Children in Detention December 2013
A total of 24 children were detained in December 2013, 13 were detained in Tinsley House IRC on arrival in the UK and 11 were detained pending deportation in the Cedars.
UK - State Pension/Incapacity/Job Seekers Allowance - to low
The Council of Europe has issued its' findings on UK's Compliance with European Social Charter, Article 12- Right to Social Security
European Committee of Social Rights/ Conclusions XX-2 (2013) (United Kingdom)
Article 12 - Right to social security
The Committee concludes that the situation in United Kingdom is not in conformity with Article 12§1 of the Charter on the ground that:
- the minimum levels of short-term and long-term incapacity benefit is manifestly inadequate;
- the minimum level of state pension is manifestly inadequate;
- the minimum level of job seeker's allowance are manifestly inadequate.
Full report can be found <> here . . . .
Eighth Year of Decline in Political Rights and Civil Liberties
Worst of the Worst: Ten countries given the lowest possible rating for both political rights and civil liberties.
Central African Republic / Somalia / Equatorial Guinea / Sudan / Eritrea / Syria / North Korea / Turkmenistan / Saudi Arabia / Uzbekistan
The state of freedom declined for the eighth consecutive year in 2013, according to Freedom in the World 2014, Freedom House's annual country-by-country report on global political rights and civil liberties.
Particularly notable were developments in Egypt, which endured across-the-board reversals in its democratic institutions following a military coup. There were also serious setbacks to democratic rights in other large, politically influential countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Venezuela, and Indonesia.
Findings of the 41st edition of Freedom in the World, the oldest, most authoritative report of democracy and human rights, include:
Fifty-four countries showed overall declines in political rights and civil liberties, compared with 40 that showed gains.
For the eighth consecutive year, Freedom in the World recorded more declines in democracy worldwide than gains.
Some leaders effectively relied on "modern authoritarianism," crippling their political opposition without annihilating it, and flouting the rule of law while maintaining a veneer of order, legitimacy, and prosperity.
Central to modern authoritarians is the capture of institutions that undergird political pluralism. They seek to dominate not only the executive and legislative branches, but also the media, judiciary, civil society, economy, and security forces.
Freedom House: < >Freedom in the World 2014
Iran: UN Rights Experts 'Alarmed' At Sharp Increase In Hangings
Independent United Nations human rights expert today called on the Government of Iran to urgently halt executions, given reports that at least 40 people have been hanged so far this year. "We are dismayed at the continued application of the death penalty with alarming frequency by the authorities, despite repeated calls for Iran to establish a moratorium on executions," said the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns.
He stressed "the inherently cruel, inhuman and degrading nature of the death penalty," adding that the Government is proceeding with executions that do not meet the threshold of the "most serious crimes" as required by international law.
The Government reportedly hanged 33 people in the past week alone. In 2013, 625 people were executives, including at least 28 women and a number of political prisoners.
Read more: UN News Centre, 22/01/14
Early Day Motion 996: Withholding of Public Records
That this House demands that more than a million files retained by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at the Hanslope Park communications centre be released to the National Archives; points out that these papers date back 150 years and take in, among other crucial historical events, British involvement in the slave trade, the Crimean War, the Kenya Mau Mau emergency and the Cold War; believes that these papers are crucial to any impartial examination of UK foreign and colonial policy; and urges the Government to agree with the requests of prominent UK scholars to declassify these records and make them available to historians and archivists.
Sponsors: Galloway, George / Durkan, Mark
<> House of Commons: 27.01.2014
Handling of Female Asylum Seekers 'Puts UK to Shame'
The hidden plight of women asylum seekers detained in Britain is exposed today as a major new report warns that female rape and torture victims are being locked up indefinitely, suffering from depression and being intimidated by male guards.
The claims will refocus the spotlight on the treatment of vulnerable women in Britain's detention centres. Almost 2000 women who sought asylum were detained in 2012, according to new Home Office figures compiled for charity Women for Refugee Women (WRW). Only a little over a third were removed from the UK.
The new research, undertaken by WRW, focused on 46 women, who were either in detention or had recently been detained. It found that 85 per cent of them had been raped or tortured before reaching Britain. This is contrary to government policy which says torture victims should only be detained in 'exceptional' circumstances.
Read more: Independent, <>29/01/14
Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the report by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons on an unannounced inspection of Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre on 5 to 16 August 2013, what assessment she has made of that report; and whether, and to what timescale, her Department will implement the recommendations in the report. 
Mr Harper: The performance by GEO, the contractor running Harmondsworth, has been below the high standard expected. In response to the inspection report a Service Improvement Plan, to be published within two months, will address each recommendation and outline what action will be taken. Thereafter, the Home Office has 18 months to effect the improvements.
The Home Office has already taken a range of actions to address the areas of immediate concern. Contractors have been reminded of the appropriate use of handcuffs and a specific instruction will be issued for the management of detainees who have been hospitalised. The Home Office has also instigated a new process to notify case owners when detainees are moved to hospital to ensure that detention remains appropriate. There is a new health care provider and the Home Office is working closely with them to ensure that a safe and comprehensive service is provided.
House of Commons: 28 Jan 2014 : <> Column 480W
Nigeria [Torture of Homosexuals]
Lord Alton of Liverpool to ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that homosexuals in Nigeria have been tortured by the authorities to obtain the names of other homosexuals following the enactment of laws criminalising homosexuality in that country.[HL4711]
The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): We are aware of reports that, following the Presidential assent of the Same Sex Marriage Bill on 7 January 2014, a number of men were arrested in Nigeria, having been accused of homosexual activity. We are seeking further detail from the Nigerian authorities.
The UK opposes the criminalisation of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community and opposes any discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. We believe the Same Sex Marriage Bill in Nigeria, which received the President's assent on 7 January, infringes on the human rights of the Nigerian LGBT community and on the rights of expression and association which are guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution and by Nigeria's international treaty obligations. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), made a statement on 15 January which highlighted our concerns, and the Under-Secretary of State for Justice, my hon. Friend the Member for Kenilworth and Southam (Jeremy Wright) raised this issue with Nigerian Ministers when he visited earlier this month. House of Lords / 27 Jan 2014 : Column WA200
Garden Court Chambers - Immigration Law Bulletin – Issue 356
Urban Violence in Pakistan
Endemic violence in Pakistan's urban centres signifies the challenges confronting the federal and provincial governments in restoring law and order and consolidating the state's writ. The starkest example is Karachi, which experienced its deadliest year on record in 2013, with 2,700 casualties, mostly in targeted attacks, and possibly 40 per cent of businesses fleeing the city to avoid growing extortion rackets. However, all provincial capitals as well as the national capital suffer from similar problems and threats. A national rethink of overly militarised policy against crime and militancy is required. Islamabad and the four provincial governments need to develop a coherent policy framework, rooted in providing good governance and strengthening civilian law enforcement, to tackle criminality and the jihadi threat. Until then, criminal gangs and jihadi networks will continue to wreak havoc in the country's big cities and put its stability and still fragile democratic transition at risk.
Some of the worst assaults on religious and sectarian minorities in 2013 occurred in Quetta and Peshawar, including the 10 January suicide and car bomb attack that killed over 100, mostly Shias, in Quetta; the 16 February terror attack that killed more than 80, again mostly Shias, in Quetta's Hazara town; and the 22 September bombing of a Peshawar church that killed more than 80 people, mostly Christians.
Read more: Human Rights Watch, 23/01/14
Stop G4S Campaign Convergence
11am-5pm, Saturday February 8, Quaker Meeting House, 10 St James Street, Sheffield, S1 2EW
G4S manage. HMPs, Birmingham, Altcourse, Oakwood, Parc, Rye Hill, Wolds; IRCs Brook House & Tinsley House
G4S continues to hit the headlines not only with its incompetence but also its abuses of human rights in the UK, Palestine, South Africa and beyond. But resistance to G4S is also gaining ground and the company is losing contracts with universities and companies as its track record of abuse is exposed. Campaigners are calling for corporate manslaughter charges after an inquest into the death of Jimmy Mubenga, who died at the hands of G4S guards, recorded a verdict of unlawful killing. But there is still work to do. The Government still regards G4S prison services, in spite of the disturbances recorded there as ' the model for the future'. We need to expose this model as the fraud it undoubtedly is and all of G4S' deeply harmful activities.
Activists from various Stop G4S campaigns are coming together for a UK-wide gathering in Sheffield on February 8. Come along and share, network, strategise and plan how to build an even more effective Stop G4S campaign. The gathering is open to all who oppose G4S and want to work with others to Stop G4S from taking over public services for private profit while violating human rights.
If you are planning to come please let us know by sending a mail to