Sri Lanka Charter Flight - 15:30 Tuesday 28th February
Credible Allegations of Arrest and Torture upon Return
Human Rights Watch calls for Halt to Deportations of Tamils to Sri Lanka
Human Rights Watch, 25th February 2012
The British government has an international legal obligation not to deport people who have a credible fear of torture upon return. Convincing reports of arbitrary arrests and torture demand that the UK government suspend returns of rejected Tamil asylum seekers to Sri Lanka until it can fairly and thoroughly assess their individual claims based on up-to-date human rights information on Sri Lanka.
Brad Adams, Asia director
The United Kingdom should suspend deportations of ethnic Tamil asylum seekers to Sri Lanka and immediately review its policies and information about the country's rights situation used to assess their claims, Human Rights Watch said today. Research by Human Rights Watch has found that some returned Tamil asylum seekers from the United Kingdom have been subjected to arbitrary arrest and torture upon their return to Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan Government calls for street protests against USA
The government here has mobilised street protests against the possible US move. Colombo has asserted that it has already started implementing the recommendations of its own accountability probe by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) on the country's rights record during the LTTE conflict. The TNA said the government's predicament vis a vis the international community was due to its own failures. "The Sri Lankan State has a notorious reputation for failure to fulfil commitments it makes, and for not making public reports of processes which could hold it accountable
Attacks against Dissent Sri Lanka - Incidents in 2011
By Watchdog, 24 February 2012
Human Rights Defenders in Sri Lanka continue to suffer attacks and intimidation through 2011 and 2012. This submission focuses on incidents in 2011. Impunity for attacks and threats against HRDs, labeling HRDs as 'terrorists' or traitors, the campaign against HRDs in the State media and linking these to their participation/involvement in of the UN Human Rights Council have significantly increased the risks involved in defending human rights in Sri Lanka.
Several HRDs have been forced to limit their work/maintain a low profile or seek protection abroad. HRDs working in the North and East are particularly vulnerable to persecution and often lack access to the limited protection available to HRDs in the South.
Draft USA Resolution on Sri Lanka to be presented at UNHRC session
Expressing concern that the LLRC report does not adequately address serious allegations of violations of international law, and expressing serious disappointment that the Government of Sri Lanka has not fulfilled its relevant legal obligations and stated commitment to initiate credible and independent investigations and prosecutions of those responsible for such violations,
1. Calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to implement the constructive recommendations in the LLRC report and additionally to take immediate steps to fulfill its relevant legal obligations and stated commitment to address serious allegations of violations of international law by initiating credible and independent investigations and prosecutions of those responsible for such violations,
2. Requests that the Government of Sri Lanka present a comprehensive action plan before the 20th session of the Human Rights Council detailing the steps the Government has taken and will take to implement the LLRC recommendations and also to address alleged violations of international law,
3. Encourages the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and relevant special mandate holders to provide, and the Government of Sri Lanka to accept, advice and technical assistance on implementing those steps.
Immigration Statistics Q4 October/November/December 2011
UKBA released on 23/02/12 their latest immigration statistics from Home Office administrative sources, covering October/November/December 2011 and the complete data can be sourced <http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/science-research-statistics/research-statistics/immigration-asylum-research/immigration-q4-2011/>here . . . .
Please take serious note: The number of children being detained is rising again, from 6 in October last year to 28 in January
- Removals and voluntary departures:
- Persons entering/leaving detention
- Family Return Process / Children Entering Detention
- Applications for Asylum Q4
- Section 4/95/98 support Q4
Removals and voluntary departures:
The number of people removed or departing voluntarily during 2011 was 52,526, down 13% from 60,244 during 2010. This fall can mostly be accounted for by low numbers forcibly removed or departing voluntarily in 2011 (down from 41,968 in 2010 to 36,970), particularly in the second and third quarters of 2011. Port removals in 2011 were also down on 2010. However, the fourth quarter (13,661 people removed) of 2011 showed some signs of recovery on numbers forcibly removed or departing voluntarily, with levels similar to those seen in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Number of persons removed from the UK Q4
13,661 of which 2,321 were asylum cases
Top ten nationalities
United States 541
Sri Lanka 327
1,018 foreign national offenders were removed
Total number of persons removed in 2011
52,526 of which 8,869 were Asylum cases
Male 37,063 - Female 15,253
Children under 14 - 871
Children 14 to 17 - 294
Top ten nationalities
United States 2,376
Sri Lanka 1,081
4,522 foreign national offenders were removed
During the fourth quarter of 2011, 6,861 people entered immigration detention. This was an 11% increase from the 6,161 in the fourth quarter of 2010. Of these 6,861, 41 were children, which compares with 34 in the fourth quarter of 2010, although the number of children entering detention has fallen considerably from the levels seen prior to December 2010. The majority of the 41 children entered the new pre-departure accommodation, which are specifically designed for children and their families. There were no children in detention as at 31 December 2011.
Persons entering/leaving detention Q4 Oct/Nov/Dec 2011
In Q4 October/November/December 2011
7,307 persons entered detention of these 3,379 were asylum detainees
4,569 persons upon leaving detention were deported
2,738 leaving detention were returned to their communities 37%
10 highest nationalities detained in Q4
Sri Lanka 91
From January to December 2011
27,112 persons entered detention of which asylum detainees were 12,688
10 highest nationalities detained in 2011
Sri Lanka 935
16,825 persons upon leaving detention were deported
10,287 leaving detention were returned to their communities 38%
Family Return Process / Children Entering Detention
Cedars Pre-Departure Accommodation & Tinsley House
October Cedars 3 Tinsley House 3
November Cedars 10 Tinsley House 4
December Cedars 10 Tinsley House 6
January Cedars 17 Tinsley House 11
Information on the family cases that have been put through the new family returns process. Following the government commitment to ending the detention of children for immigration purposes, and the subsequent review in December 2010, a new family return process was rolled out nationally from 1 March 2011. Detailed guidance on the process can be found in Chapter 45 of the enforcement instructions and guidance. The data in this first report includes family cases from the pilot (in the North West and London regions from 17 June 2010) and family cases that were put through the new family return process nationally from the 1 March 2011 until 31 December 2011. Further key data will be published every 6 months. For example, data from 1 January 2012 to 30 June 2012 will be published in August 2012. An overall evaluation of the new process will be published in late 2012.
Download data for 2011 and pilot data
The fourth quarter of 2011 had the highest quarterly number of asylum applications (5,261) since the second quarter of 2009. Overall asylum applications were up 11% in 2011 (19,804) compared to 2010 (17,916), with each quarter in 2011 being higher than the one 12 months earlier. This was mainly due to an increase in applications from nationals of Pakistan, Libya and Iran. Asylum applications continue to be significantly lower than levels seen in the early 2000s.
Top ten Nationalities applying for asylum Q4 -2011
Sri Lanka 447
Top ten Nationalities applying for asylum -2011
Sri Lanka 1,758
Section 4/95/98 support Q4
20,894 Asylum seekers were in receipt of Section 95 support, by local authority, as at 31st December 2011
18,108 In dispersed accommodation
2,786 In receipt of subsistence only
Top ten nationalities
Sri Lanka 1382
Asylum seekers in receipt of Section 4 support - 2,310
Asylum seekers in receipt of Section 98 support - 962