Aside

Updates: a decision on my case was pushed back until the mid-July (the soonest). Which means no summer for me this year. Cheers.

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Help and support needed

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Hi! My name is Ira and I’m Russian LGBT asylum seeker in the UK. Back to Russia I was a political activist and LGBT-person. During last few years I faced persecution and threads from Russian authorities, police followed me and my parents, tried to arrest and imprison me. I spent half of the year underground and then illegally left Russia. Since October 2013 I’ve been trying to legalize my existence in the UK because I can’t come back to Russia and be safe there. I can be imprisoned, tortured and humiliated. I can’t leave the UK, I’m trapped here waiting for the refugee status with no documents and means of living. Most of my free time during last few months here in the UK I’ve been spending on paper work and other things connected with my asylum case. In December 2013 I spent three days in Yarl’s Wood Removal Center and I was released just because of the big campaign in my support. ( https://www.facebook.com/irinamuststay?ref=hl) Now I’m still waiting for an answer from the Home Office, for the decision which is unpredictable.
During last few months I’ve been staying in my friends’ houses, in squats, in random places because I have no opportunity to have my own home. All this time I’ve been getting food and clothes from dumpsters because I have no money to buy them. I can travel in the city just because my friend gave me his bike, I can’t afford any other means of transport at the moment. I have a dog who eats just skipped meat and doesn’t get enough vitamins because I can’t buy any supplementary food for him. I can’t claim any benefits because Home Office only supports people who claimed the asylum straight after coming to the UK. It’s a strange logic and I don’t fit in it as it took me few months to make a decision to claim an asylum. I can’t find a job because I have no documents and work permission. Even if UK government forces me to commit a crime every day by working illegally I would have to get a job in Chicken Shops or places like that what will be a psychological disaster for me as I’m vegan. I haven’t seen my parents who I love and miss a lot for 2 years because having been in Russia I had to hide myself from authorities which constantly persecuted me so I couldn’t have gone to visit them. I’m not going to see my parents next 7-8 years unless they visit me here which is almost impossible because they are both retired and the only way I can see them here is to pay all their expenses. There are few other serious things I need money for but I would prefer not to talk about them.
So I and my dog Asbo would be very happy to get some donations to maintain our existence until the Home Office makes its final decision.
Part of the money I would like to donate to Dasha Pisanenko, 24-years old Russian girl who suffers of results of curing her cancer by unprofessional doctors in Russia and needs massive amount of money for another surgery which will help her to make her dream come true – come back to normal life. Details are here http://dashahelp.info/en
I would also like to help people who suffer from migration system in different countries of the world and especially in the UK. Sometimes being in detention centers people need just a small amount of money to feel more comfortable and less stressed, I know it because I’ve passed through it. I hope I’ll be able to help them get over the difficult situations they got into.
Thanks everybody for help and support. Solidarity will save the world!

You can help me here http://www.gofundme.com/72b4ic

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“The UK has a proud history of granting asylum to those who need it and we do not deport anyone at risk of persecution because of their sexuality,” said a Home Office spokesperson. “All applicants are required to establish that they face persecution, inhumane or degrading treatment in their home country to qualify for our protection. Any matters concerning an individual’s sexual orientation are dealt with as sensitively as possible, and staff are not permitted to ask inappropriate or intrusive questions.”

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/02/gay-russians-attempt-take-refuge-uk-2014224135632859201.html

Thanx to Patrick Keddie

My interview in February

Hey! Cheers everybody for all the support with my interview in February! It was even better than I expected except few insulting questions on LGBT issues as the names of gay clubs I’m visiting and details of all my g-friends in the UK. Even thought I had super high temperature and felt physically desperately bad I avoided answering most of them. Now I’m waiting for the UKBA decision and I hope it’ll be positive!

#iramuststay Demo

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A crowd of more than 150 people assembled around the UKBA offices in London Bridge. We spoke to Ira to show her how much support there is for her and others in Yarl’s Wood. Almost £100 was raised to be passed on to other detainees for phone credit as a lot of them are completely isolated. If you would like to donate online for detainees in Yarl’s Wood or to the campaign please send a message via the Irina Must Stay facebook. We are thinking of holding another demo on Saturday 14th Dec at the Home Office or Yarl’s Wood – please follow the twitter @irinamuststay to keep updated. Thanks for your support!

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Statement of Solidarity and Support from Agnes Oleschak

hello there,

my name is agnes,i have been to london in summer 2913,and i met ira in august when a friend of mine showed me the squat she lived in.i have been speaking to her a few times,causing me to feel a lot of sympathy for her.she seemed to be a very friendly,open-minded and dedicated person,little did i know she actually had to flee her home country.
although i didnt have the chance to get to really know her,ii was shocked reading about the incidents of the 7th december.i am deeply concerned about her well-being and whats going to happen to her.i already spread all the information about any social network i participate in and i will keep this updated,however,since i had to stay in my home country austria longer than i had planned i couldnot participate in the demonstrations tonight.i just wanted to express my deep concern as well as my best wishes for irina and i wish her all the very best and i mean it.i kindly ask you for her number since i want  to tell her in person as well.in addition,i want to express my gratitude to everyone running the social network accounts and keeping them updated.i will continue to do the little i can to help ira to stay in the uk.

best wishes and love for ira,and my respect and gratitude to everyone who cares about her.

Agnes