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                                  News & Views - Monday 21st November 2011 to Sunday 27th November 2011

Self-Harm in Immigration detention Q3 2011

There have been three deaths in immigration detention between July and September 2011 inclusive. Two occurred at Colnbrook IRC and one at Campsfield House IRC. All three will be the subject of a Coroner's Inquest and it would be inappropriate to comment on the details in advance of their conclusions.

32 incidents of Self-Harm requiring medical attention

429 individuals being managed as having a risk of self-harm

Full breakdown of incidents can be found here . . . .

Cameroon urged to release men jailed for alleged homosexuality

The Cameroonian authorities must immediately release two men who have been sentenced to five years in prison by a court in Yaounde for homosexual acts, Amnesty International said today. A third man was sentenced without being present after jumping bail. The men were arrested in July after police alleged they were caught in a sexual act in a car.

"People accused of such crimes in Cameroon often face abuse and violence from other detainees or prison officers in detention. The two men must be released immediately and the Cameroonian authorities must repeal the country's discriminatory anti-homosexuality laws," he added.

Amnesty International considers the two men to be prisoners of conscience who are being punished solely because of their perceived sexual orientation. Homosexuality is illegal in Cameroon and the country has recently seen a wave of anti-gay persecution.
Amnesty International, 24/11/11

Libyan rebels detaining thousands illegally

An estimated 7,000 detainees being held, including women, children and black Africans tortured for skin colour. Libya's former rebels have illegally detained thousands of people, including women and children, according to the United Nations secretary general.

Many of the 7,000 prisoners have been tortured, with some black Africans mistreated because of their skin colour, women being held under male supervision and children locked up alongside adults, the report by Ban Ki-moon found.
The Guardian, Thursday 24 November 2011

Children who Entered pre departure accommodation in September 2011

'No-Deportations' requested information from FOI on above

Response from Freedom of Information Team

You have requested information on the 11 children who entered Cedars pre departure accommodation in September 2011. This falls to be dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Management information shows that of the 11 children who entered Cedars in September 2011,

3 children spent 1 day in detention, 2 spent 2 days, 2 spent 4 days, 3 spent 7 days, and the remaining child, having spent 4 days in detention was still detained as at 30 September 2011 (the latest date for which figures have been published on people leaving detention).

Of the 10 children being detained in Cedars who left in September 2011, 7 were removed and 3 were granted temporary admission or release.

The 11 children were in 8 families; of which, 7 comprised of single mothers and 1 comprised of mother and father.

None of the children leaving Cedars in September 2011 were returned to detention again in September 2011 (the latest date for which figures have been published on occurrences of people entering detention).

Conflict Risk Alert: Egypt: The Revolution Returns
The brutal crackdown on demonstrators that has once again shaken Tahrir Square and unleashed protests across Egypt is tragic, yet it also offers a rare chance to get the transition process back on track precisely at the time when there was every indication it was set to derail.

The demonstrators message is clear: power must immediately devolve from the military to a credible, empowered civilian authority. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), persuaded it retains the support of a majority of the people, has tended to respond to pressure incrementally, giving in only after having resisted and then giving in some more. A far wiser course for the authorities and for the country as a whole would be to let the political parties fundamentally revisit the transitional process. Violence against protesters must come to an end, the security sector also needs to come under clear civilian rule, and those guilty of abuses should be brought to account. Anything short of that tinkering with the process in an effort to calm things down or kicking crucial decisions down the road is almost certain to confront the military with intense opposition in the near future, at a time when it could well be in a far weaker position to handle it.
International Crisis Group (ICG), 23/11/11

USA: Children Pay for Crack Down on Illegal Immigrants
In recent years Americans have engaged in fervent debate about our national policies on illegal immigration. We worry about lost jobs, crime, and the cost of illegal immigration nationally and in local communities. We argue about whether immigration should be addressed federally and whether the hardnosed policies of states like Arizona and Alabama have it all right or are dead wrong. Whether we decry illegal immigration or unsafe and exploitative employment, many of us applaud when a raid shuts down a worksite that employs illegal immigrants. But seldom, if ever, do we talk about what happens to the children of illegal immigrants -- children who have broken no laws, who come home from school to find their parents gone. Seldom do we stop to imagine what it might feel like if our children had to worry -- even for a moment -- whether they will ever see us again.

Across the country more and more child welfare agencies are responding to urgent last minute calls to find a place for a child to sleep... a foster home or shelter that can provide care to children of illegal immigrants because their parents are gone. In fact, the Applied Research Center estimates that 5,100 children are now living in foster care because their parents have been detained or deported. Parents who love their children and who, for the most part, have done a good job of caring for them. Yet, our immigration policies do little to reduce the trauma of emergency placement and ensure that these kids stay connected to parents and relatives.
Huffington Post, 22/11/11

Nigerian man unlawfully detained for nine days
A Nigerian man was unlawfully detained by immigration officials when he tried to stay in Northern Ireland on a visitors' visa, the Court of Appeal has ruled. Senior judges backed Emen Bassey's case that he was entitled to come into the United Kingdom because his youngest daughter was born in Belfast.
BBC News, 22 November 2011

Cornelius Lansana - Bounced Back again!

Cornelius only spent four hours in Sierra Leone on Friday before being returned to the UK. As was stated previously, Sierra Leone do not accept he is a citizen of Sierra Leone and no amount of UKBA issuing European Travel Documents for Cornelius is going to make him a citizen. It is time for UKBA to realize that he is unremovable and should be released from detention and give some form of leave to remain.

Egyptian elections in doubt after violent clashes in central Cairo

Egypt's revolution entered a dangerous phase of confrontation on Sunday after the army attacked thousands of anti-junta protesters in Cairo, putting the viability of imminent parliamentary elections in serious doubt.

Several political parties and individual candidates said they were suspending their electoral campaigns after a weekend in which at least thirteen people were killed and almost a thousand injured in some of the fiercest clashes seen since the heady days of February when Hosni Mubarak was ejected from power.

Protesters later retook Tahrir Square, in central Cairo, and vowed to stay put until the military authorities are removed. Many said they were ready to die for the revolution, which began in late January as an anti-Mubarak movement, but is now targeting the army generals of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (Scaf) who replaced him.

Jack Shenker,, Sunday 20 November 2011


Refused asylum seekers 'face torture' in Democratic Republic of the Congo

Human rights charity reports allegations of rape, beatings and electric shock treatment on people forcibly removed from UK. A report by Justice First outlines the cases of 17 adults and nine children forcibly removed from the UK between 2007 and 2011. The report's author, Catherine Ramos, travelled to Congo and recorded video testimonies of some of the interviewees, who are all now in hiding after their escape or release from detention in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa.
Diane Taylor,, Friday 25 November 2011

Egypt: Refugees hit by discrimination, violence amid heightened nationalism

Refugees living in the Egyptian capital Cairo have faced more discrimination and less help from the authorities since a popular uprising overthrew former president Hosni Mubarak, according to community leaders.

Personal safety on Cairo's streets has worsened for Egyptians and foreigners alike since the protests in January and February, which have been re-ignited in recent days - but refugees have been particularly vulnerable.

"Generally, there's no security on the streets," said Klovirt Jalo, chairman of Nuba Mountains International Association, a community organization for the Nuba of Sudan in Cairo.

Although violent incidents have decreased in recent months, incidents of harassment and discrimination towards refugees have not returned to pre-January levels, said Omar, a Somali refugee, who preferred a pseudonym because of the nature of his work. As police crack down on what Egyptian protesters are now calling a second revolution, the situation for refugees could deteriorate.
IRIN, 24 November 2011

Freedom of Information request - Longest lengths of Detention

1 detainee has spent nearly 6 years in detention
5 detainees have been detained over 4 years
11 detainees more than 3 years

Quarter 3: As at 30 September 2011, management information shows that of the 2,909 people detained solely under Immigration Act powers, the 20 longest recorded lengths of detention are:

5.9 years (2,158 days) 1 detainee male
4.8 years (1,760 days) 1 detainee male
4.3 years (1,603 days) 1 detainee male
4.3 years (1,579 days) 1 detainee male
4.2 years (1,540 days) 1 detainee male
4.0 years (1,474 days) 1 detainee male
3.8 years (1,414 days) 1 detainee male
3.6 years (1,346 days) 1 detainee male
3.6 years (1,324 days) 1 detainee male
3.5 years (1,308 days) 1 detainee male
3.5 years (1,298 days) 1 detainee male
3.5 years (1,297 days) 1 detainee male
3.4 years (1,266 days) 1 detainee male
3.4 years (1,255 days) 1 detainee male
3.3 years (1,240 days) 1 detainee male
3.1 years (1,165 days) 1 detainee male
3.1 years (1,162 days) 1 detainee male
2.9 years (1,089 days) 1 detainee male
2.9 years (1,087 days) 1 detainee male
2.9 years (1,064 days) 2 detainees male

The right to leave one's country should be applied without discrimination
Though states have a legitimate authority to regulate immigration, the right of the individual to leave his or her country is an established human right. This right was guaranteed already in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. "Everyone shall be free to leave any country, including his own", is the formulation used in the European Convention on Human Rights (Protocol 4, Article 2). This right is also protected in the constitutions of states in the Balkans.
Commissioner for Human Rights

Migration: Bulgarian and Romanian workers

This written ministerial statement was laid in the House of Commons on 23 November 2011 by Damian Green, and in the House of Lords by Lord Henley.

Minister of State for Immigration (Damian Green): I am confirming today that the restrictions currently applied to Bulgarian and Romanian nationals' employment in the United Kingdom will continue until the end of 2013.
Wednesday, 23 Novemeber 2011

Yarl's Wood to start detaining single men again
Single men will once again be housed at Yarl's Wood immigration centre (pictured right) near Clapham. The detention facility has catered only for single woman and families since it was burnt down in 2002.
Bedfordshire news, 20/11/11

UKBA: Operational Guidance Note: Uganda

Iran: Baha'i Faith

Paul Goggins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the trial of seven Baha'i educators in Iran associated with the Baha'i Institute for Higher Education; and if he will make a statement. [80492]

Alistair Burt: I met with representatives from the Baha'i community in the UK on 15 September to discuss the continuing repression of the Baha'i minority in Iran and to hear reports on the latest situation of the Baha'i Institute of Higher Education, including the trial of seven educators. The closure of the Institute and arrest of members of its staff form part of a wider pattern of harassment of Baha'is in Iran, including the imprisonment of Baha'i leaders. We regularly raise these issues with the Iranian authorities, for example when I met the Iranian Chargé d'Affaires in August this year. We will continue to press the Iranian Government to accord all their people the right to freedom of religion. With our EU partners, the UK has taken co-ordinated action to address Iran's human rights record, imposing travel bans and asset freezes on over 60 Iranians responsible for human rights violations, including Government Ministers and members of the judiciary.
House of Commons / 21 Nov 2011 : Column 48W

Sri Lanka: Army chief is jailed again for speaking out over war crimes

The former chief of Sri Lanka's army was sentenced to three years in prison yesterday after he was convicted of alleging the country's Defence Secretary was involved in war crimes in 2009 at the conclusion of the long conflict with Tamil rebels.

A three-judge bench of the High Court delivered a split verdict in a case relating to an interview Sarath Fonseka gave to a newspaper while campaigning for the presidency later that year. The court found his interview breached emergency laws that were in place. "I reject this decision with disgust," Mr Fonseka said. "I believe that the fair-minded people will correct this mistake one day, otherwise it will remain a black mark in the history of our judiciary."

The allegations centred on a notorious episode, reported by The Independent, which came to be known as the "white flag incident". Supporters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), as well as human rights campaigners, claimed several LTTE members were shot dead while trying to surrender in the final hours of the conflict.
Indpendent, 19/11/11


Last updated 26 November, 2011