No-Deportations - Residence Papers for All

                                                    News & Views - Monday 10th September to Sunday16th 2012

Refugees to be Sent Back to Sri Lanka to Face Torture
The Government is planning to forcibly remove hundreds of Sri Lankan asylum seekers next week despite mounting evidence that many are tortured on their return.

The Independent has learnt that the Border and Immigration Agency has commissioned as many as three separate charter flights to remove more than 300 people next week. Removal directions have been sent out to a numerous evictees stating that two of the flights will take off on Wednesday, with a third planned for Thursday.
Read more: Jerome Taylor, Indpendent, Friday 14 September 2012

Briefing for Legal representatives
Please find attached the latest briefing regarding a group of Sri Lankan Tamils identified by Freedom from Torture as having been tortured in Sri Lanka following their voluntary return from the UK after the end of the country's civil war in May 2009. This briefing will assist individuals, facing forced-removal, on next week's charter flights on Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th November and should be used as basis for fresh or further representations.
Piya D. Muqit, Senior Legal Advisor, Policy and Advocacy Team FFT

Human Rights Violations
In the ongoing debate about the state of human rights across the world, one thing is very clear: without the existence of impartial and independent professions and in the absence of proper systems allowing business people to operate with integrity, no society can truly call itself free or open. In other words, the implementation of basic standards of democracy and human rights at a political level will never be enough. Unless a country has a similar commitment to the free conduct of people offering and carrying out professional services—whether they are lawyers, doctors, teachers, journalists or people undertaking legitimate business—not only is the country in question obstructing freedom, but it is impeding its own economic and social development. Regimes in various parts of the world know that all too well, but they perceive the independence of professions or businesses within their societies as some sort of threat to their own political power.
Read more: Westminister Hall / 12 Sep 2012 : Column 75WH

European Parliament Calls For More 'solidarity' On Asylum Issues
MEPs have adopted a resolution calling for the relocation of internationally protected people in the EU to "take account of their best interests and the need for solidarity" between member states.

The resolution adopted by parliament on Tuesday also calls for more money for asylum policy, joint processing of asylum applications and a stronger role for the European asylum support office (EASO).
Read More:, 11/09/11

'Self-Harm' in Immigration Detention Q2 April/May/June 2012

79 detainees attempted serious self-harm in Q2, this was a 132% increase on the previous quarter in which there were 34 incidents.

Yarl's Wood had 15 detainees Self-Harm in Q2 compared to None in Q1. The number of detainees on formal self-harm risk was 90 in Q2 compared to 51 in Q1.

Morton Hall had 17 detainees Self-Harm in Q2 compared to None in Q1. The number of detainees on formal self-harm risk was 60 in Q2 compared to 39 in Q1.

Colnbrook had 20 detainees Self-Harm in Q2 compared to 3 in Q1. The number of detainees on formal self-harm risk was 65 in Q2 compared to 76 in Q1.

'No-Deportations' requested information regarding self-harm in immigration detention in Quarter 2/2012

Number of incidents of Self-Harm requiring medical treatment Q2/2012
April May June
Brook House 2 3 1
Campsfield House 2 0 0
Colnbrook 10 4 6
Dover 1 4 1
Dungavel 0 0 0
Harmondsworth 0 1 6
Haslar 1 0 1
Morton Hall 9 7 1
Tinsley House 2 2 0
Yarl's Wood 3 8 4
Cedars Pre-departure 0 0 0
Larne 0 0 0
Pennine House 0 0 0
Total 30 29 20
Subtotal 79    

Individuals on Formal Self-Harm at Risk in Immigration Detention Q2/2012
April May June
Brook House 28 28 22
Campsfield House 12 11 11
Colnbrook 24 21 20
Dover 5 8 4
Dungavel 8 11 6
Harmondsworth 17 20 37
Haslar 3 1 2
Morton Hall 19 21 20
Tinsley House 8 11 11
Yarl's Wood 25 30 35
Cedars Pre-departure
Larne 0 0 1
Pennine House 2 3 4
Total   151 165 173
Subtotal Q2 489  



Kenyan Tribal Clashes Leave 116 dead
Deadly clashes in a volatile district on Kenya's coast have raised fears that politicians may be exploiting tribal rivalries before elections in March next year, with some observers also suggesting that weapons and militants from neighbouring Somalia may be involved.

At least 116 people have been killed in the Tana river delta since late August as hundreds of fighters from the Pokomo and Orma tribes, armed with guns, spears and bows and arrows, attacked each other's villages, burning homes and killing people.
Read more: Clar Ni Chonghaile,, 13/09/12

UKBA: Operational Guidance Note: Libya
This document provides UK Border Agency case owners with guidance on the nature and handling of the most common types of claims received from nationals/residents of Libya including whether claims are or are not likely to justify the granting of asylum, Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave. Caseowners must refer to the relevant Asylum Instructions for further details of the policy on these areas.
Published on Refworld, 13/09/12

UKBA: Operational Guidance Note: Burma (Myanmar)
This document provides UK Border Agency case owners with guidance on the nature and handling of the most common types of claims received from nationals/residents of Burma, including whether claims are or are not likely to justify the granting of asylum, Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave. Case owners must refer to the relevant Asylum Instructions for further details of the policy on these areas.
Published on Refworld, 13/09/12

UKBA: Country of Origin Information Report - Sudan
Text of this COI Report contains the most up to date publicly available information as at 1 August 2012 also reports on Sudan published or accessed between 2 August 2012 and 11 September 2012
Published on Refworld, 11/09/12

On the Edge: Roma, Forced Evictions and Segregation in Italy
Amnesty International : The Italian government introduced the "nomad emergency" legislation in 2008, which led to widespread discrimination against and violations of the rights of Roma across the country. it was ruled unlawful by the Council of State, Italy's highest administrative court, in November 2011. however, very little has changed for Roma since. Published on Refworld, 12/09/12

British Schools Most Socially Segregated in the Developed World
Children from immigrant families in the UK face "significant challenges" in schools which are among the most socially segregated in the developed world, a major annual report has found.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), children from immigrant as well as poorer backgrounds are more likely to be clustered in disadvantaged schools than their counterparts in other countries such as France, Sweden and the Netherlands.

The phenomenon is illustrated by statistics in the latest Education at a Glance report, which found that 80% of children of immigrant families in the UK were being taught in schools with large numbers of other immigrant or disadvantaged pupils – the highest proportion of any country in the survey and significantly above the OECD average of 68%.
Read More: Lizzy Davies,, Tuesday 11 September 2012

Glasgow - No Evictions No Destitution
Rally and Lobby
Thursday 13 September 12:30 – 1:30
City Chambers George Square, Glasgow

Garden Court Chambers - Immigration Law Bulletin - Issue 291

Iraq: Wave of attacks kills 88
A wave of more than 30 attacks across Iraq killed 88 people and wounded more than 400 on Saturday and Sunday, security and medical sources said, with the security forces and markets among the targets. The latest violence brings the number of people killed already this month to 118, according to an AFP tally.
Read more: Reliefweb, 09/09/12

Government Concerns over G4S & Serco to House Asylum Seekers
Home Office ministers have ordered weekly reports on the progress of two new contracts with the private security companies G4S and Serco to house and provide support services for thousands of asylum seekers and their families.

The chief executive of the UK Border Agency (UKBA), Rob Whiteman, has confirmed that serious concerns about the ability of the two companies to find housing for thousands of asylum seekers across the north of England by November has led to closer monitoring at the most senior levels of the Home Office.
Alan Travis,, Sunday 9 September 2012

DR Congo [Mistreatment of Returned Asylum Seekers Unfounded]
Mr Swire: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office continues to monitor the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). We are aware of reports of allegations that failed asylum seekers from the DRC have been subject to mistreatment on return, but the FCO and the Home office have found no reliable evidence to substantiate these allegations. Should the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or UKBA receive any specific allegations that a returnee has experienced harm or ill-treatment after being returned to the DRC from the UK, these allegations would be investigated in partnership with UKBA. 
House of Commons / 7 Sep 2012 : Column 465W

DR Congo [500,000 Internally Displaced this Year]
Mr Duncan: Conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has displaced approximately 500,000 people since the start of the year. 2012 has seen a significant deterioration in DRC's humanitarian situation, with large numbers of people forced to flee their homes and livelihoods, brutal attacks on civilians by a number of armed groups, and serious cholera and measles epidemics among displaced populations.
House of Commons / 7 Sep 2012 : Column 477W

Serbia Not Considered to be a Safe Third Country of Asylum
79. UNHCR has worked closely and intensively with the Serbian asylum authorities both before and after Serbia assumed responsibility for the conduct of the asylum procedure in April 2008. Despite some incremental improvements notably with regard to reception standards, Serbia's asylum system has been unable to cope with the recent increases in the numbers of asylum applicants. This has exposed significant shortcomings in numbers of personnel, expertise, infrastructure, implementation of the legislation and government support. The increase in the number of asylum-seekers has also brought to light shortcomings in the structural relationship between the Asylum Office managed by the MoI, and the Asylum Centres, managed independently by the SCR; at the time of this writing, the capacity (available bed space) in the Asylum Centres remains linked to accessing the asylum procedure. The current system is manifestly not capable of processing the increasing numbers of asylum seekers in a manner consistent with international and EU norms. These shortcomings, viewed in combination with the fact that there has not been a single recognition of refugee status since April 2008, strongly suggest that the asylum system as a whole is not adequately recognizing those in need of international protection.

80. There is a need to set up a fair and efficient asylum procedure that is not only consistent with the existing legislative framework, but is also capable of adequately processing the claims of the increasing number of asylum-seekers in a manner consistent with international standards. This would require greater investment of resources by the government, continued and dedicated engagement with UNHCR and other relevant international actors, particularly concerning the asylum procedure, and deepened coordination among the respective ministries.

81. Until such a system is fully established in Serbia, for the reasons stated above, UNHCR recommends that Serbia not be considered a safe third country of asylum, and that countries therefore refrain from sending asylum-seekers back to Serbia on this basis.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Published on Refworld, 07/09/12

Launching the Post-Deportation Monitoring Network

Contributed by Leana Podeszfa of the Fahamu Refugee Programme and Sarah Eldridge of City of Sanctuary, Sheffield.

A new initiative has been launched to track what happens to failed asylum seekers after they have been deported. It aims to provide channels of support for deportees when they arrive in their countries of origin and build a body of evidence to inform policy in countries that deport failed asylum seekers. The project will be hosted by Fahamu Refugee Programme and aims to establish a network of NGOs and individuals identified via the website, who will serve as points of contact to link with counterparts in countries of origin.

This initiative is necessary because most states deny any responsibility for asylum seekers once they have been processed by their systems and deemed to be not at risk of persecution, torture or inhumane and degrading treatment. However, refugee support groups believe many deportees have genuine claims but are unable to prove them due to a lack of, or inadequate, legal representation.

What happens to failed asylum seekers after they have been deported is largely unrecorded, but evidence collected by human rights organisations suggests that deportees, often identified by their distinctive 'travel documents', are frequently detained on arrival and transferred directly to prison, where many are subjected to torture and degrading treatment. For example, Justice First reports harassment, imprisonment and torture of deportees to the Democratic Republic of Congo by state authorities upon return (Ramos 2011). The Refugee Law Project in Uganda similarly finds that deportees are arrested if they are suspected of politically dissident activities; some have even disappeared (Lyodu 2010). Both organisations have also reported that deportees were harassed, arrested and tortured simply for the act of having claimed asylum abroad. Indeed, in a number of countries, claiming asylum in another state is seen as an act of treason.

UKBA: Operational Guidance Note: China
This document provides UKBA case owners with guidance on the nature and handling of the most common types of claims received from nationals/residents of China, including whether claims are or are not likely to justify the granting of asylum, Humanitarian Protection or Discretionary Leave. Case owners must refer to the relevant Asylum Instructions for further details of the policy on these areas.

ARC Country of Origin Information Volume 40
This document provides an update of Country Guidance case law and UKBA publications between 23/07/2012 and 03/09/2012 and developments in refugee producing countries between 27/08/2012 and 09/09/2012.
Asylum Research Consultancy, 10/09/12

Where Religious Persecution is Sufficiently Serious, Refugee Status must be Granted

European Court of Justice: Judgment in Joined Cases C-71/11 and C-99/11 Bundesrepublik Deutschland v Y and Z

Certain forms of serious interference with the public manifestation of religion may constitute persecution for reasons of religion

Where that persecution is sufficiently serious, refugee status must be granted

Pursuant to the Directive on the status of refugees, Member States must, in principle, grant refugee status to third country nationals who fear persecution in their country of origin for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership of a particular social group. An act may be considered as persecution if it is sufficiently serious by its nature or repetition as to constitute a severe violation of basic human rights.

The Muslim Ahmadiyya community is an Islamic reformist movement. In Pakistan, the Criminal Code provides that members of the Ahmadiyya religious community may face imprisonment of up to three years or a fine if they claim to be Muslim, describe their faith as Islam, preach or propagate or invite others to accept their faith. The same code provides that any person who defiles the name of the Prophet Mohammed may be punished by death or life imprisonment and a fine.

Y and Z, Pakistani nationals, currently live in Germany where they applied for asylum and protection as refugees. They are members of the Ahmadiyya community and claim that they were forced to leave Pakistan because of their membership of that community. In particular, Y stated that on several occasions he had been beaten in his home village by a group of people and had stones thrown at him at his community's place of prayer. Those people threatened to kill him and reported him to the police for insulting the Prophet Mohammed. Z claimed that he was mistreated and imprisoned as a result of his religious beliefs.

The German authorities rejected Y and Z's applications for asylum, finding that the restrictions on the public practice of faith imposed on Ahmadis in Pakistan do not constitute persecution for the purposes of the right of asylum.

The Bundesverwaltungsgericht (Federal Administrative Court, Germany), before which the disputes have been brought, asks the Court of Justice to specify what restrictions on the practice of a religion may be considered as persecution justifying the grant of refugee status.

In today's judgment, the Court finds, first, that only certain forms of severe interference with the right to freedom of religion, and not any interference with that right, may constitute an act of persecution requiring the competent authorities to grant refugee status. Hence, limitations on the exercise of that right which are provided by law cannot be considered as persecution as long as the essence of the right is respected. Moreover, even the violation of the right constitutes an act of persecution only if it is sufficiently serious and has a significant effect on the person concerned.
Read the full legal briefing here . . . .

Last updated 15 September, 2012