Children in Detention September 2013
A total of 27 children were detained in September 2013, seven of them were under 5, ten between five and eleven, eight between twelve and sixteen and two seventeen year olds. Fourteen were detained at Cedars pre-departure accommodation for removal and twelve detained in Tinsley House Family unit trying to enter the UK, one seventeen year old was held in Colnbrook Short Term Holding Centre.
European Court of Human Rights Presses Turkey on Justice
On Tuesday 12th November 2013, tECtHR issued a landmark ruling on one of the many incidents of killings and disappearances of Kurdish civilians by Turkish government forces in the early 1990s at the height of the conflict with the armed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). During that period the army forcibly evacuated and burned thousands of villages, in some cases killing villagers through shelling or aerial bombardment.
The European Court held Turkey responsible for the deaths of 33 people, including women and children, in an air force bombing raid on the villages of Kuskonar and Kusag?l? on March 26, 1994.
In 1995 Human Rights Watch documented the bombing, which was the subject of an official cover-up, in a report on Turkey's violations of the laws of war in the southeast in the early 1990s. Human Rights Watch talked to some witnesses of that attack again for a report last year on the importance of securing justice for victims of state-perpetrated killings and disappearances.
In its ruling on Tuesday, the European Court ordered Turkey to pay €2.3 million in damages because of its violations of the right to life and inadequate investigation into the deaths, and took an important and unusual further step, ruling that Turkey should now conduct a full domestic investigation into the case, "with a view to identifying and punishing those responsible."
Read More: Human Rights Watch, <> November 13, 2013
UKBA: Operational Guidance Note: Ghana
This document provides Home Office caseworkers with guidance on the nature and handling of the most common types of claims received from nationals/residents of Ghana, including whether claims are or are not likely to justify the granting of asylum, humanitarian protection or discretionary leave. Caseworkers must refer to the relevant asylum instructions for further details of the policy on these areas
<>Published on Refworld, 13/11/13
UKBA: Operational Guidance Note: Zimbabwe
This document provides Home Office caseworkers with guidance on the nature and handling of the most common types of claims received from nationals/residents of Zimbabwe, including whether claims are or are not likely to justify the granting of asylum, humanitarian protection or discretionary leave. Caseworkers must refer to the relevant asylum instructions for further details of the policy on these areas
<>Published on Refworld, 13/11/13
Iraq: Executions at Their Highest in Post-Saddam Iraq
A sharp increase in the use of the death penalty in Iraq has brought the number of known executions to the highest in the decade since the toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003, with at least seven prisoners sent to the gallows yesterday, sparking fears that many more death row prisoners are at risk, Amnesty International said.
"Iraq's increased use of the death penalty, often after unfair trials in which many prisoners report having been tortured into confessing crimes, is a futile attempt to resolve the country's serious security and justice problems," said Phillip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.
"In order to actually protect civilians better from violent attacks by armed groups, authorities in Iraq must effectively investigate abuses and bring those responsible to justice in a system that is fair, without recourse to the death penalty."
At least 132 people have been executed in Iraq so far this year - the highest number since the country reinstated capital punishment in 2004. However, the true number could be higher and the Iraqi authorities have yet to publish full figures.
<>Amnesty International, 08/11/13
Three G4S Immigration Centre Officials Involved In Forgery
G4S has launched an internal investigation after a judge referred a number of its employees for prosecution for forgery and contempt of court in a "truly shocking" case of what he called disgraceful behaviour.
In the high court, Mr Justice Mostyn said three employees from G4S running Brook House immigration removal centre in Gatwick, East Sussex, had been involved in forging a document and contempt of court after giving witness statements during an immigration appeal involving allegations of torture at the hands of a foreign government.
In an excoriating judgment which has been referred the attorney general and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mostyn said G4S employees Tamara Burns, Marilyn Bennett and Matthew Newman were involved in "corruptly redacting" an official certificate, an action which helped bolster the case against an immigrant who was being deported from the UK.
Last week the Guardian revealed the Home Office is in discussions with G4S to expand Brook House by 30% despite a freeze on new government contracts for the multinational security company while it is investigated by the Serious Fraud Office for allegations of criminally overcharging taxpayers.
Read more: Shiv Malik, The Guardian, Sunday <> 10 November 2013
Homosexual Applicants for Asylum Can Constitute a Particular Social Group Who May be Persecuted on Account of Their Sexual Orientation
In That Context, the Existence of a Term of Imprisonment in the Country of Origin Sanctioning Homosexual Acts May Constitute an Act of Persecution Per Se, Provided That it Ii Actually Applied
An Applicant for Asylum Cannot be Expected to Conceal His Homosexuality in his Country of Origin in Order to Avoid Persecution
Court of Justice of the European Union, <>Thursday 7th October 2013
UKBA Issue 'end Of Life Plan' To Hunger-Striking Asylum Seeker
Decision to keep mentally ill Nigerian man in immigration detention centre seen as part of hardline approach by ministers
The Home Office has issued an 'end of life plan' to a detained failed asylum seeker who has been on hunger strike for more than 80 days and is said to be near death.
The man, who suffers mental health problems, was deemed medically unfit to be detained in October but remains in custody, with a judge due to rule next week on whether he will be released.
Read more: Eric Allison, T<>he Guardian, Saturday 16 November 2013
Year On From Deadly Israel/Gaza Conflict Nightmare Continues
Fall out continues from the eight-day conflict between the Israeli military and Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip, in November last year. Israeli forces had launched Operation "Pillar of Defense" on 14 November 2012 by killing the leader of the military wing of Hamas, following unlawful attacks by both sides in the preceding days.
Within just over a week, more than 165 Palestinians, including more than 30 children and some 70 other civilians who were not directly participating in hostilities, and six Israelis, including four civilians, were killed. A ceasefire was reached on the evening of 21 November.
Tens of thousands of Gazans fled their homes during the conflict. While the majority of these families were able to return to their homes after the ceasefire, they still struggle with the trauma of having had to flee, often under fire. And hundreds of families in Gaza remain displaced because their homes were destroyed in the conflict. A year on, most have been unable to rebuild because of the continuing Israeli restrictions on the import of construction materials into Gaza.
Read more: Amnesty International, <>14/11/13
Gatwick North & South Terminal Short-Term Holding Facilities
Inspections took place 16/17th July, published 13/11/13, the reports on both facilities are identical!
Both facilities are used to hold three categories of detainee for up to 24 hours: detainees held while immigration officers investigate whether they are allowed to enter the UK; detainees who have been refused entry and are being returned to their country of origin; and detainees transferred from other places of detention who are being removed from the UK.
Both facilities are run on behalf of the Home Office by the private contractor, Tascor. During our inspection, four detainee custody officers staffed the facilities, each have two holding rooms.
South Termina overviewl: In the three months before our inspection, logs showed that people were detained on 650 occasions, including 52 children. Families are often transferred to the neighbouring family unit at Tinsley House Immigration Removal Centre. Greater use of telephone translation services was needed to improve reception arrangements. The quality of accommodation was poor and the family room was not fit for purpose. Multi-agency arrangements to prevent child trafficking included routine sampling of children's DNA, which was unnecessary. There was no Independent Monitoring Board to oversee the facility. Inspectors made 23 recommendations
North Termina overviewl: In the three months before our inspection, people were held on 677 occasions, including 18 children. Families are often transferred to the neighbouring family unit at Tinsley House Immigration Removal Centre. Staff were generally empathetic and courteous to detainees but more use of telephone interpretation was needed. The quality of accommodation was poor and the family room was not fit for purpose. Multi-agency arrangements to prevent child trafficking included routine sampling of children's DNA, which was unnecessary. There was no Independent Monitoring Board to oversee the facility. Inspectors made 23 recommendations.
Garden Court Chambers - Immigration Law Bulletin - Issue 348
UKBA Operational Guidance Note: Egypt
This document provides Home Office caseworkers with guidance on the nature and handling of the most common types of claims received from nationals/residents of Egypt, including whether claims are or are not likely to justify the granting of asylum, humanitarian protection or discretionary leave. Caseworkers must refer to the relevant asylum instructions for further details of the policy on these areas.
EU Border Control Policies Negatively Affect Human Rights
"The EU externalisation of border control policies has a deleterious effect on human rights, in particular the right to leave a country, which is a prerequisite to the enjoyment of other rights – most importantly, the right to seek asylum", said today Nils Muiznieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while releasing a research paper on the right to leave a country.
"The right to leave a country is enshrined in most major human rights instruments and is intended to ensure that people can move freely, without unjustified obstacles. However, today's EU approach to border controls and immigration raises serious concerns as it leads to changes in the legislation and practice of third countries which may result in human rights violations, in particular regarding the right to leave a country, the prohibition on collective expulsion and the right to seek and enjoy asylum."
Nils Muiznieks, EU Commissioner for Human Rights, <>06/11/2013