Foreign National Prisoners do Not Deserve Blanket Judgments
As of April next year and the introduction of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, it will be impossible for foreign national prisoners who wish to challenge deportation proceedings to get legal advice from a solicitor unless they are able to pay for it themselves
Jon Robins, guardian.co.uk, Friday 12 October 2012
Spiraling Violence: Boko Haram/Security Force Abuses in Nigeria
This 98-page report catalogues atrocities for which Boko Haram has claimed responsibility. It also explores the role of Nigeria's security forces, whose own alleged abuses contravene international human rights law and might also constitute crimes against humanity. The violence, which first erupted in 2009, has claimed more than 2,800 lives.
The report, which includes a photo essay, is based on field research in Nigeria between July 2010 and July 2012, and the continuous monitoring of media reports of Boko Haram attacks and statements since 2009. Human Rights Watch researchers interviewed 135 people, including 91 witnesses and victims of Boko Haram violence or security forces abuses, as well as lawyers, civil society leaders, government officials, and senior military and police personnel.
Read more: Human Rights Watch, 11/10/12
Bangladesh: Human Rights
Lord Hussain to ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the human rights situation in Bangladesh, in the light of reports of disappearances of well-known politicians.
Lord Hussain: . . . in the past few years reports of corruption, torture, extrajudicial killing and the sudden disappearance of journalists and political activists from opposition parties have energised me to call for this debate.
According to Amnesty International, hardly a week goes by in Bangladesh without people being shot in Rapid Action Battalion, or RAB, operations. The RAB is a special police force created to combat criminal gang activity throughout the country. However, since its inception in 2004 the RAB has been implicated in the unlawful killing of at least 700 people. The Amnesty International report goes on to say that such deaths are typically explained away as accidental or as a result of RAB officers acting in self-defence, as victims are said to have been killed in "crossfire". In many cases, the victims were killed following arrest. Nevertheless, investigations carried out either by the RAB or by a government-appointed judicial body have not resulted in judicial prosecution. The outcome of the judicial investigations has remained secret and the RAB has consistently denied responsibility for any unlawful
Read more: House of Lords, 9 Oct 2012 : Column GC453
Jimmy Mubenga, Victim of G4S & the Deadly Deportation Machine
Demonstrate 11:00 am to 1:00 pm: Friday 12th October 2012
Crown Prosecution Service, Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London SE1
Demonstrate 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm: Friday 12th October 2012
G4S UK & Ireland head office 105 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QT
On 12 October 2012, campaigners will mark the two-year anniversary of the death of Jimmy Mubenga, the 46-year-old Angolan migrant who died in 2010 at the hands of G4S security guards 'restraining' him on board a British Airways flight during his forcible deportation to Angola. With various protests and actions, campaigners will be demanding that G4S and the three guards (who were re-employed by Reliance, which took over the detainee escorts contract from G4S later that year) are held responsible for this crime; they will be demanding justice for Mubenga and his family, and that no one should face such a fate in the future.
Read more: Two years on and no justice
Garden Court Chambers - Immigration Law Bulletin - Issue 295
Asylum Research Consultancy (ARC) COI Update Volume 42
This document provides an update of Country Guidance case law and UKBA publications and developments in refugee producing countries between 23/09/2012 and 06/10/2012 - Volume 42 here . . .
Rejection of Asylum Seekers' Documents Without Verifying Their Authenticity Breached Their Human Rights
In today's Chamber judgment in the case of Singh and Others v. Belgium (application no. 33210/11), which is not final1, the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been: a violation of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) taken together with Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The case concerned a family of asylum seekers who claimed to belong to the Sikh minority in Afghanistan. Their asylum application was dismissed by the Belgian authorities, which did not believe them to be Afghan nationals. They complained in particular that their removal from Belgium to Moscow entailed a risk of refoulement to their country of origin, where they would face ill-treatment.
The Court found that copies of attestations from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Delhi – documents produced in support of their case – had been rejected by the Belgian authorities without sufficient investigation and that that had been at odds with the close and rigorous scrutiny required by the right to an effective remedy.
Case summary here . . . . full judgment only available in French
State of the World's Girls 2012
The sixth report in Plan's annual State of the World's Girls series, 'Learning for life', takes a critical look at the state of girls' education. The report argues that behind the success of global parity in primary education enrolment figures lies a crisis in the quality of learning. Enrolment figures measure attendance on one day of the school year, and they are currently the only measure of success. They tell us nothing about real access to education or the quality of what is being taught, or learnt.
All over the world poverty and discrimination continue to have a detrimental effect on girls' attendance in school. This is particularly true when they reach adolescence and, in many families, a daughter's domestic and reproductive role takes precedence over her right to education. Violence in schools, early marriage, pregnancy and housework continue to constitute significant barriers to girls' education around the world.
The challenge now is to make sure that all girls, however poor, isolated or disadvantaged, are able to attend school on a regular basis and gain a good quality education that equips them for life.
Read more/access the full report - Plan International
States Should do More to Protect Women From Violence
Around the world Ð and indeed across Europe Ð women are beaten and threatened. Domestic violence is the most common form of abuse of women worldwide, irrespective of economics, religion or culture.
There is a strange acceptance of the prevalence of domestic violence and violence against women in every country. Far too often the problem is pushed aside, and far too often the woman herself is blamed. The question Òwhy doesn«t she leave?Ó seems more frequently asked than Òwhy does he hit her?Ó
One-fifth to one-quarter of all women in the Council of Europe member states are estimated to have experienced physical violence at least once during their adult lives, and more than one-tenth have suffered sexual violence involving the use of force. Figures for all forms of violence, including stalking, are as high as 45%. The majority of these acts are carried out by men in the womenÕs immediate social environment, most often by partners and ex-partners.
Every year approximately 3 500 deaths related to intimate partner violence occur in the 27 member states of the European Union alone, according to a study from the EU programme DAPHNE.
Read more: Nils Muiznieks, Commissioner for Human Rights
Child Starved to Death After Benefits Delay
The government has been warned it must urgently fix flaws in its support system for successful asylum seekers, after a destitute child starved to death in temporary accommodation in Westminster.
Further tragedies are increasingly likely as more asylum claims are processed while support funding dries up, organisations claim.
Details of the tragic circumstances surrounding the death of 'child EG' and the unrelated death of his mother 'Mrs G' surfaced in a serious case review and a letter sent to the government by child safety experts at Westminster Council, a flagship Conservative borough.
The case review found that the family had become dependent on 'ad hoc' charitable handouts despite a successful asylum claim because of 'significant problems' transferring the family from Home Office to mainstream welfare support services.
Read more: Inside Housing, 05/10/2012 | By Keith Cooper
UKBA Teams up With Police to Target Foreign Criminals
Refugee groups fear the Met will effectively behave as arm of Border Agency putting some people off reporting crimes. Scotland Yard has drafted in immigration officials to each of London's 72 custody suites in a drive to target foreigners arrested in the capital.
Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe was believed to be the driving force behind Operation Terminus; a pan-London project under which teams of trained police and UK Border Agency officials have been quietly deployed to every custody suite in London. The force said it was determined to deal more effectively with the 70,000 foreign nationals arrested each year. They comprise, it said, a third of those arrested.
A briefing note, circulated on Friday and seen by the Guardian, specifically highlighted the heightened powers of the Border Force to deal with criminals who had committed offences here, were wanted in other countries or had failed "to comply with the 'being of good behaviour' conditions of their UK residency, by causing harm and risk to others".
Read more: Hugh Muir, The Guardian, Friday 5 October 2012
Crackdown in Bangladesh After Burning of Buddhist Temples
Authorities in Bangladesh have ordered security officials to remain alert around official camps of Rohingya Muslims following weekend attacks on minority Buddhists and their temples in the area.
Some 28,000 Rohingya who fled Burma live in two official camps in the southern Cox's Bazar district, but tens of thousands of others are scattered in the region.
Read more: Indpendent, 02/10/12