Here you have an old engineer originally from Slovenia, who fought the Nazi occupation in Yugoslavia and moved to Canada after the war, an elderly widower who was travelling back to Slovenia to meet relatives and, unfortunately for him, had to change plane at Gatwick, UK. He never made it to Slovenia, Alois Dvorzac died in the care of Harmondsworth immigration detention centre, and was not even an immigrant to the UK.
This excellent report by Paraic O’Brien for Channel 4 News (18 March 2014) uncovers the story of Alois Dvorzac. After watching the video, I realised how unusual it is for us to see and hear about the life of someone who died in an immigration detention centre. We have got used to a conversation dominated by dehumanising accounts coming from politicians, newspapers, tabloids, experts, and academics alike.
This is a country where an immigration minister may resign for employing a maid with an expired visa. One would hope to see someone resigning for having created an immigration system that kills migrants, and sometimes even people that just happen to transit through one of its airports.
This piece first appeared on Nando Sigona's blog.