Pamela Izevbekhai

// 5 February 2009

The Irish government is intent on deporting Pamela Izevbekhai and her two daughters to Nigeria, even though they face female genital mutilation if they return.

Izevbekhai has already seen one of her daughters die from the aftereffects of FGM, and fled the country because her husband’s family planned to forcibly mutilate her remaining two girls. Watch this video for more info:

The Irish government refuses to protect these two young girls by granting the family asylum, and is preparing to deport them.

Go to the Let Them Stay website set up to co-ordinate efforts to petition the Irish government, for info about their petition and who to write to about this case.

(Via Morrígan Reborn)

Comments From You

Ros // Posted 6 February 2009 at 1:06 pm

This story is so shocking. I fail to understand the government’s decision at all.

Is this not what asylum’s for? Protecting children from torture, mutilation and possible death?

P Micheals // Posted 29 March 2009 at 3:15 am

Basically Pamela Izevbekhai made it all up. I eagerly await your retraction and apology for misleading your readers.

Jess McCabe // Posted 29 March 2009 at 5:42 pm

@P Michaels

The Times certainly hasn’t apologised for “misleading its readers” when it published the original story, so it stretches the imagination that I would. We are a blog. We rely on the media and, as in this case, NGOs such as Amnesty, for our information. Like all or almost all blogs do. If a situation progresses, and what we referred to is no longer accurate, we try and keep on top of that, but, again, the actual news media which reported this story hasn’t apologised for misleading its readers because the story was accurate as possible at the time. I’m definitely not apologising either, sorry to disappoint!

Meanwhile, your representation of The Times’ story as she “made it all up” is extremely inaccurate. Here’s an actual quote from the story:

Izevbekhai said she only discovered the documents were fake on Friday when her husband, who is living in Nigeria, admitted they were bogus.

He said he had been forced to obtain fake documents because Dr Joseph Unokanjo, an obstetrician, had refused to supply papers and medical reports without a substantial payment. Unokanjo has denied this.

The documents, including a death certificate and “statements” from Izevbekhai’s family doctor in Nigeria, were obtained from a counterfeiter.

“They were sent to me by my husband after I arrived in Ireland,” she said. “If I had known the documents were fake, I would have done things differently. I wouldn’t have put myself or the children through this kind of thing. I now regret taking the case. I am so sorry.”

And the only other person actually quoted giving an opinion on the veracity of the story:

Philip Boucher-Hayes, the RTE broadcaster who conducted the radio interview, said he had no doubt that he spoke to an obstetrician. “I got the number independently and was put through by the switchboard to Dr Unokanjo,” he said.

Asked whether he has any doubts about the identity of the interviewee, he said: “It wasn’t a face-to-face interview so you can never say 100%. But when I rang back after the interview one of the hospital staff warned me not to call again as the doctor had been visited by a Nigerian army captain.

“I have no doubt the dread hand of the Nigerian authorities intervened in this.”

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