

Essex police said they had received reports that a group of protesters gained access to Stansted airport’s airside at about 9.30pm on Tuesday night.

As a result, flights were temporarily suspended at the airport on Tuesday evening after the group entered a secure area on a non-commercial runway. A reported 23 incoming flights were also diverted to other airports, including scheduled arrivals from Naples, Cologne, Glasgow, Riga, Belfast and Bilbao.

According to The Guardian “it is believed to be the first time that protesters have got on to an airport runway and prevented a Home Office charter flight from departing. Dozens of people due to be deported were returned to immigration removal centres.”

Source: www.thevoice-online.co.uk

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