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                                                     News & Views - Monday 22 nd July to Sunday 28 th July 2013

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among party activists and MPs, a senior Lib Dem source said the party's ministers would call for the posters to be withdrawn: "Ministers will be pushing for this to be stopped – it is not Lib Dem or coalition policy."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

Asylum Seekers [Medically Unfit for Detention]

Lord Roberts of Llandudno to ask Her Majesty's Government how many asylum seekers were deemed by healthcare professionals to be unfit for detention in each of the last ten years, and of that number, how many were subsequently released as a result of such findings.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): This question has been interpreted as relating to Rule 35 (1) of the Detention Centre Rules 2001, which sets out requirements for doctors at immigration removal centres to report on any detained person whose health is likely to be injuriously affected by continued detention or any conditions of detention.

Management information for the administration of reports submitted under Rule 35 (1) is only available from one January 2012. This information does not form part of published statistics and is not subject to the detailed checks that apply to National Statistics publications. As such, it is provisional and subject to change.

Records prior to this period were locally held manual records for administrative purposes and are not available without incurring disproportionate cost.

Number of Rule 35 (1) reports

Q1 2012      Q2 2012     Q3 2012     Q4 2012     Grand Total
       34                31                9               24                  98

Number of detainees Rule 35(1) reports relate to

Q1 2012      Q2 2012     Q3 2012     Q4 2012     Grand Total
         31              29                7               22                89

of which:-

Detainees released following Rule 35(1) report

Q1 2012      Q2 2012     Q3 2012     Q4 2012     Grand Total
          1                2                  -                  1                 4

Decisions to release individuals are taken on a case by case basis, taking into consideration the totality of the information related to the cases concerned. This will include reports under Rule 35(1) submitted by healthcare professionals working in Immigration Removal Centres.
<> House of Lords / 23 July 2013 : Column WA182

Australia Closes Door to Asylum Seekers
Last Friday Australia enacted legislation, the 'Regional Settlement Arrangement' a pact with Papua New Guinea. Any asylum seekers managing to make it to Australia's shores, will be sent to Papua New Guinea for assessment and if found to be a refugee will be settled there, they will never be allowed to enter Australia, legally.

The UK and and the EU have long wanted to bring in offshore processing for asylum seekers and did make tentative steps in the mid 1990s to bring this about but abandoned the idea after protests from thousands of EU NGO's. Now that Australia has actually enabled offshore processing of asylum seekers, pretty sure the EU and the UK will probably lead, revive the idea.

Nauru Riot: 125 Asylum Seekers Arrested
About 125 people who sought asylum in Australia were in police custody on the Pacific island nation of Nauru after a protest ended with fire destroying most of the Australian-run detention centre there, an official said on Sunday. The blaze on Friday evening destroyed all the accommodation blocks, medical facilities and offices and caused damage worth an estimated £36m, the immigration department said. Only the dining and recreation buildings survived.

The disturbance began after the Australian government announced that effective from last Friday all refugees who come by boat to Australia will instead be permanently settled in Papua New Guinea, a national of 7 million mostly subsistence farmers.
Read more: <>, Sunday 21 July 2013

Cameroon Gay Rights Activist Found Tortured and Killed
A prominent gay rights activist in Cameroon has been found tortured and killed in his home, amid claims the authorities have systematically ignored similar attacks in the country. The body of Eric Ohena Lembembe, an activist and journalist in the capital Yaoundé, was discovered by friends on Monday night. They had been unable to reach him by phone for several days.

Witnesses told civil rights organisation Human Rights Watch that they could see Lembembe's body lying on the bed through the window. When the police arrived and broke down the door, they found his feet broken, and his face, hands and feet burned. The organisation said it was not yet clear whether the authorities would take action to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Read more: <> Afua Hirsch,, Thursday 18 July 2013

EU Guidelines On Israeli Settlements Send Out Powerful Message
European policy guidelines are composed of small print and impenetrable bureaucratic language that are the product of long hours of wrangling in committee rooms in Brussels, but they can still send out a powerful signal. The furious reaction of the Israeli government underlines an important point about the world's most intractable conflict: Jewish settlements in occupied Palestinian territory are not considered part of the state of Israel under international law.

This explicit restatement of the EU's position is intended to force an end to the ambiguity that has helped Israel to maintain and expand its presence beyond the old "green line" border since the 1967 Middle East war - without incurring significant costs.
<> Ian Black, Independent,, Tuesday 16 July 2013

UK Exports £12bn  in Arms to Countries with Poor Human Rights

More than 3,000 current export licences for arms and military equipment worth more than £12bn have been approved for 27 countries classified by the Foreign Office as "of concern" because of their poor human rights record, a cross-party group of MPs reveals on Wednesday.

Countries for which significant sales have been approved include Israel - the destination of the bulk of the arms sales - Saudi Arabia, China, and Zimbabwe, according to the arms export controls committee's annual report, drawn up by MPs from four separate select committees.

The chairman of the committee, the former Conservative defence minister Sir John Stanley, said: "The scale of the extant strategic licences to the FCO's 27 countries of human rights concern puts into stark relief the inherent conflict between the government's arms exports and human rights policies." Government should apply more cautious judgments when considering arms export licence applications:

Richard Norton-Taylo, <>  Guardian, Wednesday 17 July 2013


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

Immigration: Detention [Rejection of Medical Justice report]

Lord Roberts of Llandudno to ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the findings of the recent Medical Justice report Expecting Change: The case for ending the detention of pregnant women; and whether they will amend current legislation so that pregnant women cannot be detained for immigration purposes.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Pregnant women are not normally detained except where their removal from the United Kingdom is imminent and medical advice does not suggest confinement before their removal date. Women who are less than 24 weeks pregnant may also be detained as part of the fast-track asylum process. All detainees have access to free on-site primary healthcare provision broadly equivalent to that available from NHS GPs in the community and pregnant women also have ready access to midwifery and ante-natal services.

The Home Office does not accept the conclusions in the recent Medical Justice report, not least because the report is based on a small sample of women over a period of more than three years.

There are no plans to change the current policy on detention of pregnant women.

<> House of Lords / 24 July 2013 : Column WA209

Garden Court Chambers - Immigration Law Bulletin - Issue 334

<>  UKBA Operational Guidance Note: Burma (Myanmar)

Grant Josephine and Maimuna - Asylum Now!

Demonstrate Tuesday 23 July @ 12:00 to 1:00
Home Office
2 Marsham st
London SW1P 4DF -
Nearest Tube Station - Westminster

[After the Demonstration at the home Office on Tuesday, Movement for Justice (MFJ) will then demonstrate at the Cameroon Embassy - To Demand Justice for Eric Ohene Lembembe - Brutally murdered Cameroonian LGBT activist  - Assemble 2:00pm Cameroon Embassy 84 Holland Park London, Greater London W11 3SB]

<> Sign the petition for Josephine Komeh

<>  Sign the petition for Maimuna Jawo

G4S Guard who Fatally Restrained a 15 Year Old - Promoted!
What to do with a 100 kg guard who fatally restrains a 40 kg boy? Promote him to health & safety manager, G4S children's homes.

One spring day nine years ago, 15 year old Gareth Myatt, on his third day at Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre near Rugby, refused to clean the sandwich toaster. He was sent to his room. He complied. A note on Gareth's file said that if he became aggressive, which didn't happen often, the best thing was for staff to leave him alone to calm down. They didn't do that.

Instead, six foot, sixteen stone David Beadnall and a fellow guard followed Gareth (4 ft 10" and 6_ stone) to his room. They told him off. They later claimed that Gareth, who was of mixed race, responded defiantly, asking them to leave. The guards chose not to leave. Instead they began the punishment procedure known as 'single separation.' All Gareth's personal possessions would be removed from his room. Gareth had few personal possessions. One was a scrap of paper. His mother's new mobile phone number was written on it.

They took it. He objected. - What happened next?

Read more: Clare Sambrook, <> Open Democracy, 22/07/13

G4S Conceals Identity In Children's Homes Planning Applications
A couple of months ago a man called Simon Herbert put in a planning application to convert a house into a children's home in Buckinghamshire. The house stands in Vale Road, Aylesbury, on a mixed estate of mostly owner-occupiers. Herbert gave the local planning authority his residential address, 27 miles away, in the village of Lidington near Milton Keynes.

But the children's home provider wasn't Simon Herbert, the man from a village up the road. It was G4S, the world's largest security company headquarters Crawley, close to Gatwick Airport. The G4S name did not appear on the planning application.

That wasn't the only odd thing about it.

Read more: Clare Sambrook, <> Open Democracy, 22/07/13

UK Mosque Bomb Suspect Accused of Mohammed Saleem's Murder

One of two Ukrainian men being held over bomb attacks near three mosques in the West Midlands has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a 75-year-old man.

West Midlands police said the terror suspect, aged 25, was arrested on Saturday night in relation to "a further act of terrorism".

A police spokesman said: "This arrest is in connection with the murder of Mohammed Saleem in Small Heath, Birmingham, on Monday 29 April."

Saleem died after being stabbed in the back in Green Lane, Small Heath, as he made his way home from a mosque.

Two Ukrainian nationals, aged 25 and 22, were detained by West Midlands police in Small Heath on Thursday by detectives investigating explosions at mosques in Walsall, Wolverhampton and Tipton between 22 June and 12 July. Saleem's family have been informed of the latest development in the inquiry, the police spokesman added.

Assistant chief constable Marcus Beale, who is leading the investigation, said: "The murder of Mohammed Saleem now forms part of the wider West Midlands counter-terrorism unit investigation."
Read More: <>, Saturday 20 July 2013

Israel: Excessive Force Used on Protesters Opposing Deportations
Members of Israel security forces used excessive force against demonstrators on July 15, 2013 in two Israeli cities. Five witnesses told Human Rights Watch that police used excessive force against demonstrators protesting a draft law that would facilitate the forced displacement of thousands of Bedouin residents of Israel's southern Negev region. Mounted police, border police, and riot police violently dispersed nonviolent demonstrations in Sakhnin, in northern Israel, and riot and border police beat demonstrators in Beer Sheva.
Read more: <> Human Rights Watch, 18/07/13



Last updated 26 July, 2013