migrantvoice
Speaking for Ourselves

200+ international students call for Prime Minister to end six-year injustice

200+ international students call for Prime Minister to end six-year injustice

MV

 Migrant Voice -
 Migrant Voice - 200+ international students call for Prime Minister to end six-year injustice

On 24 September, a letter signed by over 200 international students who were wrongly accused of cheating on an English test by the Home Office in 2014 was delivered to the Prime Minister. They represent thousands of students who have been fighting for six years to prove their innocence, and they’re now calling on Boris Johnson to take urgent action to end their nightmare.

"This country has a proud tradition of justice and fairness - one of the many reasons we chose to come here for our education," they wrote. "But in our case, this tradition has been wilfully disregarded. We have heard again and again that progress is being made, yet the situation has never been resolved and we face a dark and uncertain future. 

"We write to you today as we have already waited too long. We write to you because it is within your power to right this wrong, to put an end to our detention, deportation and humiliation."

Read the full letter here.

On the day the letter was delivered, a small number of the students also took part in a small demonstration at Westminster, along with Stephen Timms MP and Migrant Voice Director Nazek Ramadan.

This injustice was the result of the same “culture of disbelief and carelessness” that Wendy Williams identified as causing the Windrush scandal – and the same tendency to act based on “anecdote, assumption and prejudice” that the Public Accounts Committee identified in a report last week. By acting to resolve this situation, the Government would be sending a clear and welcome message that their intentions to transform the Home Office are serious. 

We at Migrant Voice have been working for justice alongside the students since 2017 through the My Future Back campaign. Last year, reports that we contributed to by the National Audit OfficePublic Accounts Committee and APPG on TOEIC exposed fundamental flaws in the evidence used by the Home Office against the students and proved that the decision to revoke or refuse tens of thousands of visas was wholly unjustified.

Former Home Secretary Sajid Javid recognised the scale of this injustice and said that the Government had a duty to do more to help the innocent students. And on his first day in office, Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to address this issue. 

But we and the students have seen no progress, with the current Home Secretary scrapping a scheme proposed by Javid that could have provided a route for students to clear their name, and failing to propose any other solution.

Frustrated by the delays and silence, the students have now made a direct appeal to the Prime Minister.

Read news coverage of the demonstration and letter delivery here.

Read more about the My Future Back campaign here.