High Court Rules - Detained Fast Track System - Serious Failings
A High Court judge has ruled that a system for fast-tracking asylum claims has "serious failings" and is being operated unlawfully by the Government. The Detained Fast Track system (DFT), which keeps asylum seekers in detention while a decision on their case is speeded through by the Home Office, is used for around a fifth of people claiming asylum in the UK. The system was intended for only the most straightforward cases, to cut down the administrative burden and the risk of people disappearing. But instead victims of torture, human trafficking and rape are wrongly caught in it, Mr Justice Ouseley said today. The Judge found several serious failings within the system and particularly highlighted the unjustifiable delay in allocating lawyers. This, he said, meant "the DFT as operated carries an unacceptably high risk of unfairness".
Read more: Emily Dugan, Indpendent, <>09/07/14
Ugandan Lesbian Activist Margret Nazziwa - Needs Urgent Help
Margret Nazziwa is a Ugandan Lesbian and gay rights activists facing deportation from United Kingdom back to Uganda on Sunday 13/07/2014 on board Kenya Airways flight number KQ101/KQ412 at 8pm. She is currently being detained in Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre.
Margret fled Uganda in 2012 after experiencing persecution because of being a lesbian. She was forced into marriage,was a victim of rape and tortured by the community and State authorities. She therefore sought refuge in the United Kingdom in order to save her life. Margret has been in a full Lesbian relationship with her partner since June 2013. However the UK government claims that their relationship is not serious because Diana spends most of her time working as a career, therefore she is not a lesbian.
Margret in her own words says that 'My past motivates me to pave the way for the future LGBTI generations in Africa and other Countries. I am privileged to be in the United Kingdom where I live an openly lesbian life and campaign for gay rights without any fear of being persecuted. If I am deported back to Uganda I will face imprisonment and persecution and many other acts of violence against my person. I will not be able to campaign for gay rights as I have been doing in the UK. I will not be able to live my life openly and freely, and my relationship with my partner will be broken. I beg the UK government to offer me protection such that I can live my life without fear just like other people and continue to campaign in a peaceful and dignified manner for the rights of other persecuted peoples.
You can also contact your Member of Parliament <> here . . . . or contact her Member of Parliament RT Hon Henry Smith
on 020 7219 7043 Email email@example.com
Contact the Home secretary RT Hon Theresa May Tel: 020 7219 5206 Fax: 020 7219 1145
Quote: Margret Nazziwa, Home Office reference number: N1178567
Contact Kenya Airways on 020 82831800.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Contact them on Twitter or Facebook.
Please sign her petition on <> change.org
This Alert From <>Leeds No Borders
Asylum Research Consultancy (ARC) COI Update Volume 83
This document provides an update of Country Guidance case law and UKBA publications and developments in refugee producing countries between 25th June and 7th July 2014 - Volume 83 <>here . . .
ILPA Immigration Update 61 and Information Sheets
Immigration Update: The full impact of the Immigration Act 2014, the biggest piece of Immigration legislation in several years, has yet to be felt. The government has yet to publish details of how the wideranging changes it heralds will operate in practice. ILPA is publishing a series of information sheets on discrete aspects of the Bill and will provide further updates when more detail is known. Modern Slavery Bill 2014 - Victory in exceptional funding test case - Detention escorts to receive training in restraint techniques - Removals to Italy under Dublin Regulation upheld - Pregnant women retain "worker" rights under EU law - Country guidance on Sri Lanka upheld: Immigration Update 61 here . . . . .
June's information sheets on the Act are as on the following topics:
<> Healthcare <>Appeals <> Bail <> Housing
Iraqi Violence Killed More Than 2,400 People In June
Iraq's violent insurgency has claimed some 2,400 lives - more than half of them civilians - a "staggering number", declared the top United Nations envoy there, as he called on all Iraqi leaders to work together to foil attempts to rip apart the country's social fabric.
"The staggering number of civilian casualties in one month points to the urgent need for all to ensure that civilians are protected," said Mr. Ban's Special Representative for Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov. The UN says that June was the deadliest month in the country since 2007.
In a statement from the UN Assistance Mission (UNAMI), which he heads, Mr. Mladenov urged officials to start forming a new Government which could unite the country, after today's first session of the Council or Representatives ended without a quorum: "As large parts of the country remain under the control of ISIL and armed groups, it is imperative that national leaders work together to foil attempts to destroy the social fabric of Iraqi society," he said.
Refworld, <> 07/04/14
UNHCR Handbook on Protection of Stateless Persons
As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights makes clear, everyone has a right to a nationality. Without nationality, individuals face an existence characterised by insecurity and marginalisation. Stateless people are amongst the most vulnerable in the world, often denied enjoyment of rights such as equality before the law, the right to work, education or healthcare. Despite the actions of many States to prevent or reduce statelessness through measures such as reform of their nationality laws, new cases of statelessness continue to arise. Stateless persons can be found in almost every country. Indeed, some families have been stateless for generations.
The increased focus on statelessness can also be seen in the rise in the number of countries establishing statelessness determination procedures. Whilst such procedures may only be appropriate for the minority of the world's stateless persons who are in a migratory situation, they are nevertheless critical, providing a route to a status consistent with the standards both of the 1954 Convention and international human rights law. A different approach is called for in the case of stateless persons who are in their own country, recognising their profound connection with that State through, for example, birth or longstanding residence. States are increasingly aware of the benefits, not just to the individuals concerned, but for the stability and cohesiveness of their societies generally, of undertaking law and policy reforms to grant nationality to such persons.
UNHCR issues this Handbook pursuant to its mandate responsibilities to address statelessness. These responsibilities were initially limited to stateless persons who were refugees as set out in paragraph 6 (A) (II) of the UNHCR Statute and Article 1 (A) (2) of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. This mandate has since been widened by a series of General Assembly Resolutions, in particular Resolutions 50/152 of 1995 and 61/137 of 2006 entrusting UNHCR with responsibility for stateless persons generally. UNHCR's responsibilities extend to the identification, prevention and reduction of statelessness, and the protection of stateless persons.
Published on Refworld <> 30/06/14
UK 'Sleepwalking Into Violating Disabled People's Human Rights'
The UK government is risking "systematic violation" of international human rights law in its treatment of disabled people, charities claim. Britain is a signatory to a binding UN convention on the rights of people with disabilities, and the international covenant on economic, social and cultural rights. Austerity measures and welfare reforms such as the bedroom tax mean the rights of disabled people to independent living, work, and social security have been undermined, causing significant hardship, say campaigners.
A report publishedby Just Fair, a consortium of 80 national charities including Amnesty International, Save the Children, and Oxfam, says the UK is in clear breach of its legal obligations. Support structures for many disabled people have disappeared or are under threat as local authorities cut social care budgets, while cuts to benefits will leave many disabled people without crucial help for daily living.
Read more: Patrick Butler, The Guardian, <> 07/07/14
UKHO: Country Info/Guidance - Albania: Blood Feuds
This document provides guidance to Home Office decision makers on handling claims made by nationals/residents of - as well as country of origin information (COI) about - Albania. This includes whether claims are likely to justify the granting of asylum, humanitarian protection or discretionary leave and whether - in the event of a claim being refused - it is likely to be certifiable as 'clearly unfounded' under s94 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. Decision makers must consider claims on an individual basis, taking into account the case specific facts and all relevant evidence, including: the guidance contained with this document; the available COI; any applicable caselaw; and the Home Office casework guidance in relation to relevant policies.
Within this instruction, links to specific guidance are those on the Home Office's internal system. Public versions of these documents are available here . . . .
MD, R (On the Application Of) v SSHD
 EWHC 2249 (Admin) (08 July 2014)
 Reports earlier this year from Dr Wilhelm Skogstad conclude that the depressive illness suffered by the Claimant during detention was "precipitated by the experience of detention and …detention was experienced as a trauma at the time and this has led to on-going symptoms of a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder." … [Dr Skogstad's] view is that "detention did not exacerbate a pre-existing mental disorder but caused the onset of the mental disorder that was subsequently manifest." It is his opinion that "the management and treatment of MD's psychiatric condition at Yarl's Wood was inadequate in a number of ways and not appropriate to her mental state and her severe suffering. In my view it contributed to the deterioration in her mental state in detention and the prolonging of her mental suffering.
 I accept the doctor's opinions that detention did not exacerbate a pre-existing mental disorder but caused the onset of the mental disorder that was subsequently manifest. Dr Bingham's report and the Claimant's actions which led up to it should have brought home to the Defendant's officials that the Claimant was an individual whose condition should be reviewed as a matter of urgency to determine whether continued detention was likely to exacerbate her mental state. That was not adequately done. Her behaviour was seen as an attempt to thwart her removal and dealt with in that light and not as a symptom of an underlying deteriorating mental illness."
147. In my judgment, the Claimant's detention was unlawful from the 21st October 2011 until her release on the 13th September 2012 by reason of a breach of the third Hardial Singh principle and from the 16th February 2012 until her release on the 13th September 2012 due to the failure of the Defendant to properly understand and apply her policy regarding the detention of those with serious mental illness to the circumstances of the Claimant's case. So the Claimant's detention was unlawful both at common law and under Article 5 of the ECHR.
148. I have also found that the Claimant's treatment by the Defendant by detaining her in the circumstances I have set out above amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment in breach of Article 3 of the ECHR.
149. If a draft order cannot be agreed I will hear further submissions on the form of relief and the question of damages.
1. In these proceedings the Claimant challenges the lawfulness of her detention by the Defendant, the Secretary of State for the Home Department, following her arrival in this country by air from her native Guinea on the 7th April 2011. She came to join her husband who has refugee status in this country. She seeks a declaration that her detention was unlawful from its outset and in any event by October 2011 and thereafter until her release in September 2012 as a result of a breach of the Defendant's policy and of the Hardial Singh principles. She further contends that there were violations of her rights under Articles 3, 5 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. She seeks damages for false imprisonment and compensation for violation of her rights under the ECHR. She also seeks a declaration that the Defendant's policy relating to the detention of the mentally ill is unlawful and a mandatory order requiring the Defendant to instigate an independent investigation into her treatment during detention.
2. Permission to bring this claim for judicial review was granted by Robert Jay QC, sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge (as he then was), on the 27th February 2013. He observed that the case "raises sufficiently serious and complex issues to warrant proceeding to a full hearing."
3. The Claimant began earlier judicial review proceedings on the 21st October 2011 against the Defendant's decision to enforce removal directions to return the Claimant to Guinea set for the following day. The basis of that claim was that the Defendant had not considered a medical report addressing the Claimant's mental health. Mr Justice Lindblom refused permission on the papers on the 4th April 2012 on the basis that the medical report had been considered by then. The Claimant renewed her claim for permission and an oral hearing was listed for the 11th September 2012. By then further medical evidence addressing the Claimant's mental health was available and on the 11th September 2012 the Defendant agreed to release the Claimant as soon as practicable and a consent order was made dealing with management of those proceedings. On the 22nd February 2013 and in the light of further medical evidence the Defendant withdrew her decision of the 7th April 2011 cancelling the Claimant's entry clearance and leave to enter the UK. Her leave to enter was reinstated until the 19th March 2014. Since her release on the 13th September 2012 she has been reunited with her husband and they have had a child born in this country.
4. This case raises the difficult issue of the detention of those who suffer or begin to suffer mental illness.
Full text here . . . .
Iraqi Christians' Flee Violence, Fear End of Long History
The violence in Iraq is hastening the end of nearly 2,000 years of Christianity there as the few remaining faithful flee Islamic State militants, archbishops from Baghdad, Mosul and Kirkuk said on Wednesday. War and sectarian conflict have shrunk Iraq's Christian population to about 400,000 from 1.5 million before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, and now even those who stayed are leaving for Turkey, Lebanon and western Europe, the prelates said on a visit to Brussels seeking European Union help to protect their flocks. The three - Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako, Syrian Catholic Archbishop of Mosul Yohanna Petros Mouche and Kirkuk's Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Youssif Mirkis - are all Eastern Catholics whose churches have their own traditional liturgy but are loyal to the pope in Rome. "The next days will be very bad. If the situation does not change, Christians will be left with just a symbolic presence in Iraq," said Sako, who is based in Baghdad. "If they leave, their history is finished."
Read more: Alert Net, <> 09/07/14
UK CIG: Libya: Actual or perceived Gaddafi Clan Members/Loyalists
Topics: Arbitrary arrest and detention | Combatants / Former combatants | Conflict resolution | Freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment | Rule of law / Due process / Procedural fairness | Security situation | Social group discrimination | Social group discrimination | Social group persecution
This document provides guidance to Home Office decision makers on handling claims made by nationals/residents of - as well as country of origin information (COI) about - Libya. This includes whether claims are likely to justify the granting of asylum, humanitarian protection or discretionary leave and whether - in the event of a claim being refused - it is likely to be certifiable as 'clearly unfounded' under s94 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002.
Decision makers must consider claims on an individual basis, taking into account the case specific facts and all relevant evidence, including: the guidance contained with this document; the available COI; any applicable caselaw; and the Home Office casework guidance in relation to relevant policies.
Report on an Unannounced Inspection of Dover IRC
Dover was working reasonably well in some respects, but needed to feel more like an immigration removal centre, not the prison it once was. Situated in a 19th century fort on the cliffs above the town, Dover has been an IRC since 2002. It is managed by the Prison Service and holds up to 280 adult and young adult men. At the time of the inspection, the centre was anticipating the arrival of a newly appointed centre manager. In recent years inspectors have described a satisfactory institution that was making steady progress. At this inspection there were many aspects of Dover that worked well but some significant shortcomings that needed to be addressed. The institution has not been a prison for over 12 years but in many respects it is still run like one. As indicated in previous reports, the centre needs to give greater emphasis to the specific needs of detainees and respond proportionately to the risks it faces. Nick Hardwick
Inspectors were concerned to find: - a complacency and lack of direction to the centre, staff culture also needs to improve
- some physical aspects of security were excessive and some house blocks had prison-like environments;
- the reward scheme was inappropriate and its application was punitive;
- immigration processes impacted on detainees' stress levels and their sense of safety and too many did not have an immigration lawyer;
- the management of cases was too slow;
- some uniformed staff were dismissive and unhelpful and in some cases, unprofessional;
- Arrangements to help detainees through individual support plans were good in principle, but were hardly applied in practice.
- arrangements to support detainees prior to removal or release were very limited.
- Inspectors made 98 recommendations
Inspection 3/14 March 2014 by HMCIP, published 07/07/14
Report on an Unannounced Inspection of Haslar IRC
Haslar is the UK's oldest IRC and one of the smallest. It is run by the Prison Service. Inspectors found that the centre continued to operate reasonably well and further improvements had been achieved since its last inspection in 2011.
However inspectors were concerned to find that:
- although security arrangements were generally reasonable, some were disproportionate to the risks posed by the population, such as detainees routinely being escorted to outside medical appointments in handcuffs;
- the special accommodation unit was not routinely staffed when used to hold detainees who had been separated or when they were at risk of self-harm;
- increasing numbers of detainees did not have a lawyer to assist with their immigration cases;
- some detainees were held for unreasonably long periods;
- not all detainees were prepared for what came after leaving the centre, and some were only told the day before that they were being moved to another centre; and
- most detainees had a mobile telephone but poor reception and the lack of access to Skype hindered their ability to keep in touch with the outside world.
- the Home Office continued to prevent detainees from working if they did not comply with immigration processes.
- Inspectors made 71 recommendations
Nick Hardwick said: "Despite some criticisms, Haslar is one of the better immigration removal centres that we have inspected. Its strengths are derived in a large part by the sound relationship between staff and detainees, which in turn are driven by the active and visible management team. We have identified areas for improvement but, overall, this is a good report."
Hungary Should Do More For Human Rights Of Roma, Migrants and Disabled People
The impact of recent changes in the legal framework in Hungary on human rights has attracted considerable international criticism. While some of the issues raised in that context have been addressed, the situation of vulnerable groups in the country remains of serious concern" said today Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, at the end of a four-day visit to Hungary.
Roma continue to face segregation in both housing and education, in a context of continuing intolerance within the country. "Any intimidating acts and hate speech against Roma should be vigorously condemned by officials and duly investigated by police. Any individuals who advocate for or are involved in instances of racist and other hate crimes should be sanctioned, while racist organisations should face adequate penalties, including a ban if necessary". In this context, the Commissioner welcomes the ban imposed on the Hungarian Guard and the steps taken by the authorities to ban other racist organisations.
Hungary was the first European country to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2007. However, the authorities should be more ambitious in the implementation of the Convention. Hungary has a very high number of persons with disabilities still deprived of their legal capacity, and therefore of the right to make their own decisions.
Nils Muiznieks, Commissioner for Human Rights, <> 04/07/14
UNHCR Calls for UK to End Detention of Asylum-Seekers/Refugees
The UN refugee agency today issued a new global strategy aimed at helping countries move away from the detention of asylum seekers, refugees and stateless people worldwide.
Detention of asylum-seekers and refugees has become routine in a number of countries. It has serious lasting effects on individuals and families. UNHCR is concerned about the growing use of immigration detention, particularly of children.
The new strategy, 'Beyond Detention' calls firstly for an end to the detention of children, secondly to ensure that alternatives to detention are available in law and that they are implemented, and thirdly to ensure that conditions of detention when unavoidable fully meet international human rights standards.
"Seeking asylum is lawful and the exercise of a fundamental human right. The detention of asylum-seekers as a routine response should be avoided - these are people who need protection. We are ready to work with governments on this, particularly to end the practice of detaining asylum-seeking children," said UNHCR's Director of International Protection Volker Türk.
UNHCR recognises that irregular entry or stay presents many challenges to countries, but detaining people is not the answer. UNHCR recommends that people seeking asylum be properly received, allowed freedom of movement and access to services in the community. Seeking asylum is not illegal under international law and people have a right to be treated humanely and with dignity.
UNHCR has identified a number of countries to work with initially to revisit detention practices and to strengthen alternatives to detention, including Hungary, Indonesia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Thailand, UK and Zambia. UNHCR plans to expand this group of countries over the coming five years.
Detention of asylum seekers and refugees causes unnecessary suffering, with often serious consequences for health and well-being, in particular when people are held for long periods. It also increases anxiety, fear and frustrations, and can exacerbate past traumatic experiences. For children, the effects are particularly serious because of the devastating effect detention can have on their physical, emotional and psychological development, even if they are not separated from their families.
Beyond Detention is a five-year initiative running from June 2014 to June 2019, through which UNHCR will work with governments and others to address some of the main challenges and concerns around detention policies and practices. Implementation of the strategy is envisaged around the development of national action plans, which will include awareness-raising, capacity-building, strengthening partnerships, information sharing, data collection and reporting, research and monitoring.
UNHCR, Down load 'Beyond Detention' <> here . . . .
Early Day Motion 209: Darfur
That this House condemns the expulsion of Pamela DeLargy, United Nations Population Fund country chief in Sudan and the suspension of the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Jebel Marra, Darfur; calls on the government of Sudan to allow unhindered humanitarian access and better co-operation with UN and international staff operating in the country; recognises that these removals are the latest involving foreign aid workers in a country where more than two million are displaced and in need of humanitarian assistance; notes the increased pressure on humanitarian resources as a consequence of the deteriorating security situation and around 700,000 newly displaced persons in Darfur and the arrival of more than 80,000 South Sudanese refugees into the country; understands that whilst Sudan's need for aid increases, donor funding has fallen in each of the last three years; and stresses that the UK Government and international community need to ensure the UN appeal for Sudan is adequately funded and that increased resources be made available to meet growing humanitarian needs.
Primary sponsor: Durkan, Mark - House of Commons: <> 03/07/14
Early Day Motion 213: Bahrain Justice System
That this House notes the lack of reform in the administration of criminal cases in Bahrain despite the acceptance of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry Report in 2011; is concerned by the failure of the Bahraini government to implement a number of the recommendations made by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry specifically to address the culture of impunity and inequality of Bahrain's justice system; further notes the 2014 Human Rights Watch Report that highlights the continued prosecution and conviction of defendants, including human rights activists, political figures and medical personnel, on charges based on the exercise of rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly; is further concerned by the harsh sentences given by court judges for insulting the king and the ratification of recent penal code amendments in February 2014 that increase the sentence for such charges; expresses disappointment at the inadequacy of Bahrain's attempt to investigate and prosecute security personnel accused of torture and calls on the Government of Bahrain to hold human rights offenders accountable; calls for the immediate release of all political prisoners including Ibrahim Sharif, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, Hassan Mushaima, Naji Fateel and Abdulwahab Husain; is further concerned at the failure of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to list Bahrain as a country of concern in its 2014 Human Rights Report; and further calls on the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to condemn human rights abuses in Bahrain and list it as a country of concern in order to promote accountability and transparency within Bahrain's justice system.
Sponsors: Corbyn, Jeremy/ McDonnell, John / Riordan, Linda / Morrice, Graeme / Clwyd, Ann / Abbott, Diane
- House of Commons: <>03.07.2014
Family Immigration Action Day - Wednesday 9th July 2014
Wednesday 9 July marks the second anniversary of the draconian family immigration rules that are causing heartbreak and broken families up and down the country. There are three events happening in Westminster to which you are warmly invited:
10am - 11.30am The All Party Parliamentary Group on Migration meets to discuss the impacts of two years of severe restrictions. Grimmond Room, Portcullis House, Westminster SW1A 2LW. Chaired by Paul Blomfield MP, speakers include Andrew Percy MP (Cons) Katy Clark MP (Lab), Ryan Shorthouse (Bright Blue), Saira Grant (JCWI). Registration for the APPG here . . . .
12.30pm - 1.30pm Protest against the Family Rules, outside the Home Office, Marsham Street SW1P 4DF. Called by Divided Families Campaign (MRN, JCWI, BritCits), supported by MAX.
6.30pm - 8.00pm Adult Dependent Relatives, report launch. JCWI & BritCits have, over the past six months researched and put together a report into the impacts on children and families of the Family Migration Rules on those who cannot bring their Adult Dependent Relatives to the UK. "A ban masquerading as a rule" as one legal practitioner put it. Sarah Teather MP, hosts the launch of the report. <> Register for the launch here . . . . Organized by Movement Against Xenophobia (MAX)