News & Views Monday 7th August to Sunday 13th August 2017  
Gay Pakistani Man Wins Appeal Against Removal from UK Over Fear of Persecution

A Pakistani asylum seeker who claimed he would be persecuted because of his homosexuality if he was removed from the UK and returned to his home country has successfully challenged a decision to dismiss his appeal. The Inner House of the Court of Session remitted the case to the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) after observing that the original decision of an FTT judge to allow an appeal by the appellant “AR” against a decision of the Secretary of State for the Home Department (the respondent) to remove him to Pakistan was prima facie “unchallengeable”.

Read more: Scottish Legal News,

Signposting: Refugee Travel Documents & Visa Free Travel

Individuals who are granted refugee status in the United Kingdom are eligible to apply for a Refugee Travel Document, which is issued in accordance with the 1951 United Nations Convention in relation to the Status of Refugees (Article 28). The right to apply for Refugee Travel Document after being granted refugee status also extends to the refugees’ family members who are granted leave in line with the refugee under the family reunion provisions of the Immigration Rules. Currently, the holders of Refugee Travel Documents are allowed to travel visa free to many of the countries but not all within the Schengen Zone (you can find a table of countries with visa requirements for Refugee Travel Documents below). The traveller should always travel with their Travel Document and a valid UK residence permit confirming their leave as a refugee in the UK.

Read more: Gherson Immigration,

CARF Magazine 1991-2003 Now Available Online a Vital History of Anti-Racist Campaigning

Copies of the CARF magazine 1991-2003 are now available as a downloadable archive on the IRR’s website – a vital resource for those interested in the history of anti-racist campaigning.

The magazine CARF was first published in 1977 as a newspaper by a local Kingston anti-fascist group and later adopted by the All London Anti-Racist Anti-Fascist Co-ordinating Committee as its publication.

It continued as an occasional newspaper under the auspices of the CARF Collective from 1977-79. From 1979-1990 the collective provided a four-page anti-racist supplement which was included in each edition of the monthly anti-fascist magazine Searchlight.

In 1991 the CARF collective, a voluntary group of anti-racists, decided to publish its own bi-monthly magazine with analysis, features, interviews, news from campaigns and a regular calendar.

The magazine later went quarterly. Seventy-two issues, with photos, cartoons and illustrations, are now available for free download.

Liverpool Suffering Crisis of Homeless Asylum Seekers

The extent of Liverpool’s unique problem with homeless asylum seekers has been revealed. Liverpool is one of only two destinations in the country where failed asylum seekers can lodge a final appeal to remain in the country. Liverpool Council said that it now has a major problem based on asylum seekers who travel to the city and have their final appeal hearing rejected - and potentially end up living on the city’s streets. And town hall bosses say the problem is made far worse by the fact that they could be actually be punished for attempting to help and house such people, although this is something the government refutes.

Cllr Paul Brant is Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for health and social care, he laid bare the extent of the problem. He said: “Liverpool is one of the few destinations where we process the final appeals for asylum claims and where people have been rejected it means they are then classified as having no recourse to public funds. “The position of the local authority is that if they are then rough sleeping because they have no income, we are banned from helping them. He suggested that the council could be fined up to £3,000 for helping them using public funds. This is something the government has taken issue with, arguing that it would never fine councils for helping people on the streets.

Read more: Liam Thorp, Liverpool Echo,

255 Hunger Strikes Across the Immigration Detention Estate Q4 Oct/Nov/Dec 2016

This was an 17% increase on the previous quarter July/Aug/September, bringing the total for 2017 to 997 the number of detainees, who went on Hunger Strike.

Hunger Strikes Across the Immigration Detention Estate Q4 2016
Q4 2016 January February March 
Brook House 83 24 30 29
Campsfield 1 0 0 1
Cedars Closed
Colnbrook 52 25 21 6
Dungavel 2 2 0 0
Harmondsworth 20 2 5 13
Morton Hall 15 4 7 4
The Verne 6 1 1 4
Tinsley House Closed
Yarl's Wood 76 24 22 30

Data for the whole of 2016 can be found here,


Lawfulness of Duration of Leave Granted to Applicant, A Recognised Victim of Trafficking

R (on the Application of FT) v SSHD ("Rolling Review"; Challenging Leave Granted) [2017] UKUT 331(IAC)

1. The intrinsic undesirability of and the strong general presumption against allowing a "rolling review" in judicial review proceedings whereby the Upper Tribunal admits material evidence that has not been considered by the primary decision maker are important factors in considering an application to amend grounds to challenge a supplementary or new decision (see R (Caroopen & Myrie) v SSHD [2016] EWCA Civ 1307). However, the decision whether to allow amendments of the grounds of challenge is a case management decision taking account of all relevant considerations.
2. In applying the policy set out in the Competent Authority Guidance and the Discretionary Leave Guidance, the fact of the respondent having "mishandled" the case and the impact of that upon the applicant, are relevant/material considerations in determining the duration of leave to be granted to a Victim of Trafficking.
3. Where the respondent has regard to an earlier disengagement from treatment in considering the duration of leave to be granted, a relevant consideration is whether that disengagement from treatment was because of a failure to provide support as a VOT because of an earlier incorrect "conclusive grounds decision".
Decision: the application for judicial review is granted
 This judicial review application concerns the lawfulness of the duration of leave granted to the applicant, a recognised Victim of Trafficking (VOT).

Published on Bailii, 10/08/2017

Asylum Seeker Who Came to UK 'For Better Life' Found Dead in Birmingham Canal

An asylum seeker from Turkey who came to the UK “for a better life” was found dead in a Birmingham canal, next to one of the city’s busiest roads. Turgay Baltepe, 33, was found floating face down in the water at Spring Hill Bridge, near City Hospital, Winson Green, in April this year. An inquest heard at first it was thought he had killed himself because his application to stay in the UK had been refused. But Birmingham Coroner’s Court was told that at the time of his death, he was unaware of the Home Office had ordered him to leave, due to an administrative delay. Mr Baltepe was living in accommodation in Martin Road, Tipton, paid for by the Home Office and also receiving financial support. The inquest was told that a woman walking her dog found his floating body on April 12. A post mortem examination found there were no drink or drugs in his system and that he died from drowning.
Read more: Jane Tyler, Birmingham Mail,

Migrant Deaths at US-Mexico Border Increase 17% This Year

More people have died crossing the border from Mexico to the US in the first seven months of 2017 compared to the year before, even though significantly fewer people seem to be attempting the journey, according to the United Nation’s migration agency. The number of migrant deaths tallied at the border jumped 17% from 204 in the first seven months of 2016 to 232 migrant fatalities in 2017, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said. Meanwhile, the US Border Patrol has reported that about half as many migrants were apprehended during border crossings in the first six months of 2016 compared to the first six months of 2017 – down from 267,746 people to 140,024 people.

Read more: Amanda Holpuch, Guardian,

Fighting Violent Extremism – Humanitarians Beware

Communities in some of the most dangerous corners of the world will be left without lifesaving aid because of countering violent extremism agendas. Millions of people living in countries facing famine may be hardest hit. “Countering violent extremism” is a popular concept doing the rounds in today’s humanitarian circles. It is a strategy that states are increasingly using to combat terrorism. Approaches include domestic surveillance, policing, counter-extremist messaging, and education. In more repressive countries, extreme methods include mass arrests, detention without trial, torture, disappearances, and executions. These actions target people who are considered at risk of joining extremist groups.

Sound familiar? That is because they have much in common with counter-insurgency and anti-communist strategies dating back to the Cold War. Let’s not forget that ‘Winning Hearts and Minds’ has a poor track record. The US strategy to defeat the Taliban insurgency by providing development aid in Afghanistan is a classic example.

But governments are keen to embrace the countering violence extremism concept to convince voters they are working to keep terrorists at bay. Some aid organisations are also stepping in line, especially when donors are allocating their money. But this is a dangerous road to take, and many humanitarians are reluctant to follow suit.

Read more: IRIN,

CPIN Iran: Forced Marriage

Basis of claim

1.1.1 Fear of persecution or serious harm by non-state agents either because:
(a) A person will be subjected to a forced marriage; or

(b) the person is the accompanying parent of a minor child who is opposed to the arranged marriage of the child where there is a real risk of it being carried out.

1.2 Points to note
1.2.1 For the purpose of this guidance ‘forced marriage’ is where the people concerned are manoeuvred into going through the marriage ceremony against their will (either by force or some other pressure)

1.2.2 Men/boys can also be victims of forced marriage but for the purpose of this guidance the main focus is on women/girls as they are more likely to be at risk of forced marriage in Iran.
Published on Refworld, 09/08/2017