Honouring Kamil and Bijan: exploring disability and migration
An event was held in Bristol on 29th June 2018 in honour of Kamil Ahmad and Bijan Ebrahimi - both disabled refugees, both murdered in Bristol.
The event brought together the disability movement, asylum sector, trade unions, mosques and allies with the aim of building a broader based movement of solidarity.
We started with a memorial in City Hall, hosted by Mayor Marvin Rees. A reproduction of the mural that Kamil contributed to was installed outside the council chamber. The original version of this mural was installed in the Bear Pit in Bristol in 2013. It was created by artist Andrew Bolton and a group of disabled asylum seekers, designed to convey people’s key messages.
We then had a march through the Centre, to We the Curious where we watched a film of Kamil speaking about his experiences in 2013 and a film of disabled asylum seekers speaking of their current experiences. This was followed by a talk by Rebecca Yeo about her research regarding disability and migration. (You can read the text of this talk here.)
There was then discussion, food and music.
Media coverage included:
- BBC report
- The Guardian: Memorial to murdered refugees unveiled in Bristol
- The Metro: Before he was murdered, here is what a disabled asylum seeker had to say about Britain's hostile environment
- Disability news service: Kamil Ahmad: Anger over review's failure to expose systematic flaws that led to murder.
Many thanks to all the individuals and organisations who contributed to this event in so many ways including: Bristol City Council, City of Sanctuary, Disabled People Against Cuts, SARI (Stand Against Racism and Inequality), Bristol Defend Asylum Seekers, Bristol Disability Equality Forum, Bristol Hospitality Network, Bristol Refugee Rights, SW Region of the FBU, TUC SW, SW Doctoral Training Partnership, University of Bath, Unison, Bristol West Constituency Labour Party, Bristol National Education Union: NUT section, Aslef, Communication Workers Union.