This is a copy of a letter sent by Kevin Annett to Theresa May, Home secretary.
June 1, 2011
The Hon. Theresa May,
Secretary of State for the Home Department
Dear Ms. May,
I am writing this formal letter of protest arising from my inhuman and shocking treatment at the hands of officers of the UK Border Agency on May
29-20, 2011 at Stansted Airport.
I am a Canadian citizen with a valid Canadian passport and no criminal record, and an ordained clergyman who has made numerous visits to Britain in
the past several years to conduct research and give occasional public lectures in church and missionary history.
On May 7, 2011, I arrived in Britain to stay about a month and assist my daughter Elinor, who accompanied me and who has a valid work permit. I left
Britain briefly on May 27 and returned on May 29 after a brief visit with friends in the Netherlands.
Nevertheless, for nearly twelve hours upon my return to Stansted airport, I was detained, imprisoned, treated like a suspected criminal, and
eventually barred from re-entering Britain. The only reason given for this mis-treatment was that my giving occasional public lectures was not
considered by the interrogating officer to constitute “appropriate” behaviour for a visitor to Britain!
I am appalled that a civilized nation like Britain would stoop to abuse a Commonwealth citizen in this manner. The officer who detained me, who
refused to give me his name but whose badge number is 6676, was utterly intransigent and unreasonable, and refused to cite the law and statutes under
which I was denied re-entry to Britain. He caused both me and my daughter Elinor – who was waiting to meet me in London - much distress and did so
without a shred of humanity.
Consequently, I was forced to spend over £300 obtaining a new plane ticket to Ireland after I was sent back to my starting point in Eindhoven,
Netherlands. Even more serious is the fact that a permanent record of my refused re-entry to Britain has been left on my Canadian passport, and on
that basis I was nearly denied entry to Ireland during my recent attempt to return home from there to Canada.
Madame Minister, this completely unnecessary incident could have been avoided if I had have simply been allowed re-entry and a day or two of grace to
set my affairs in order and obtain whatever work permit was required for me to conduct the public lectures that were supposedly the basis of the
officer’s decision to deny me re-entry. This would have been the sane and humanitarian course.
I consider that my human rights have been grossly violated and I have undergone assault at the hands of your Border Agency officials. Unless I obtain
satisfaction from your office, I intend to pursue this matter in the courts and will share what has happened in the various media channels with which
I have access.
However, I hope this matter can be settled more simply, and I am therefore requesting from your office the chance to clear up this matter upon my
return to Canada with the appropriate diplomatic officers there. I also request that my passport be cleansed of this unfortunate incident and that I
be financially compensated for the expenses incurred by me, which total about £300.
Ultimately, there can be no compensation for the duress and inconvenience suffered by my family and I because of this incident, but I trust in the
good graces of your government to help me correct this matter to avoid its repetition in the future.
I look forward to your reply within a week, after which I will take further action.
Reverend Kevin D. Annett, M.A., M.Div.
260 Kennedy St.
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada V9R 2H8
Cc: Damien Green, Minister of State for Immigration, Prime Minister of Canada, Prime Minister of Great Britain, M.P. (Nanaimo) Jean Crowder
Anyone who wants to write to the HO about this matter should is, of course, free to do so!!
edit on 2-6-2011 by wcitizen because: (no reason