Jimmy Mubenga was a husband, father of five, and resident of Britain for over 16 years. After being separated from his family in Essex by authorities, he was killed by privatized security firm that was deporting him to Angola this week.
Witness 3, Michael, was seated in row 28. A 51-year-old oil worker and US citizen contacted a Guardian reporter via Twitter after reading what he believed to be misleading accounts of Mubenga’s death released by the Home Office and G4S, a private security firm the government has contracted to escort deportees. He said he was haunted by Mubenga’s pleas for help: “For the rest of the my life I’m always going to have that at the back of my mind – could I have done something? That is going to bother me every time I go to sleep … I didn’t get involved because I was scared I would get kicked off the flight and lose my job. But that man paid a higher price than I would have.”
Witness 4, Andrew, seated row 23. A 44-year-old Eastern European passenger: ” The screaming behind me continued for the whole time. The man’s voice was begging for help. The tone of the voice was anxious and excited but not aggressive in any way. The man among other words was using the following words which I can recall: ‘somebody help me’, ‘don’t do this’, ‘they are trying to kill me’, ‘I can’t breathe’, ‘I have family’, ‘why are you doing this’, ‘no, no, no, no’…. I felt very disturbed by the way two men were dealing with the situation. But, as I was sure that they were policemen I expected them to know what they were doing. Also, I was a foreigner not in my country and the cabin crew were around the whole time. I was really afraid to intervene. I just said ironically to my neighbour ‘shall we call police?’ … Maybe that is because in the UK the authority of police and security is so high? I believe in my country, where police is not so much respected, people would be much more willing to do something witnessing situation like this.”