Coptic Christian family deported
Time: just before dawn
Action: a group of heavily armed uniformed men and women swoop to snatch the targets, surprising them as they sleep. The targets are just given enough time to dress before being bundled into vans and taken into custody.
Is this some BBC TV series, where macho men and women strive to save the nation from the deadly plots of pro-life Christians or Opus Dei?
Or is it a scene from a Le Carré or a Kafka novel where the dastardly police from East Germany or Mittel Europa swoop down on the enemies of the people? Or is it occupied France where the Gestapo are arresting members of the Maquis?
It is last Wednesday in England.
The valiant assault team were Immigration Officers and police arresting a Coptic Christian Family to deport them back to Egypt.
Hany Ayoub Mansour, his wife Samah and children Nardin, 10, Karin, seven, three-year-old twins Bishoy and Anastasia, and one-year-old Angela, were seized by armed immigration officers in a dawn swoop on their home.
Hany was a businessman in Luxor, Egypt, but he and his family had fled to the UK four years ago after Muslim extremists burned his car, destroyed his house and tortured him. In short, he was a Christian fleeing persecution, and was granted safe refuge in the United Kingdom.
They were all asleep at their home in Manchester when there was a very loud knock at the door. By the time he had gone downstairs, their visitors had already snapped the chain and burst through the door.
Mr Mansour said: "There were about 14 officers in the house and more outside. They told me to sit in a chair and not move. They didn’t even let me go to the toilet. It was very frightening and my children were scared."
They took away Hany in one van and the mother and bewildered children in another.
The experience of Hany and his family is reminiscent of what happened to the Kachepa family in 2005, with a dawn raid at their house in Weymouth, and similar treatment with an estimated 19 police officers. They were bundled into a car and driven to Yarl’s Wood in Bedfordshire, with no time to eat or drink.
Cranmer has continuing concerns about the ‘open-door’ policy of this discredited government. There is a continuing flood of economic migrants entering the country, with especially large numbers from Pakistan. Migration Watch has drawn attention to the six-fold increase in remittances sent to Pakistan from this country since 2001, the number of bona fide workers has risen by 67 per cent. There could be as many as 200,000 Pakistanis working illegally in Britain.
Public dismay and anger over government incompetence leads it to seek the easy targets. Back in 2005, Ann Widdecombe said that when a government is target-based – in this case deportation – it will pick on the weakest.
Recently, the ever-vigilant Immigration Officers deported a group of teenagers who had journeyed to the UK from the First United Methodist Church of Okeechobee Florida. They had come to do missionary work at a church in Islington.
Now a Christian family will shortly find itself on a plane to Egypt to face an uncertain future. They do not know whether they will be subject to further persecution by extremists, but this is of no concern to Her Majesty’s Government.
Yet it is strange that when a Muslim terrorist faces deportation, concerns that the criminal might face ill treatment on arrival in his native country are sufficient to halt all deportation proceedings.
Human Rights, you see.
Some groups seem to have more of them.
Cranmer sincerely wishes the Mansour family well, and prays that they will not suffer a repeat of the persecution that drove them to the UK in the first place. But the situation for Copts is increasingly fraught; indeed, they are being systematically 'cleansed'.
Should the worst happen, the apparatchiks in this country have a time-honoured mantra: ‘Lessons will be learned’ they will say.
Indeed they will not.