Garden Court Chambers - Immigration Law Bulletin - Issue 257
Irish judge's ruling on pregnant Pakistani asylum seeker
A High Court judge in Dublin has ruled that an eight-months pregnant Pakistani woman seeking asylum in the Irish Republic cannot be transferred by sea or air to the UK. However, Mr Justice Gerard Hogan said she could be transferred to Northern Ireland by road. This was on the understanding that she will not be removed from the island of Ireland while awaiting the birth.
Rizwana Aslam, 27, arrived in the Irish Republic via the UK in February. She applied for asylum, claiming that as a member of the Ahmadi faith, she would face religious persecution in Pakistan. In September, she was told she would be transferred to the UK to apply for asylum there as it was her original point of entry into Europe.
BBC News, 29 December 2011
Solidarity Demonstration for Ruhul Anam
Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th January 2012
Assemble 09:00 am both days
Nottingham Magistrate Court
Demonstration called by, Friends of Ruhul Anam, Nottingham No-Borders, 'No-Deportations'.
Please come and support Ruhul Anam at his immigration hearing at Nottingham Magistrates Courts on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th Jan 2011. The hearings are scheduled to begin at 10:00 am on both days.
Ruhul has been in detention since March 2008, 3 years and 9 months. The Court of Appeal has found that his detention from May 2008 to August 2009 was unlawful and he has been awarded nominal damages, the amount yet to be decided. He will now challenge UKBA that the continued detention from May 2009 to date has also been unlawful.
Ruhul has requested that we demonstrate against the injustice of his long period of detention and he hopes that you can be there.
Messages of Support/Solidarity to:
Ruhul Anam <email@example.com>
European Court of Justice holds that EU Charter of Fundamental Rights binding on UK
The Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has delivered its judgment in the landmark case of Saeedi/NS (C411/10) deciding fundamental questions about Member States' obligations under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and whether the Charter binds the UK. 13 Member States intervened along with the European Commission, UNHCR, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International/AIRE. An Irish reference, ME, was joined with NS. The Grand Chamber's ruling was handed down on 21st December 2011 deciding a number of fundamental issues.
No UK 'opt out' from the Charter
The UK along with Poland had negotiated a Protocol to the Lisbon Treaty (which made the Charter binding) that then Prime Minister Tony Blair claimed was an opt-out. At the summit which agreed the Lisbon Treaty, the BBC reported: "The four essential things that we in the UK required in order to protect our position have all been obtained," said Tony Blair at the end of his last EU summit as British prime minister. "Those were first of all to make it absolutely clear that the charter on fundamental rights was not going to be justiciable in British courts or alter British law."
Read full briefing provided by Sonal Ghelani
Poland announces amnesty for illegal immigrants
Thousands of illegal immigrants will be allowed to stay and work in Poland under an amnesty unveiled on Thursday that highlights the country's transformation into a regional economic powerhouse from communist-era basket case.
Traditionally a country of emigration, Poland has become an increasingly attractive magnet for immigrants, especially from neighboring former Soviet republics such as Ukraine and Belarus, as it notches up high rates of economic growth.
Under the amnesty, economic migrants and unsuccessful asylum seekers will be able from January 1 to receive a resident card for two years that will allow them to work legally in Poland.
Read more: Joanna Bronowicka, Reuters, 29/12/11
Pakistan: Government Fails to Combat Violence against women
Concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women: While commending the State party for the range of efforts to address violence against women, including the enactment of the Domestic Violence Act, Prevention of Cruelty to Women and Children Act, Acid Crime Control Act, Child Marriage Restraint Act and the Dowry Prohibition Act, the Committee remains concerned that the prevalence of violence against women and girls, including domestic violence, rape, acid throwing, dowry-related violence, fatwa-instigated violence, and sexual harassment in the workplace persist in the country. The Committee notes with concern the limited number of shelters and One Stop crisis-centres as it views these to be inadequate in responding to the needs of the victims of violence against women. The Committee also notes with concern that despite the High Court's decision that the extrajudicial punishments fatwas are illegal, there are reports of illegal penalties being enforced through shalish rulings to punish "anti-social and immoral behaviour". The Committee also regrets the absence of data and information on all forms of violence against women as well as the absence of studies and/or surveys on the extent of such violence and its root causes.
Read the full report: CEDAW
UN voices concern at reports of human rights abuses in Côte d'Ivoire
The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Côte d'Ivoire today voiced deep concern about reports of numerous human rights violations by members of the country's armed forces. Members of the armed forces, known as FRCI, are accused of carrying out rapes, acts of torture, armed robberies and other abuses in several locations in recent weeks, according to Kenneth Blackman, a spokesperson for the mission (UNOCI).
UN News Service, 29 December 2011
Bomb attacks across Nigeria kill at least 40
A series of bomb attacks by the Muslim radicals Boko Harem aimed at churches across Nigeria has killed at least 40 people. Boko Haram, a group with ties to al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attacks, as they continued to escalate a campaign against moderate Muslims, Christians and Western influence. Nicknamed the Nigerian Taliban, they have become of increasing concern to British intelligence and are responsible for at least 500 killings this year.
Read more: Telegraph, 25/12/11
61 dead in northeast Nigeria violence
At least 61 people have been killed during several days of fighting in northeast Nigeria between security forces and a radical Muslim sect responsible for a series of increasingly bloody attacks in Africa's most populous nation, authorities said today.
The fighting between suspected members of the sect known as Boko Haram and a joint task force of police and military began on Thursday in Borno and Yobe states in Nigeria's arid northeast corner bordering Cameroon, Chad and Niger. The fighting left residents cowering in their homes amid gunfire and explosions.
Read more: Indpendent, 24/12/11
UKBA detention capacity @ 26th December 2011
As of today there are a total of 3,410 bed spaces, in Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs) and Short Term Holding Facilities (STHFs).
A sizable number of prison bed spaces are occupied by persons off the end of criminal sentences (have reached their release date) and continue to be detained as immigration offenders, awaiting deportation or transfer to a detention centre. UKBA no longer release the numbers of those held in prison/police cells as immigration offenders.
Eight IRCs and 4 STHFs are owned/managed or managed by private corporations, Four IRCs owned by the Prison Service/managed under DCR.
Campsfield House IRC MITIE care and custody Bed spaces: 216 male detainees
Harmondsworth IRC GEO Group Bed spaces 615 male detainees
Dungavel House IRC GEO Bed spaces 190 Mixed, male, female
Yarl's Wood IRC Serco Bed spaces 405 Female detainees
Colnbrook IRC Serco Bed spaces 383 male detainees ( STHC 40 beds male/40 beds female)
Brook House IRC G4S Bed spaces 426 male detainees
Tinsley House IRC G4S Bed spaces 146 Male Detainees
Dover IRC HM Prison Service Bed spaces 316 male detainees
Haslar IRC HM Prison Service Bed spaces 160 male detainees
Lindholme IRC HM Prison Service Bed spaces 112 male detainees
Morton Hall IRC HM Prison Service Bed spaces 392 male detainees
Manchester STHF G4S Bed spaces 32
Queens Buildings (Heathrow) STHF G4S Bed spaces 15
Addresses/phone/fax/visiting times for all the above can be found here: