Bernard Mboueyeu

Sad, sad news – Bernard Mboueyeu a journalist asylum-seeker from the Cameroon, has tried to commit suicide for the second time, rather than be deported, after his asylum application was turned down. Up until recently, Mboueyeu was living in Sheffield with his spouse and family. He is currently detained in Campsfield ‘immigration centre’. He fled his homeland after being tortured by President Paul Biya’s forces for reporting on students being attacked during the demos in 2006. He married charity worker, Sharon, in 2010. But the UK border agency has decreed that he must return to Cameroon and apply for a spouse visa there. He fears imprisonment, torture and death if returned. Minister David Blunkett has tried to help stop Bernard’s deportation. But Immigration Minister, Damien Green has refused to intervene.

There’s more from the Guardian here.

A short snippet of interview footage:

14 thoughts on “Bernard Mboueyeu

  1. Correction: He allegedly fled his homeland after being allegedly tortured by President Paul Biya’s forces for allegedly reporting on students being attacked during the demos in 2006. He allegedly fears imprisonment, torture and death if returned. Immigration Minister, Damien Green has refused to intervene – he does not believe Bernard Mboueyeu’s story.

  2. So he could just go back, get the visa and come back to the UK. What a silly-billy, then, for trying to commit suicide. Twice! And he doesn’t even fake it. I mean, drinking three glasses of cleaning fluid could ruin your insides for ever.


  3. Correction: Allegedly trying to commit suicide. Perhaps if he did go back to his own country he could not make an application for the visa. May well be his real name is not Bernard Mboueyeu – the destruction of all reference to themselves, passports etc. is a much used tactic by those allegedly “fleeing” their countries. May well even be “Bernard Mboueyeu” is already married. May be “drinking three glasses of cleaning fluid” has ruined his insides forever – oh dear, more time to be taken up from our already creaking NHS and more cost to the UK taxpayer.

  4. We are very familiar here with the tropes of theoretical scepticism. How do you know that you are not dreaming all that seems real? It is, then, refreshing to see the more mundane and specifIc scepticism you are raising, railbert, since here we can ask for evidence. What evidence is there for thinking this man is a fraud?

  5. What evidence is there for thinking he is not a fraud? Neither you nor myself have full access to the details of the Bernard Mboueyeu case – the Home Office et al have listened to his story, more than once, and decided Bernard Mboueyeu should be deported. Work beckons – catch you later – cheers.

  6. The Home Office is not the only source of evidence or information. There’s also the fact that his flight was cancelled, presumably by some of the same authorities who were going to deport him, and the fact that he’s on 24-hour suicide watch.

    I think it is presumptuous of anyone who has not been tortured to dismiss a suicide attempt as failing to constitute possible evidence of torture. The evidence for thinking (!) that he is not a fraud is that he is on a suicide watch after even his would-be deporters cancelled Mboueyeu’s flight.

    Last, and philosophers of language and epistemology could sound this out better than I can, but there is the claim itself. An assertion that one has been tortured is a plaintiff’s testimony, and even if it is, in itself, the subject of investigation, it is at least an iota of ‘evidence,’ submitted for consideration. Why err so far on the side of caution as to presume claims of torture false? We’re not Home Offices, we’re moral agents.

  7. Is the Home Office credible? I’d really like to know if they are themselves aware of the quite established fact that people of color are typically less believable to those with implicit bias, which includes most of us.

    On the other side of the coin is the fact that there’s a lot of evidence that the man would rather die than go through what the Home Office sees as a simple procedure that would get him back here. I personally would that that’s strong evidence against the Hume Office’s judgment.

  8. @annejjacobson

    Oh dear, you have resorted to playing your race card as counter-debate. Why not contact the H.O. and ask them that which you would really like to know.

    Bernard Mboueyeu and his legal reps have previously submitted his “lot of evidence” for judgement – they failed – his lot of evidence and claim were found to have no merit – what is it you do not understand?

    In passing, I don’t really believe the Home Office and those in judgement see any area of the Mboueyeu case as a simple procedure – they have previously stated “This has been a very prolonged and complex case and I’m sad for all of them that we appear to have come to the end of the line.”

    Deadlines to meet, catch you later – cheers.

  9. The flight was cancelled: “The removal flight, reported in the Guardian Northerner yesterday, has now been cancelled and Mboueyeu remains at Campsfield House immigration centre where he is now on 24-hour suicide watch.” He didn’t fail to ‘make’ the flight. Authorities can put a bound or half-dead man anywhere they want.

    Further comments violating our policies will be deleted. Attribution of Anne’s well-founded comment to ‘playing the race card,’ whatever that is, is uncharitable. Please read the policies. They are found above, at the blue tab labeled “Our Policies.”

  10. Raibert, instead of assuming it is illegimate to mention race, why not test your own ability to make unprejudiced judgments. Here’s the url for the highly respected Implicit attitudes test run out of Harvard:

    If you come out with a lot of negative associations against people of color, do know that most people do. Racism is far from dead, and worrying about it is nothing so trivial as playing a rhetorical trick.

    Do try it.

  11. Thanks, folks, for sterling work in responding and moderating. Kathryn – nice article.

  12. Railbert, over the last 40 years there has been a great deal of research in cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience and related areas on human thought processes. Some of it – by Dan Kahneman, who has a new and accessible book out on his work – has won a Nobel Prize. Summarizing a lot of this research, Dan Simon in The Invisible Gorilla says:

    We all believe that we are capable of seeing what’s in front of us, of accurately remembering important events from our past, of understanding the limits of our knowledge, of properly determining cause and effect. But these intuitive beliefs are often mistaken ones that mask critically important limitations on our cognitive abilities. . . . As we go through life, we often act as though we know how our minds work and why we behave the way we do. It is surprising how often we really have no clue. (Chabris & Simons)

    My concerns about the home office’s decisions come from this sort of research. The IAT has been one important tool in it.
    If you search this blog, you’ll find that we have been very concerned with this news-ish approach. It is now quite beyond controversy, though working out its implications is still very hard. A number of us have been recently at a trio of workshops held over the last year discussing facets of this (organized by the amazing Jenny Saul).

    Your comments strongly suggest to me that you don’t know about this research. But that means you really don’t know about where we’re coming from. Given the research, probably most of us realize we harbor ways of organizing our experience that we disapprove of and feel we must resist. If you try the IAT, you will probably get a stunning insight into latent tendencies you may right now be completely unaware of.

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