HMP Verne/IRC [Now Holding Immigration Detainees]
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what his plans are for HMP The Verne.
Jeremy Wright: HM Prison The Verne started taking immigration detainees as scheduled from 24 March 2014. The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) will retain The Verne as a prison in the short-term but its population will comprise immigration detainees as planned with the Home Office.
NOMS intends to review the designation of The Verne later this year, with the intention of completing the re-designation to an immigration removal centre by the end of September 2014.
All foreign national offenders (FNOs) sentenced to custody are referred to the Home Office for them to consider deportation at the earliest possible opportunity.
The Ministry of Justice and the Home Office are committed to working together to expedite the removal of foreign criminals. NOMS will always supply sufficient prison places for those committed by the courts.
House of Commons / 3 Apr 2014 : Column 758W
EDM 1237: Imprisonment Human Rights Lawyers In UAE
That this House expresses concern at the conviction and imprisonment of human rights lawyers Doctors Mohamed al-Mansoori and Mohamed al-Roken in the United Arab Emirates (UAE); notes with concern that both men have been sentenced to 10-year prison sentences after being convicted of 'plotting to seize power'; highlights the International Commission of Jurists has described both men's trial as 'manifestly unfair' and that Amnesty International defines the pair as prisoners of conscience; believes that Doctors Mohamed al-Mansoori and Mohamed al-Roken have been imprisoned simply for their work in defending human rights and representing activists in political trials; further believes that both men should be released immediately; and calls on the Government to put every diplomatic pressure on the government of the United Arab Emirates to secure this. House of Commons:<> 01.04.2014
EDM 1247: Human Rights Abuses In US Tobacco Fields
That this House, noting that Oxfam America and the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), being an affiliate of the US equivalent of the TUC, have highlighted onerous conditions faced by migrant farm workers in the tobacco fields of North Carolina and the American South, including exploitation, long hours, child labour and other human rights abuses, that Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) is a major purchaser of the tobacco produced in those fields but refuses to grant freedom of association or worker representation to those workers and that British America Tobacco plc (BAT) is the largest shareholder and a major customer of RAI, holds that only when migrant farm workers have a recognised organisation will their complaints about their working and living conditions be effectively addressed; believes that BAT has a responsibility to ensure that its supply chain is free of human rights abuses and that FLOC's proposals to RAI can achieve that goal in the US; and therefore calls on BAT to use its influence with RAI to reach an agreement with FLOC forthwith.
House of commons: <> 01.04.2014
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - March 2014
4 actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and one improved in March 2014, according to <>CrisisWatch N°128
Deteriorated Situations: Central African Republic, Libya, Ukraine, Yemen
Central African Republic has become increasingly fractured along communal and regional lines, the re-emergence of the rebel Front populaire pour le redressement (FPR) in the north further worsened insecurity. Muslims continue to be targeted daily. African Union peacekeepers fell victim to two attacks by anti-balaka militias, with at least one killed. Chadian peacekeepers were accused of firing on civilians in a predominantly Christian neighbourhood of Bangui, reportedly killing at least 24. The promised support from the international community has not yet materialised, though in late March the European Union announced the imminent deployment of troops (see our recent blog post).
Ukraine crisis escalated dramatically with Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula, a move Western states condemned as illegal. Following a controversial referendum organised by pro-Russian authorities in Crimea, Russia quickly formalised the takeover, occupying Ukrainian military bases, ports and other installations. Russian troop build-ups along the border with Ukraine prompted concerns over Moscow's intentions in eastern Ukraine, where demonstrators denounced the new Kiev government and voiced their support for Russia. Other regional states, from the Baltics to Moldova, expressed apprehension that Russia would try to exert similar pressure on them.
Libya's ongoing crisis over its eastern oil terminals deepened when militias supportive of the General National Congress (GNC) clashed with gunmen loyal to the eastern pro-autonomy leader Ibrahim Jedran. The fighting risks aggravating a wider confrontation between Islamists and non-Islamists and their militias. In early March Jedran's forces defied the GNC by loading crude oil on a tanker in Sidra prompting it to again threaten military action to liberate the terminals. On 11 March the GNC ousted Prime Minister Ali Zeidan from office after several months of deadlock; defence minister Abdallah al-Thinni was sworn in as his interim replacement.
Yemen: Heightening tensions between Huthis and various opponents in Yemen's North increasingly risk rekindling a wider conflict (see our recent alert). Violence is already on the rise across the North, with dozens killed in clashes in March. Ceasefire negotiations in Hamdan, 20km outside the capital, continue after fighting spread to the area in early March, and ended only when the military deployed. Al-Qaeda appears to be growing in strength in the South, with twenty soldiers killed in Hadramout on 24 March.
Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Burundi, Cameroon, China (internal), China/Japan, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India (non-Kashmir), Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel-Palestine, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korean Peninsula, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico), Moldova, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nagorno-Karabakh (Azerbaijan), Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Caucasus (Russia), Pakistan, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Somalia, Somaliland, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Zimbabwe
Improved Situations: On 27 March the Philippines government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the country's largest and best-armed insurgent group, signed an historic peace deal. The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) ends the 40-year conflict in the Mindanao region. Under the deal, the MILF is to become a political group, and a new autonomous Bangsamoro entity is to be put in place by 2016. Both parties stressed the remaining obstacles to implementing the peace agreement, including MILF disarmament and the danger posed by potential spoilers (see our report on dismantling rebel groups).
April 2014 Outlook
Conflict Risk Alert: Libya, Myanmar, Yemen
Myanmar proceeded with a controversial UN- and donor-backed census from 30 March, despite warnings that the count could trigger another flare-up of intercommunal violence in western Rakhine state. Rakhine nationalists, upset that the census would give people the option of identifying themselves as ethnic Rohingya, threatened to boycott it and staged protests and attacks on the offices and homes of international humanitarian workers. The boycott was called off after the government bowed to Rakhine pressure at the end of the month and announced that people would not be able to identify themselves as Rohingya – a move that prompted anger among the minority Rohingya population and international condemnation (see our recent report, commentary and blog posts on anti-Muslim violence in Myanmar).
Asylum [Length of support under section 4 of the IAA 1999]
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum applicants receiving support under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 have been receiving support for more than (a) two years, (b) four years and (c) six years; and if she will make a statement. 
James Brokenshire: Data specific to your request can be found in the following table.
Band cases Number
Up to two years 2,008
More than two years 822
More than four years 473
More than six years 212
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she will announce the asylum support rates for 2014-15.
James Brokenshire: There are no immediate plans to change the support rates provided to destitute asylum seekers.
House of Commons / 31 Mar 2014 : <>Column 412W
HMP Lincoln - Foreign nationals represented just over 13% of the population. At the time of the inspection, November 2013, (report published tomorrow) 25 prisoners were being held solely under immigration powers beyond their sentence expiry date. Six of these were more than a year past sentence expiry, and the longest-held had been detained for almost two years.
HMP Drake Hall: The Praxis worker, who looks after foreign national prisoners, left Drake Hall on Friday, I have been told she will not be replaced.
40-Year-Old Detainee Who Died at Yarl's Wood identified
Jamaican national Christine Case, 40, collapsed on the morning of Sunday, March 30, shortly after waking up. It was revealed that the death caused panic within the immigration removal centre in Bedfordshire, the House of Commons heard earlier today. Sources said they heard Ms Case crying for help before suffering a heart attack.
A spokesperson from the Jamaican High Commission who was informed of the death earlier today said: "It is with deep regret that the Jamaican High Commission has received news of the untimely passing yesterday of Ms Christine Case.
Source: The Voice, <>21/03/14
Yarls Wood Immigration Removal Centre Detainee Dies
A 40-year-old woman a national of Jamaica, died yesterday Sunday 30/03/14 in Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre in Bedfordshire, the Home Office has confirmed. Police are investigating the woman's death and the prisons and probation ombudsman has been informed.
There are unconfirmed reports that the woman was heard shouting for help shortly before she died. She was understood to be from Jamaica. A spokesman for the East of England ambulance service said: "We were called to Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre at 8.17am after receiving reports that a woman was in cardiac arrest. We attended along with the air ambulance service. She was sadly pronounced dead at the scene."
There have been 20 other deaths in immigration removal centres in recent years. Campaigners have been calling for the closure of Yarl's Wood. Richard Fuller, a Conservative MP whose constituency is close to the facility, has repeatedly condemned the detention of women there.
Emma Mlotshwa, co-ordinator of the charity Medical Justice, which works to protect the health of immigration detainees, said: "We are shocked but not surprised to hear of this tragic death. Any death in immigration detention is avoidable as immigration detention is optional.
"Our volunteer independent doctors have seen an alarming number of incidents of medical mistreatment. The only thing we are surprised about is that there have not been more deaths."
"Indefinite immigration detention has a toxic effect on health - we have seen detainees' conditions deteriorate and some have become mentally ill during their incarceration."
A Home Office spokesperson said: "Sadly, we can confirm the death of a female detainee at Yarl's Wood on 30 March. It would not be appropriate to comment further as the death is subject to a police investigation. The prisons and probation ombudsman has been informed in line with standard procedure."
In July, 2011, Muhammad Shukat died at Colnbrook immigration removal centre near Heathrow. An inquest found that in his case staff failed to act quickly enough to save his life. The Home Office described the inquest verdict into his death as "deeply worrying"
Diane Taylor, The Guardian, <>30/03/14
Nigeria:1,500 Killed In Armed Conflict Q1/2014
Since the start of 2014, more than 1,500 people have been killed in north-eastern Nigeria. People are living in a climate of fear and insecurity, vulnerable to attack from Islamist armed group Boko Haram on the one hand and facing human rights violations at the hands of the very state security forces which should be protecting them. In light of this context, the ongoing intensity of the confrontation and the organisation of the clashing actors, Amnesty International considers the situation to be a non-international armed conflict.
According to Amnesty International's research at least half of the deaths are civilians, killed in attacks by Boko Haram. More than 600 people, mainly former detainees, were killed by the security forces following the attack by Boko Haram on the military barracks in Maiduguri on 14 March. These killings amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Published Refworld, <>04/04/14
Suspension Returns Of Asylum-Seekers to Bulgaria Must Continue
Since autumn 2013, Bulgaria has received international attention for its treatment of asylum seekers and refugees. Their number exceeded 11,000 by the end of the year. In response to "systemic deficiencies" and "a real risk of inhuman or degrading treatment," in January 2014 the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) called for a temporary suspension of transfers of asylum-seekers to Bulgaria from other EU Member States. The UNHCR announced that it will re-examine its position by 1 April 2014.
Despite improvements in the reception conditions and the increased number of staff of the State Agency for Refugees to ensure quicker access to asylum procedures, Amnesty International remains concerned over the systemic deficiencies in the treatment of asylum seekers in Bulgaria. Asylum-seekers in Bulgaria continue to be routinely detained and the reception conditions are still inadequate.5 Amnesty International is also concerned about reports that certain nationalities face difficulties in registering their asylum applications when in detention, and wait longer for their refugee status determination decisions. These challenges have discouraged many from lodging or pursuing asylum applications.
Published Refworld, <>04/04/14
UVF 'Behind Racist Attacks In Belfast'
Police have said the loyalist paramilitary group the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) has been orchestrating racist attacks in south and east Belfast. ACC Will Kerr told the Policing Board it had contributed to an overall 70% rise in hate crime in Belfast. He said: "It has a deeply unpleasant taste of a bit of ethnic cleansing." The Policing Board also discussed the violence in Larne, County Antrim, on Sunday by another loyalist paramilitary group, the UDA. Asked about the status of the UVF and UDA ceasefires, Chief Con Matt Baggott said it was a matter for the government, not him.
Early Day Motion 1244: Qatar World Cup And Migrant Workers
That this House commends the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians and Building & Woodworkers International for organising a mission to Qatar to draw attention to the appalling health and safety standards on construction sites to which migrant workers are subjected; welcomes the exposé by Kevin Maguire of the Daily Mirror, highlighting the labour camps where tens of thousands of migrant workers are forced to live in abject squalor in overcrowded, insanitary accommodation; condemns the endemic poverty pay where skilled migrant workers, such as carpenters, receive as little as 56 pence per hour; deplores the widespread practice by unscrupulous employers of withholding wages for many months leaving workers destitute and starving; is appalled that 1,200 migrant workers have been killed in Qatar since it was awarded the 2022 World Cup; deprecates the system of sponsored employment in Qatar, known as the Kafala system that denies workers freedom of movement and prevents workers leaving the country without the approval of their employer; regrets the Qatari authorities' refusal to ratify International Labour Organization conventions allowing freedom of association; and therefore calls on FIFA to put Qatar on notice that its right to host the 2022 World Cup will be removed unless action is taken within the next 12 months to stop the exploitation of migrant workers by ending the Kafala system, ensuring all migrant workers are covered by the standards contained in Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy Workers' Charter and allowing migrant workers to elect their own site committees and representatives.
House of Commons: <>01.04.2014
Asylum Research Consultancy (ARC) COI Update Volume 76
This document provides an update of Country Guidance case law and UKBA publications and developments in refugee producing countries between 18th March and 1st April 2014 - Volume 76 <> here . . .
Nigeria: Crimes Against Humanity as Violence Escalates
An increase in attacks by Boko Haram and uncontrolled reprisals by Nigeria's security forces has seen the death toll in North East Nigeria rise to at least 1,500 people, more than half of whom are civilians, in the first three months of 2014, Amnesty International said in a briefing published today.
"The escalation of violence in north-eastern Nigeria in 2014 has developed into a situation of non-international armed conflict in which all parties are violating international humanitarian law. We urge the international community to ensure prompt, independent investigations into acts that may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity," said Netsanet Belay, Research and Advocacy Director for Africa at Amnesty International.
"More than 1,500 deaths in three months indicate an alarming deterioration in the situation. The international community cannot continue to look the other way in the face of extrajudicial executions, attacks on civilians and other crimes under international law being committed on a mass scale. Civilians are paying a heavy price as the cycle of violations and reprisals gather momentum."
More than half of the killings have been carried out by members of the Islamist armed group Boko Haram, including scores of schoolchildren who have been the victims of deliberate attacks.
Amnesty International has documented the killings carried out in January, February and March 2014 by both Boko Haram and the Nigerian Security Forces. It highlights 14 March as a tipping point when the security forces unleashed a brutal crackdown on former detainees.
Read more: Amnesty International, <>31/03/14
Manjeet Kaur Solidarity Demonstration
9:30am Wednesday 2nd April 2014,
Asylum and Immigration Tribunal Offices
2 Piccadilly Plaza
Manchester M1 4AH
Manjeet is an Afghan national - since she sought asylum in the UK three years ago, she has been at the forefront of many campaigns against the government's unfair asylum policies and practices. Manjeet came to this country after she was subjected to a series of threats and attacks following the disappearance of her husband in India in February 2011. Before he disappeared, Amitt Bhatt, a campaigning journalist and Panun Kashmir activist, had been persecuted and attacked as a result of articles and books he had written criticising the Indian government's policies in Kashmir. Manjeet helped with research and proof-reading for Amitt's books. The 2014 report from the International Federation of Journalists shows that India is still a dangerous place to be a journalist and the 2013 report from Reporters Without Borders describes India as one of the five "deadliest" countries for journalists alongside Syria, Somalia, Pakistan and the Philippines.
Manjeet's Campaign supported by RAPAR, Manchester NUJ, UK Disabled People's Council, Theresa Griffin EU candidate, European Roma Network, Migrants Supporting Migrants, Race Equality Foundation, and Medical Justice
From: Kath Grant <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Beaten, Abused Paid £25 a Week: Plight of UK Domestic Workers
Domestic workers employed by wealthy foreigners and diplomats in the UK are being beaten, abused and paid as little as £100 a month, according to a major new report. Interviews with 33 overseas cleaners, nannies and cooks have revealed a system that is failing to hold abusers to account or help women escape violent employers – many from oil-rich Gulf states – who brought them legally to Britain, according to Human Rights Watch. Those who manage to flee generally find they have little legal right to remain in Britain, because of new visa rules introduced in 2012 that ban overseas domestic workers from switching employers. The domestic workers, all but one of them women, told of working long hours, having their passports confiscated and working for far less than the minimum wage
Read more: Paul Peachy, Indpendent, <> 31/03/14
ILPA's latest Immigration Update 58 + six new Information Sheets
· Information Sheet: <>Deprivation of Citizenship
· Information Sheet: <>Gateway Protection Programme
· Information Sheet: <>Extension of Syrian Concession
· Information Sheet: <> Vulnerable Persons Relocation Programme
· Information Sheet: <> EU Free Movement: Surinder Singh cases
· Information Sheet: <>Criminal Justice and Courts Bill 2014
Kind regards, Shauna Gillan / Legal Officer
Immigration Law Practitioners' Association