Letter – Stansted 15

We the undersigned, former colleagues of Dr. Emma Hughes, of the “Stansted 15”, express our deep disappointment and utter disagreement with the convictions against the human rights activists under a terror-related charge after peacefully stopping a secretive deportation flight from leaving.  Dr. Hughes and her colleagues acted out of conscience to highlight the inhumane treatment of families and to save lives.

The use of the law “endangering an aerodrome” is grossly disproportionate and a real threat to every citizen’s right to protest.

Dr. Hughes, a committed and respected colleague from Cardiff University School of Journalism, Media and Culture, made an informed choice and took peaceful action to protect vulnerable lives.  The potential prison sentences the Stansted 15 face are unjust. 11 of the people on the flight have subsequently won their appeals to remain in the UK. The ‘deport first, appeal later’ policy the UK government practised at the time has been found to be illegal by the Supreme Court.

The political philosopher Antonio Gramsci, imprisoned by Mussolini’s fascist regime, said “What comes to pass does so not so much because a few people want it to happen, as because the mass of citizens abdicate their responsibility and let things be.”  It is because of the right to protest, the right of governments to be held to account by its citizens that we live in a modern democracy.

We call for the Stansted 15 to be spared prison and for the rights of citizens to peacefully protest and defend human rights.

Signatories

  1. Dr Tammy Boyce, Cardiff University
  2. Professor Karin Wahl-Jorgensen, Cardiff University
  3. Dr Lina Dencik, Cardiff University
  4. Professor Ian Hargreaves CBE, Cardiff University
  5. Dr Tom Allbeson, Cardiff University
  6. Mr Gavin Allen, Cardiff University
  7. Dr Lucy Bennett, Cardiff University
  8. Mr Mike Berry, Cardiff University
  9. Professor Paul Bowman, Cardiff University
  10. Dr Gill Branston, Cardiff University
  11. Dr Maria Brock, Cardiff University
  12. Dr Pete Brown, Columbia University
  13. Dr Joe Cable
  14. Dr Choon Key Chekar, University of Leeds
  15. Professor Simon Cottle, Cardiff University
  16. Dr Stephen Cushion, Cardiff University
  17. Ms Naomi Dunstan, Cardiff University
  18. Dr Inaki Garcia-Blanco, Cardiff University
  19. Dr Ross Garner, Cardiff University
  20. Ms Emma Gilliam
  21. Dr Bernhard Gross, University of the West of England
  22. Dr Hannah Hamad, Cardiff University
  23. Dr Joan Haran, Cardiff University
  24. Dr Zahera Harb, City, University of London
  25. Dr Janet Harris, Cardiff University
  26. Professor Matt Hills, University of Huddersfield
  27. Dr Arne Hintz, Cardiff University
  28. Ms Sue Hodgkinson
  29. Dr Sanna Inthorn, University of East Anglia
  30. Dr Nasheli Jiménez del Val
  31. Dr John Jewell, Cardiff University
  32. Ms Julie Jewell, Cardiff University
  33. Mr Dafydd Owain Jones
  34. Ms Catrin Jones
  35. Dr Inger-Lise Kalviknes Bore, Birmingham City Univeristy
  36. Dr Darren Kelsey, Newcastle University
  37. Dr Jen Kidd, Cardiff University
  38. Professor Jenny Kitzinger, Cardiff University
  39. Dr Maria Kyriakidou, Cardiff University
  40. Professor Justin Lewis, Cardiff University
  41. Dr Liezel Longboan
  42. Ms Jo Marshall-Stevens, Cardiff University
  43. Dr Kerry Moore, Cardiff University
  44. Tony O’Shaughnessy, Cardiff University
  45. Dr Alida Payson, Cardiff University
  46. Dr Joanna Redden, Cardiff University
  47. Dr Javier Sánchez-Monedero, Cardiff University
  48. Dr Susana Sampaio Dias, University of Portsmouth
  49. Mr Matt Swaine, Cardiff University
  50. Mr Gwilym Thear
  51. Ms Cerys Thomas, Cardiff University
  52. Ms Barbara Tomlin
  53. Dr Emiliano Treré, Cardiff University
  54. Catherine Walsh, Cardiff University
  55. Ms Cindy Wieringa
  56. Dr Marc Wiggam
  57. Dr Andy Williams, Cardiff University
  58. Mr Simon Williams, Cardiff University