Reliance: Staff deporting foreigners out of UK 'loutish and aggressive'
The private company hired by the government to deport foreign nationals has decided to place its own guards under surveillance after concluding that some lack respect for ethnic minorities and women and display "loutish" and "aggressive" behaviour.
The damning assessment of the attitudes and conduct of staff working for Reliance is made in an internal company memo, drawn up by senior managers after the company won the Home Office contract to deport foreign prisoners and refused asylum seekers.
The document, one of a number of internal company records leaked to the Guardian, identifies problems "at all levels of the business" and cites poor communication, peer pressure and use of "inappropriate language" by guards empowered to use force to return foreign nationals.
Read more: guardian.co.uk, 13/04/12
Mobilising Outrage: campaigning with asylum seekers against G4S
A Yorkshire campaign deploys rigorous research to expose and resist the astonishing corporate takeover of BritainÕs 'asylum seeker markets'
Private security firms with records of abuse in managing detention centres and escorting asylum seekers are about to take over as asylum housing landlords and disperse asylum seeker tenants into poor quality private rented housing. This is just part of the relentless rise of the private security company and their networks of privatised taxpayer-funded prison and welfare contracts.
The campaign has sprung from moral outrage and these words from a Sheffield Zimbabwean asylum seeker: ÒI do not want a prison guard as my landlordÓ.
Read more: Our Kingdom - Power & Liberty in Britain
Netherlands: Asylum Seeker Kills Himself to Avoid Deportation
A failed asylum seeker and father of two teenagers has killed himself rather than be deported back to Burundi, the AD reports on Thursday. The family has been in the Netherlands for five years. The childrenÕs mother died during the Burundi civil war, the paper said. The children, a girl aged 12 and boy aged 14, are now being cared for by a foster family. It is unclear whether they will now be allowed to stay in the Netherlands or will still be sent back. The man may have committed suicide to help his children stay in the country, the AD said.
Depression: The man was reportedly suffering from depression because of the pending deportation and had said his life would be ruined if he was sent back. Culemborg council had asked immigration minister Gerd Leers to allow the family to stay last summer but he rejected the appeal. Last year lawyers specialising in asylum cases set up a special group to draw attention to the serious mental health problems among people who fear being deported. Leers told the media last summer 40 asylum seekers have killed themselves in refugee centres since 2002 and there are some 40 attempts a year.
Dutch News, 12/04/12
Report on an unannounced full follow-up inspection of Harmondsworth IRC
'The prison-like design of the new units is regrettable and such an environment will always be unsuitable for people held under immigration powers'
Inspection tool place, 14 - 25 November 2011 by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons. Report compiled February 2012, published Wednesday 11th April 2012 - Download the full report: Harmondsworth 2011.pdf
Inspectors have made 161 both repeated and further recommendations.
[ recommendations contained on pages 79 to 90 and in their totality make grim reading ]
There were only 2 examples of good practice.
Major concerns included:
- the unacceptable practice of taking reserves to charter flight removals persisted.
- About 10% of the population had been held in detention for over a year and the anxiety that flowed from this experience was palpable. Inspectors were therefore concerned to find that the ability to communicate with legal advisors or other support mechanisms, or to see on-site UK Border Agency staff was often limited.
- Rule 35 reports and responses to detainees who may have been the victims of torture or who were unfit to detain were often insufficient;
- much of the new accommodation had been built to prison specifications which was out of keeping with how detainees should be managed;
- A major area for ongoing concern was health care, which remained a source of considerable complaint from detainees.
- Mental health needs were under identified and the inpatients department was described by staff themselves as a 'forgotten world'.
- The poor service we witnessed the last time we visited was still evident in many respects,
- provision of activity had failed to keep pace with the growth of the centre, so most detainees had too little to do;
- systems and structures to deal with violence and bullying were still in need of further development
- On the older units, toilets and showers were in very poor condition
Read more here . . . .
Nigerian woman could die if she is deported from UK, doctors warn
Doctors have warned that a woman who is facing deportation to Nigeria could die within a month if the Home Office goes ahead with plans to remove her from the UK, where her life expectancy is good
Roseline Akhalu, 48, a Nigerian university graduate, came to the UK in 2004 on a Ford Foundation scholarship to do a masters degree in development studies at Leeds University. Soon after arriving she was diagnosed with renal failure and began treatment the following year. In 2009 she had a successful kidney transplant but needs regular hospital check-ups and immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of her life.
The Home Office tried to remove her last month but her solicitor, Hani Zubeidi, launched judicial review proceedings, which are ongoing. The removal was halted pending the outcome of the legal action. She is currently detained in Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre in Bedfordshire.
Reliance, the UK Border Agency subcontractor, has launched an investigation into the way Akhalu was treated en route to Yarl's Wood. She claims that she was refused permission to use the toilet despite her medical condition and despite the presence of a medic alongside the escorts in the van. Zubeidi has requested CCTV from the van but has not yet received it.
Read more: Diane Taylor, guardian.co.uk, Monday 9th April 2012
Nigeria bombing kills 38 in city of Kaduna
A suicide car bomber killed at least 38 people on Sunday morning on a busy road in the Nigerian city of Kaduna, after apparently turning away from churches holding Easter services. Two churches were badly damaged as churchgoers worshipped at an Easter service, the possible target of the bomber. Witnesses said it appeared that the car attempted to enter the compound of the churches, but was blocked by barriers in the street and turned away by a security guard.
Read more: guardian.co.uk, Sunday 8 April 2012
No jail time for birth control
The Honduran Congress is about to vote on a proposal that would send women to jail if they use the morning-after pill -- even for victims of sexual assault. But the President of the Congress can stop this. He's concerned about his international image and his future in politics, so a massive outcry can shame him and stop this attack on women. Click here to sign the petition:
Some Congress members agree that this law -- which would also jail doctors or anyone who sells the pill -- is excessive, but they are bowing to the powerful religious lobby that wrongly claims the morning-after pill constitutes an abortion.
Time is short, but you can stop this awful proposal in its tracks. he Honduran Congress has the final vote on the matter and the government doesn't want to risk its already fragile global reputation. Let's tell the President of the Congress not to make Honduras the region's most repressive country against women.
Sign this urgent petition now:
Palestinian activist wins appeal against deportation
The home secretary was "misled" when she moved to throw a leading Palestinian activist out of the UK, according to an immigration tribunal ruling that strongly criticised her decision and found in favour of his appeal against the government's attempts to deport him.
Sheikh Raed Salah, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, was held in June last year on the orders of Theresa May after he flew into Britain despite being banned from entering the country.
After launching a legal battle against the moves to expel him, he received a letter at the weekend from the Upper Immigration Tribunal stating that the decision to detain him appeared to have been "entirely unnecessary" and that his appeal had succeeded "on all grounds".
Read More: Ben Quinn, The Guardian, Monday 9 April 2012
UKBA: Notifying them of Change of Address/Legal Representative
How you can tell UKBA about a change to your UK contact details or your legal representative's details, using UKBA online forms. Online updating is a fast, simple and secure way of providing this important information.
To update your contact details, go here . . . .
To update your legal representative's details, , go here . . . .
You should only use these forms if you are living in the UK or your application was made in the UK.
May to end immigrant 'abuse' of family rights
New rules to stop foreign criminals avoiding being sent home will come into force in July
The home secretary, Theresa May, is bringing in new immigration rules to end the "abuse" of the right to family life – as enshrined in the European convention on human rights – which allows foreign nationals to stay in the UK despite having committed crimes or breached rules.
May made the decision following a Home Office consultation into article 8 of the convention, concerning the right to respect for private and family life. The government wants to end cases such as that of Joseph Lissa, from Huddersfield, who was branded a war criminal by a judge for activities in his homeland of Sierra Leone, but was allowed to stay in the UK on the grounds he had married a British woman and fathered a child here. Another case was that of Gary Ellis, a violent drug dealer from north London, who twice used article 8 to avoid being sent home to Jamaica.
Read more: Joshua Layton, The Observer, Sunday 8 April 2012
Papua New Guinea: Sexual violence forcing girls out of school
In the Pacific nation of Papua New Guinea (PNG) sexual violence against young girls, and the shame and stigma that follows, is forcing many out of school and others into early marriage.
A recent study by Mˇdecins Sans Fronti¸res (MSF), one of the countryÕs main providers of medical and psychological assistance to survivors of family and sexual violence, showed that from 2008 to 2011, a significant proportion of patients who received treatment as a result of violence were children, some under the age of five.
In the rural settlement of Tari, 31 percent of those who reported violence were between five and 12 years old. In Lae, the second biggest city after the capital, Port Moresby, 26 percent were between the ages of 13 and 17. Almost half of those reporting sexual violence In Lae from January 2008 to June 2010 - some 520 people - were under 18 years old. In Tari, 248 were minors, said Patrick Almeida, MSFÕs medical coordinator. ÒIn both places, in over 70 percent of the cases, the perpetrators were known by the survivors,Ó he added.
Read more: Reliefweb, 06/04/12
Young migrants living 'far below poverty line'
More than 10,000 children of asylum seekers are being forced to live "far below the poverty line" because benefit payments are "shockingly low", according to a report by the Children's Society.
In a bleak assessment of how the welfare system treats asylum seekers, the charity says that in some cases recipients only get "half of what a comparable family would receive in income support". Unlike traditional benefits, which are uprated every year to take inflation into account, welfare payments to asylum seekers are increased at the discretion of politicians. With the UK Border Agency considering whether to raise these benefit levels, charities and senior Liberal Democrats are arguing for a more cash.
Read more: Randeep Ramesh, The Guardian, Monday 9 April 2012
Glasgow Rally and protest / Red Road / Petershill Rd
Stop the evictions - No deportations - End destitution now
Thursday 12 April 5:00 – 7:00pm
Called by Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees, National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns, The Unity Centre, Ypeople Glasgow Residents Association, 'No-Deportations'
Up to 140 Glasgow asylum seekers are to be evicted by their landlord, Ypeople, in the next few weeks, and left without home, and without access to work or any benefits or state support whatsoever. These people have had their claim for asylum refused even though most are unable to return to their countries because they are too dangerous. They include Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia, Zimbabwe and others.
Ypeople, a charity funded to provide accommodation to vulnerable people, claims they have to do this before handing over the housing of asylum seekers to Serco, a giant multinational making money for its shareholders out of running prisons and detention centres. The hand over period runs to November yet Ypeople have decided to evict everyone right now. Community groups say they will not be able to cope.
We call on Ypeople to act with humanity towards these extremely vulnerable people and on Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government to step in and stop this disaster before it happens. What kind of city and what kind of Scotland are they governing that allows this kind of humanitarian outrage to occur?
Finally we call on the British government to honour its international obligations in the spirit as well as the letter by granting protection and the right to work for all people seeking sanctuary.
Come and support the demonstration next Thursday. Bring friends, family, workmates, trade union branches, churches and other organisations, banners, placards etc.
If you wish to add your organisations name to the list of supporters of this demonstration, please reply to this email.
Please circulate this message round your networks.
Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees
Contacts: Margaret – 07870 286 632
Jock – 07896 877 315
From: Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees <firstname.lastname@example.org>