Freda Nsumba - Removal Stayed Again
An injunction has again stopped Freda flying, though she remains in Detention
[Yarl's Wood Movement for Justice group has now grown to 25 members. The women are growing not just in numbers but in strength; it is their action inside Yarls Wood, supporting each other, learning from each other, discussing legal and campaigning tactics and fighting with each other to stay strong; combined with the support and fight of a movement outside - everyone who signed the petition, everyone who has demonstrated, everyone whose taken action to demand airlines do not fly these women . . . . . that has led to these victories.]
Eddie Mubiru Has Made Bail
Dear all my supporters, am glad to inform you that I have been granted bail today 920/09/12). Thank you for your support in my immigration matters.
I hope to keep in touch with you all.
Kind regards, Eddie Mubiru / email@example.com
UNHCR: Guidelines relating to the Detention of Asylum-Seekers
These Guidelines are intended to provide guidance to governments, parliamentarians, legal practitioners, decision-makers, including the judiciary, as well as other international and national bodies working on detention and asylum matters, including non-governmental organisations, national human rights institutions and UNHCR staff.
The Guidelines are available online at:
Treatment of Roma/Migrants In Italy Raise Serious Concerns
"Lengthy proceedings and the treatment of Roma and migrants in Italy raise serious human rights concerns" said today Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, releasing a report based on the findings of his visit to Italy carried out on 3-6 July. "It is high time that durable solutions be found to the excessive length of court proceedings, which is a long-standing human rights problem in Italy, generating the highest number of so-called repetitive cases lodged before the European Court of Human Rights." The Commissioner stressed that no solution to this problem is likely to work "unless it benefits from the full collaboration of all stakeholders, including the Ministry of Justice, the High Council of the Judiciary, as well as judges, prosecutors and lawyers".
Read more: Nils Muiznieks, Commissioner for Human Rights
Lynda Onuorah - Brought back from Airport
On Friday 14th September Lynda Onuorah's phone was taken from her and she was driven to Heathrow Airport due to be forcibly put on a flight to Nigeria. It was becoming clear to the other women in the MFJ YArls Wood group that there was much more to Lynda's story than she had so far told. other women who have been victims of trafficking recognised some of the common features of what had happened to her - the man who she had been sold into marriage took her to a shrine before sending her to the UK to get her to swear her loyalty to him and once in the UK he would 'send' men to her for sex.
As is so often the case for women who have been abused, raped and trafficked Lynda felt deeply ashamed and it has taken her a long time to be able to tell the truth of what happened to her. This information will constitute a fresh claim for Lynda and on the basis of last minute assertions of this, Lynda was taken back to Yarls Wood before being forced to board the plane.
Once again this case shows the absolute inhumanity and injustice of a system that places people on 'fast track' to deportation when those who have been through trauma need time and a feeling of safety to disclose what they have been through fully.
Many thanks to all who supported
Karen Doyle / Movement for Justice <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Europe's Thirst For Biofuels Spells Hunger For Millions
Land used to power European cars with biofuels for one year could produce enough wheat and maize to feed 127 million people. In a new GROW campaign report, The Hunger Grains, Oxfam warns that Europe's growing appetite for biofuels is pushing up global food prices and driving people off their land, resulting in deeper hunger and malnutrition in poor countries.
Read more: Reliefweb, 17/09/12
Garden Court Chambers - Immigration Law Bulletin - Issue 292
Deaths In Immigratin Detention - Prisons/Probation Ombudsm
Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs) - Extract from the report
In 2011-12, we investigated the deaths of four detainees in IRCs (one man died after he was released). Of these, three deaths were from natural causes, and one was apparently self-inflicted. This is an increase from 2010-11, when two detainees died. In the four years prior to that, there had been no deaths in IRCs.
Two of the natural cause deaths occurred in the same IRC, although both these detainees had transferred from a different IRC shortly before their deaths. In both cases, we found that healthcare provision at the first IRC was deficient. Deficiencies were identified in the emergency response arrangements in two cases. In three cases, we found that elements of the immigration casework had not been progressed as well as they might have been. While deaths in IRCs remain relatively rare, it is clear that similar issues recur across the estate and we hope that UKBA and the IRCs will seek to learn the lessons from deaths no matter where they occur.
Mr P was an illegal entrant who was arrested trying to leave the UK using a forged document. After claiming asylum, he was taken to an IRC for his application to be processed. However, he then withdrew his application, deciding he wanted to return home.
While waiting for UKBA staff to arrange his return, he complained of headaches but was unable to see healthcare staff. He was transferred to another IRC, but three days later his roommate pressed the cell bell as Mr P was having chest pains. Healthcare staff attended and gave him Gaviscon, and told him he would see a doctor later that morning. However, two hours later his condition deteriorated and, despite attempts by staff to resuscitate him, Mr P died.
We made 14 recommendations as a result of this investigation. Among these, we made three recommendations directly related to the emergency response, including further training for staff in recognising the signs of possible emergencies such as heart attacks and training in the use of defibrillators. We also recommended that UKBA ensured that the cases of those who wanted to leave the UK are expedited.
Mr Q was a failed asylum seeker who was also arrested trying to leave the United Kingdom. After serving a prison sentence, he was released but immediately arrested by the police. He was returned to immigration detention but, when it was realised that there were still outstanding police enquiries, arrangements were made for him to be released. However, shortly before his release (when he was to be arrested again for different matters), he was found hanging.
We made six recommendations. Two of these related to the quality of the emergency response and recommended that further training be provided. Another related to the circumstances of Mr Q's detention. In common with Mr P's case, we also recommended that further efforts were made to obtain details of next-of-kin when detainees were received into IRCs.
?Immigration detention: We investigated 76 complaints from immigration detainees during the year. Many were similar to those from prisoners, with a third being about property.
But we have also investigated some serious complaints of assault by staff. There was the case of Ms B on page 32 and the following investigation into assault.
Ms Y complained that she had been assaulted by escorting staff8 and left with her hands cuffed behind her back for over five hours. An investigation carried out by UKBA's Professional Standards Unit found that Ms Y had been handcuffed as she described because the escorting staff had lost the key to the cuffs, and recommended that she receive an apology. It went on to find that CCTV was not working in the escort van when the alleged assault occurred, and concluded that Ms Y's allegation of assault could not be substantiated.
We took the view that UKBA's investigation had been inadequate for such a serious complaint in that neither Ms Y, nor the staff involved had been interviewed. We were extremely concerned to learn that the CCTV in the escort van did not function when the engine was turned off, since, in the nature of things, most incidents that may give rise to complaint – restraints and the application of handcuffs – will take place when the vehicle is stationary. We were also disappointed to find that the escort contractors had refused to apologise to Ms Y for the fact that her hands were cuffed behind her back for five hours. They argued that, even if the escort staff had not lost the key, she would have been handcuffed anyway because of her behaviour. We did not accept this – the evidence from the escorts themselves was that Ms Y was asleep for most of the time. We recommended that UKBA ensure that CCTV operates in escort vehicles for the whole time a detainee is in them and this has been accepted. We also recommended that UKBA apologise to Ms Y for the shortcomings in their investigation and we await a response.
Government Immigration Watchdog Wants More Children Detained
More routine use should be made of a controversial "child-friendly" detention centre for families facing removal from Britain, according to a new Home Office watchdog.
The independent family returns panel says that the child welfare charity Barnardo's, which provides welfare services at the G4S-run Cedars "pre-departure centre", should drop its "red line" that it should only be used as a last resort and that no more than 10% of the families facing removal should be held there.
The first annual report from the panel, which is chaired by a former social services director, says that immigration and private security staff should be given the right to use force to restrain teenage children who aggressively try to resist the removal of themselves and their families.
Alan Travis, guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 19 September 2012
UK Asylum Process For Children Labelled 'Traumatic'
Children who come to the UK alone to seek asylum find the experience confusing, stressful and traumatic, a report suggests. The study by the Children's Society found there was a "culture of disbelief" among immigration staff dealing with children's asylum claims. It calls for a series of improvements to give young applicants more support. The UK Border Agency said it was already addressing many of the issues raised in the report
Read more: Danny Shaw, BBC News, 21/09/12
Serco Gave NHS False Data About its GP Service 252 times
Serco, the leading private contractor to the government, has admitted that it presented false data to the NHS 252 times on the performance of its out-of-hours GP service in Cornwall.
Read more: Felicity Lawrence, The Guardian, 20/09/12
'Bounty Hunters' Hired To Hunt Down Illegal Immigrants
Services company Capita has won a government contract to help find and remove more than 150,000 migrants who have overstayed their visas, it has been revealed. The payment-by-results deal is worth up to £40m, chief executive of the UK Border Agency Rob Whiteman told MPs.
Read more: BBC News, 18/09/12
Resist Privatizing Asylum Seeker Services Throughout the UK
A model motion unanimously opposing the privatization of services to asylum seekers was agreed by Ashiana, Boaz Trust, Eagles Wing Bury, Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees, Imperial War Museum, Manchester Coalition Against Cuts(MCAC), Manchester National Union of Journalists(NUJ), No to G4S, RAPAR, Revive, Salford City Unison Branch and Women Asylum Seekers Together
You can access the full text of the motion below.
GRETA publishes report on 'Trafficking' the United Kingdom
The UK has taken a number of important steps in the fight against human trafficking, according to a report published by the Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA). However, more needs to be done to ensure that the overall approach is focused on the victims of trafficking and their rights as human beings. The report calls on the UK authorities to further strengthen mechanisms for identifying victims and to make sure that people who have been trafficked are treated primarily as victims of serious human rights abuses. For example, it stresses that victims should have full access to support mechanisms, regardless of when the trafficking actually took place, and that they should not be prosecuted for offences committed as a result of their being trafficked.
Download the full report here . . . .
Bangladesh: Discriminatory Family Laws Fuel Female Poverty
Reforms Should Tackle Failings of Courts, Laws, and Assistance Programs: Bangladesh's discriminatory personal laws on marriage, separation, and divorce trap many women and girls in abusive marriages or drive them into poverty when marriages fall apart, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. In many cases these laws contribute to homelessness, hunger, and ill-health for divorced or separated women and their children. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have recorded significantly higher levels of food insecurity and poverty among female-headed Bangladeshi households. "Bangladesh is world famous for programs meant to reduce women's poverty, yet for decades it has ignored how discriminatory personal laws drive many women into poverty,"
Read more: Human Rights Watch, Monday 17th Setember 2012
Hundreds of 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
Freedom From Torture: 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