"Racist and Intimidatory" Spot Checks
Home Office officials have conducted a series of "racist and intimidatory" spot checks to search for illegal immigrants in the wake of the Government's "go home or face arrest" campaign.
Officers wearing stab vests have conducted random stop-and-check operations near stations in the London suburbs of Walthamstow, Kensal Green, Stratford and Cricklewood over the past three days.
The Home Office denied that the raids were connected to its new controversial poster van warning immigrants of the risk of staying in Britain illegally. However, officials could provide no evidence of similar "random searches" taking place in the past.
Onlookers described their shock at the operations, with one member of the public saying it was akin to "Nazi Germany". Witnesses who saw the operations in London claimed the officers stopped only non-white individuals, and in Kensal Green said that when questioned, the immigration officials became aggressive.
Read More: <> Oliver Wright, Indpendent, Thursday 01/08/13
Bangladesh: Security Forces Kill 150 Protesters, Injure Thousands
Bangladeshi security forces have frequently used excessive force in responding to street protests, killing at least 150 protesters and injuring at least 2,000 more since February 2013. While large numbers of protesters have been arrested, the Bangladeshi authorities have made no meaningful efforts to hold members of the security forces accountable.
The 48-page report, "Blood On The Streets: The Use of Excessive Force During Bangladesh Protests," is based on 95 interviews with victims and their family members, witnesses, human rights defenders, journalists, and lawyers. The report documents case after case in which police, the paramilitary Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), and the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) opened fire into crowds or beat protesters in a brutal and unlawful manner. In some cases, security forces carried out extrajudicial executions. Human Rights Watch also documented the killing of at least a dozen members of the security forces and police officers over the course of the protests, as well as three members of the ruling Awami League party.
Read more: <> Human Rights Watch, 01/08/13
Asylum Detainee on Hunger Strike 'Close To Death'
For over a week now, the medical staff at Harmondsworth have found him unfit for detention. Now there is concern that his life is in imminent danger, but the Home Office is still not releasing him.
Samuel Sorinwa, 27, who according to his medical records has not received any liquids for 11 days, may not live long enough to make a hearing over his continued detention at the high court on Wednesday.
The refusal of Harmondsworth detention centre to release him, along with another critically ill inmate, indicates that the Home Office is toughening its stance on releasing detainees intent on starving themselves to death. Last month, the Guardian reported on how an increasing number of asylum seekers were being quietly released from detention amid fears they would starve themselves to death in the Home Office's care.
Sorinwa is one of the men said to be close to death. He claims to be Portuguese, but the Home Office insists he is from Nigeria. His lawyers claim he was interviewed twice last year by the Nigerian high commission in London and it refused to issue him with a passport.
Read more: Eric Allison and Helen Pidd, <> The Guardian, 30/07/13
Home Office Confirm Fatality at Penine House STHC
However they will not give the name of the deceased or where he lived, or the manner of his death, all they will say is that the death happened. Just two sentences, the second sentence trite and with copious crocodile tears, '"The family of the deceased have been informed and our thoughts are with the family following this sad news."
'No -Deportations' have been able to contact any of the detainees who were at Penine House STHC, when the incident happened.
Please ask around,especially if you are in contact with someone in immigration detention. Need to contact the deceased's family.
Tahir Mehmood: Immigration Detention Kills Again
'At about 5:20 pm on Friday 26 July 2013 police were called to Pennine House STHC, at Manchester Airport. On arrival officers were informed a 43-year-old man [Tahir Mehmood, aged 43 a national of Pakistan] had suffered a 'medical episode' and had been treated by medics. Sadly he had died at the scene. A Home Office post mortem examination has been carried out and the police are investigating the circumstances of the death on behalf of Her Majesty's coroner.'
Issued by Greater Manchester Police Press Office 29/07/13
This brings to 20 the known number of persons who have died in immigration detention. It is widely believed that UKBA have released from detention, detainees who were at deaths door and died with in 72 hours of leaving detention.
'Medical Episode' this phrase is worrying as it has started to pop up in incidents where restraint has been used by police arresting someone.
<> 20 Deaths in immigration Detention Suicide/Murder/Undetermined
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - July 2013
7 actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in July 2013, according to the new issue of CrisisWatch 120.
Deteriorated Situations: Bangladesh, DR Congo, Egypt, Iraq, South Sudan, Tunisia
Download the full report: <> CR120.pdf
Iraq: July Deadliest for Five Years - Violence Kills Over 1,000 People
A total of 1,057 Iraqis were killed and another 2,326 were wounded in acts of terrorism and violence in the month of July, according to figures released today by the United Nations. The number of civilians killed was 928, including 204 civilian police, while the number of civilians injured was 2,109, including 338 civilian police, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said in a news release. A further 129 members of the Iraqi Security Forces were killed and 217 were injured.
"The impact of violence on civilians remains disturbingly high, with at least 4,137 civilians killed and 9,865 injured since the beginning of 2013," the Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Gyorgy Busztin, warned. We haven't seen such numbers in more than five years, when the blind rage of sectarian strife that inflicted such deep wounds upon this country was finally abating, I reiterate my urgent call on Iraq's political leaders to take immediate and decisive action to stop the senseless bloodshed, and to prevent these dark days from returning."
<> Refworld: 01/08/13
Afghan Civilian Deaths Increase - More Women, Child Victims
Violence against civilians has risen by almost a quarter in Afghanistan as international forces hand security to Afghans, the United Nations said in a report on Wednesday, with insurgents striking in areas where troops have already left.
The report, presented by the Human Rights Director for the U.N. in Afghanistan, said the number of dead and injured civilians had increased by 23 percent in the first six months of 2013, compared to the same period last year.
Women and children are increasingly the victims of the 12-year-old war, the report said, noting a 30 percent leap in the number of children killed. The total civilian death toll stood at more than 1,300, with 2,533 reported injuries.
Read more: <> Alert Net, 31/07/13
Andukwa, Meteta, Ghavami, Afshar, Mateta - Convictions Quashed
Four of the present cases are before the court by way of a reference from the Criminal Cases Review Commission ("CCRC") and one application for leave to appeal has been referred by the Registrar of Criminal Appeals: we grant that applicant the necessary extension of time and leave to appeal.
In each case, the same issue arises and because other similar cases are being pursued by way of application or appeal, it is appropriate to review the law and practice, thereby providing some guidance for the future.
In short, each of the appellants, when entering or leaving the United Kingdom, attempted to rely on a false passport or a false travel document issued under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees ("a Geneva passport"), in that the passport or travel document was a forgery or it related to a different person. They all pleaded guilty to an offence of possession of an identity document with improper intention, either contrary to s. 25(1) Identity Cards Act 2006 or s. 4 Identity Documents Act 2010 (the latter replacing s. 25 in similar but not identical terms).
The issue can be stated simply and concerns the approach to be taken by the Court of Appeal when a defendant, following incorrect legal advice, has pleaded guilty to an offence under s. 25 or s. 4 if a defence under s. 31 Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 ("the Act") was or may have been available to him or her.
The Crown does not resist the suggestion that the convictions in the cases of Koshi Mateta, Simon Andukwa, ^ Bashir, Amir Ghavami and fl Afshar should be quashed. Following further analysis of the position, an appeal by Herve Tchiengang, although referred by the Criminal Cases Review Commission, was abandoned on notice prior to the hearing.
Lawyers of Refugees Wrongly Jailed Criticised By Appeal Court
The Appeal Court has criticised the lawyers of five refugees who were wrongly jailed for carrying false documents after fleeing their countries under the threat of persecution. It was "surprising and disturbing" that their legal teams did not know there was a valid defence to protect those in fear of losing their lives or freedom, three judges ruled.
The five - who included a husband and wife - were jailed for between six months and a year after being found to be carrying false papers after arriving in Britain. They included a Congolese man who faced death threats for his political stance and an Iranian couple arrested in 2012 as they tried to reach Canada because they feared imprisonment and ill-treatment.
"It is both surprising and disturbing that neither solicitors nor counsel appear to have been aware of the position in law and we repeat that this situation should not recur in the future," said Lord Justice Leveson in a written ruling.
Prosecutors said they would not appeal against the ruling. Ben Douglas-Jones, junior counsel for the prosecution, said: "He (Leveson) has made it clear that he wants to kill this issue stone dead."
<> Paul Peachey, Indpendent, Tuesday 30 July 2013
Zimbabwe's Elections: Mugabe's Last Stand?
A return to protracted political crisis, and possibly extensive violence, is likely, as Zimbabwe holds inadequately prepared presidential, parliamentary and local elections on 31 July. Conditions for a free and fair vote do not exist. Confidence in the process and institutions is low. The voters roll is a shambles, security forces unreformed and the media grossly imbalanced. The electoral commission is under-funded and lacked time to prepare. Concerns about rigging are pervasive, strongly disputed results highly likely.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) face severe credibility tests. They must avoid a narrow technical approach. If the vote is deeply flawed, they should declare it illegitimate and press for a re-run after several months of careful preparation or, if that is not possible, facilitate negotiation of a compromise acceptable to the major parties; and strong diplomacy will be needed to forestall extensive violence if the presidential contest moves to a run-off in conditions like 2008, or, if President Robert Mugabe loses at any stage, to ensure a smooth transition
Read more: <> International Crisis Group, 29/07/13
Anti-Caste Discrimination Reforms Blocked, Say Critics
The government has been accused of deliberately delaying moves to outlaw caste discrimination despite agreeing to extend legal protection to the tens of thousands of people in the UK who are from traditionally lower status Asian backgrounds.
In April, after two defeats in the House of Lords, the government yielded to calls to amend the Equality Act 2010 and treat caste as "an aspect of race". The victory delighted campaigners who had claimed the amendment was vital to prevent discrimination at work, in the classroom and in the health service.
But on Monday, the department for Culture Media and Sport, which deals with equality issues, announced that the consultation and legislative process would probably last until summer 2015, saying employers, public authorities and the judiciary would need to be involved in the discussions.
The timetable suggests the legislation is unlikely to be in place before for the next general election, leading some to accuse the Conservatives of trying to "kick the whole idea into the long grass".
Read more: Sam Jones, <> The Guardian, Monday 29 July 2013
Garden Court Chambers - Immigration Law Bulletin - Issue 335
Anger At 'Go Home' Message to Illegal Migrants
A coalition row has erupted over an advertising campaign that targets racially mixed areas with billboards that warn illegal immigrants: "Go home or face arrest."
Liberal Democrat ministers yesterday pressed the government to abandon the campaign, as the UK Independence party leader, Nigel Farage, surprised many by condemning the signs as "nasty". The split emerged after senior Lib Dem figures complained about the failure of their cabinet members to stop Tory ministers from launching the pilot scheme. Vans carrying the government's abrupt message have been driven around areas of high immigration since Monday. The campaign has been widely seen as a way for Conservative ministers to appear tough on immigration in the face of rising support for Ukip.
But after three days of disquiet among party activists and MPs, a senior Lib Dem source said the party's ministers would call for the posters to be withdrawn: "Ministers will be pushing for this to be stopped – it is not Lib Dem or coalition policy."
Read more: Rajeev Syal, <> Guardian, 25/07/13
Charter Flights - April 2012 to March 2013
49 Flights average cost of each flight £265,306
Destination countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ghana, Italy, Sri Lanka, DR Congo, Angola, Austria, Gambia, Egypt, Portugal, Kosovo and Albania.
Total number of persons removed:
Males 2,099 / Females 192 / No Children
Average cost of removing each person £5,674
The above information response from FOI request to UKBA