1) Joined Cases C-148/13, C-149/13 and C-150/13 A, B and C
Advocate General Sharpston considers that when verifying an asylum seeker's claimed sexual orientation, Member States' freedom of action is constrained by the Charter of Fundamental Rights
Although Member States do have the right to verify the credibility of such claims, certain verification methods such as medical and pseudo-medical examinations, intrusive questioning and requiring evidence of sexual activities are all incompatible with the Charter of Fundamental Rights
Download the briefing <>here . . . .
2) Judgment in Case C-338/13 M. Noorzia v Bundesministerin
For third country nationals, the reunification of spouses may be subject to a condition that both spouses have reached the age of 21 by the date the application is lodged
Download the briefing <> here . . . .
3) Judgment in Case C-469/13 S. Tahir v Ministero dell'Interno
In order to be able to acquire the long-term resident status provided for under EU law, third-country nationals must be personally legally and continuously resident in the host Member State for five years before submitting their application
Family members of a long-term resident may not be exempted from that condition
Download the briefing <> here . . . .
4) Judgments Joined Cases C-473/13-C-514/13 and in Case C-474/13
A Member State cannot rely on the fact that there are no specialised facilities in a part of its territory to justify detaining third-country nationals in prison pending their removal. The same applies even if the third-country national concerned has given his consent to being accommodated in prison
Download the briefing <> here . . . .
Release Darlin Abubakhari Kiwanga From Yarl's Wood IRC
Let Darlin finish her studies! She came to the UK from Tanzania to study in August 2012. She is currently at the end of her second year of a 3 year business degree at the London School of Commerce. On the day she was due to hand in her assignments, she was detained by the Home Office and taken to Yarl's Wood detention centre. She never got to hand in her work and is currently still in detention.
Despite applying to renew her student visa within the given deadline, the Home Office sent her paperwork to the wrong address. The Home Office have made a mistake but instead of admitting it, they are now claiming she is suspected of plagiarism in her English test. This is completely untrue and Darlin has the full support of her college. She has excellent grades and attendance and the college have written a letter in support.
Darlin is in a long-term relationship with her British boyfriend in the UK, and has the support of her brother here. Despite sharing a surname with her brother & father, the Home Office don't believe she has either a brother or a boyfriend in the UK.
Having worked hard to study in the UK, Darlin only wants to complete her degree. She is happy to return to Tanzania after graduating, as she only has another year left of her degree.
Please support her campaign to finish her degree.
Sign her petition <> here . . . .
You can also get in touch with your MP, and contact the Home secretary RT HON Theresa May. Tel: 020 7219 5206 Fax: 020 7219 1145
This alert from <> Leeds No Borders
UKBA Accessing NHS Records to Track Down Illegal Immigrants
The Home Office has been given access to the NHS records of more than 6,900 people since 2010 as part of its efforts to track down illegal immigrants, prompting concerns from patients' and migrants' rights groups.
Medical records are protected by data protection laws but new statistics show the Home Office has made use of a little-noticed exemption in the rules to access patients' non-clinical records, without any need for a court order.
The exemption allows officials to see where people have made use of the health service and when, but not the details of the clinical conditions or medical attention they received.
Police forces and the National Crime Agency have also accessed these records, the figures show, in pursuit of perpetrators of serious crimes such as murder and rape.
Patients' groups said the use of NHS records by immigration and law enforcement officials could deter people from seeking treatment for themselves or their families, and so pose a public health risk.
Read more: James Ball, <> 13/07/14
European Union Asylum Applications Q1/2014
Increase in asylum applicants: The number of asylum applicants increased by 29 % in the first quarter of 2014 compared with the same quarter of the previous year. Overall, the number of persons seeking asylum in the EU-28 in the first quarter of 2014 reached 108,300. This was 24,320 more than in the same quarter of 2013. Out of the 108,300 asylum applicants, 95,440 (88 %) were first time applicants.
Where do they come from? Citizens of 148 countries sought asylum in the EU in the first quarter of 2014. Syrians, Afghans and Serbians were the top 3 citizenships of asylum seekers, lodging 16,770 - 7,895 and 5,960 applications respectively.
Syrians added most to the overall increase in asylum applicants in absolute terms, followed by Serbians, Afghans and Albanians (8,505 - 2,595 - 2,515 and 2,135 more applicants respectively).
Compared to 2013, Gambian, Senegalese and Bangladeshi applicants recorded by far the largest relative increases during the first quarter of 2014. Gambians quadrupled and Senegalese and Bangladeshi almost tripled, reaching in total 2,015 - 1,350 and 2,455 asylum applications respectively.
Main destination countries: Germany, France, Sweden and Italy reported the largest numbers of asylum seekers in the first quarter of 2014 (36,890 - 15,885 - 12,945 and 10 700 respectively). These 4 Member States account for more than 70 per cent of all applicants in the EU-28 (Table 2).
Certain countries that previously were receiving low numbers of asylum applicants are now seeing large increases in asylum seekers. In Bulgaria (2,030) the number of asylum applicants has more than doubled, compared with the first quarter 2013.
With more than 1,300 applicants per million inhabitants Sweden was the country with the highest number of applicants relative to its population, followed by Switzerland and Luxembourg (605 and 500 respectively).
Decisions on asylum applications: 81 280 first instance decisions were made by the national authorities of EU Member States during the first quarter of 2014. Amongst them, almost 40 % were positive (i.e. granting a type of protection status).
Germany, France and Sweden issued the most first instance decisions in the first quarter of 2014 (21 235, 16 685 and 10 010 respectively).
Most decisions were issued to Syrians (14,685), Serbians (5,070), Afghans (4,045) and Pakistanis (3,930). Syrians (14,260), Afghans, stateless persons, Eritreans and Somalis (more than 2,000 each) received the highest number of protection statuses in the EU.
Emergency Support Demonstration for Protesting Detainees
At 9:00pm Monday 14th July 2014 60 detainees at Harmondsworth began an overnight demonstration, occupying the courtyard They are demanding that all those on the now unlawful operated, Detained Fast Track (DFT) system are released.
Following last weeks High Court decision ruling the operation of DFT unlawful, detainees, MFJ supporters have been organising inside detention centres, gathering petition signatures on the following petition...
We are detainees in Colnbrook. The High Court has said the way fast track is operated is unlawful. That means the decisions in our cases are the result of unlawful treatment.
1. We are taken off fast track and released now
2. All decisions and removal directions in our cases are cancelled
3. We are able to bring new asylum cases under fair conditions, not in detention.
Over 200 detainees have so far signed the petition.
The importance of last weeks High Court decision is clear, it is a huge victory for the movement and has emboldened detainees across the country to take action. This is exactly what must happen if this decision is to mean more than words on paper that will be undermined in a million ways by the Home Office. We must organise and escalate our actions to realise the promise contained within this decision. The urgency of tonights protest was sparked by the imminent charter flight today that will see 270 people deported to Pakistan, the majority of whom were on DFT.
Emergency Demonstration At The Home Office
12 noon Today Tuesday 15th July
Home Offcie, Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF
Nearest Tube: St James's Park
Source for this message: Movement for Justice <firstname.lastname@example.org>
UKHO/CIG - Pakistan: Fear of the Taliban/Other Militant Groups
This document provides guidance to Home Office decision makers on handling claims made by nationals/residents of Pakistan as well as country of origin information (COI) about Pakistan. 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.
Download the document here . . . .
Detention Centres [Gold/Silver Incident Command Suites]
Andy Sawford: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many times the Gold Suite has been opened at each immigration removal centre in England and Wales in the last year; and what the nature was of each incident that caused it to be opened.
Karen Bradley: The Home Office command suite structure for the management of serious incidents is based on the model operated by the Prison Service. Silver Command Suites are opened in the establishment where the incident occurred.
A Gold Command Suite is opened in Prison Service headquarters for incidents where the Home Office requests mutual assistance from the Prison Service and is attended by a Home Office senior manager.
Any other serious incident, which does not require mutual assistance but requires ongoing management, is dealt with by opening a Gold Command Suite at Detention Operations headquarters.
The number of times Silver Suites have been opened in the past year in immigration removal centres is detailed in the following table for January 2013 to March 2014 and is provided in line with the data periods for published statistics.
Silver Suites opened in IRCs for January 2013 to March 2014
IRC Number of incidents Date Incident
Morton Hall 7 April 2013 Concerted indiscipline
Haslar 22 July 2013 Barricade
Dungavel 10 March 2013 Escape
Campsfield 20 August 2013 Incident at height
18 October 2013 Fire
Dover 18 October 2013 Incident at height
9 August 2013 Barricade
Brook House 15 May 2013 Tool loss
9 September 2013 External protest
Yarl's Wood 5 March 201 Bomb threat
30 March 2014 Death in detention
Harmondsworth 30 April 2012 Concerted indiscipline, passive.
1 January 2013 External protest
18 July 2013 Concerted indiscipline, passive
6 August 2013 Concerted indiscipline, passive
22 November 2013 External protest
29 November 2013 External protest
House of Commons / 16 July 2014 : <> Column 702W
Young Asylum Seekers [10,000 Children inSsection 95 Support]
Jim Sheridan . . . . How does the Minister plan to respect the rights of the over 10,000 children who are in receipt of section 95 support? Those are the people we are here to speak about today: young asylum seekers who have come here to get an education and to have the opportunity for a decent life. With such a low allowance, they are denied the nutritious meals that help them concentrate at school. They are denied school trips and uniforms—in fact, everything that would help them to settle and integrate with their school friends—and they cannot start afresh. The Minister might have us believe that they are all making it up and none of them has a legitimate case, but surely children should not suffer as a result of the bad decisions of their parents. We would not let a British child suffer in that way, and we should not let persecuted children suffer, either.
The situation gets worse for young asylum seekers aged 16 and 17. They are too young to be treated like an adult, but too old to be treated like a child. They receive a considerably lower level of support than under-16s, yet are still in full-time education. They face all the problems I have just explained, but the situation is far more serious. Instead of inspiring those who have faced adversity, we are pushing them to their limits and forcing them underground. I assume the Government's plan is to create a hostile environment so that even the countries they have fled from seem better than here. They face either a life of hardship and inequity, or a life of constant fear of death.
House of Commons / 5 July 2014 : Column <> 239WH
Republic of Sudan: Human Rights
Baroness Cox (CB): As I have visited South Kordofan and Blue Nile State, which are currently suffering Government of Sudan genocidal military offensives, I speak with a heavy heart from first-hand evidence. These two areas will be my primary focus. I must also mention ongoing atrocities in Darfur, violations of human rights elsewhere in Sudan and the problems of the Beja people, whom I have visited several times.
First, in Darfur, President al-Bashir continues his assaults unabated and now, alarmingly, supports the notorious Janjaweed. The widely respected Enough Project claims:
The U.N. Security Council mandated that the Sudanese government disarm its Janjaweed militias a decade ago. This never happened. Now, many of those same men are moving across the country on government command, burning civilian areas to the ground, raping women, and displacing non-Arab civilians from their homes · Unlike the Janjaweed fighters from the past, however, Sudan is not keeping the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) at arm's length. Instead, these fighters boast full government backing and formal immunity from prosecution due to their new status as members of the National Intelligence and Security Services · the Sudanese government's continued support of Janjaweed groups has become much more clear · Sudanese diplomats have thrown their political capital behind the group and boast that they successfully blocked the U.N. Security Council from issuing a statement criticizing the RSF · these forces have not restricted their crimes against humanity to · Darfur · their first act was to lethally suppress peaceful protesters during the September 2013 demonstrations in Khartoum".
Read the full debate: House of Lords / 14 July 2014 : <>Column 445
Rape as Torture in The DRC
Sexual Violence Beyond the Conflict Zone
Often dubbed the 'rape capital of the world', the Democratic Republic of Congo has seen an alarming increase in rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war since the conflict in the early 1990's, and remains one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a woman.
But new research published by Freedom from Torture shows that persecutory rape, including gang rape and multiple rape, is also being used routinely by state officials in the DRC to punish politically active women, in the country's capital Kinshasa and other regions outside the armed conflict region.
Rape as Torture in the DRC: Sexual Violence Beyond the Conflict Zone analyses evidence from 34 forensic medical reports written by specially trained doctors at Freedom from Torture and indicates that rape is being used as torture by state security forces in prisons across the country to stop women speaking out about politics, human rights and, in some cases, rape itself.
In international law rape committed by state officials can amount to torture, but in the DRC rape as an act of torture goes mostly unacknowledged and unpunished. With this culture of impunity, there is little hope of survivors of rape as torture obtaining justice or of preventing a repeat of such crimes in the future.
Freedom From Torture: Download the report <> here . . . .
Margret Nazziwa - Still Here - Still Fighting
After having been detained in Yarls Wood Detention Centre in Bedfordshire, and having been told she would be deported on Sunday 13th July, today Tuesday 15th July, the Home Office told campaigners that her deportation would be "deferred". Shortly after PinkNews learned of the deferral, Ms Nazziwa heard that she would be released later today.
Speaking to PinkNews from Yarls Wood, Ms Nazziwa said: "I feel great and I am so happy. I am grateful and I would like to thank all the people who have been supporting me. I'm so happy that UKBA are releasing me, and that they have agreed to hear my case again."
A review of UK LGBT asylum policy by Sir John Vine, the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, will be published this month.
Pink News,<>14/07/14 <>Leeds No Borders
Council of Europe Calls For Action Against Racist Political Parties
The Council of Europe's European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) today published its annual report, calling for timely action against extremist organisations that promote racism to avoid an escalation of violence and related criminal activities.
ECRI noted a surge in support for aggressive nationalist and populist xenophobic parties and the persistence of fascist World War II nostalgia in several member states.
The report, which examines the main trends in 2013, says that more needs to be done to communicate a positive image and the advantages of a diverse society and urged countries to adopt national action plans to fight racism and discrimination.
In certain cases, the report notes, the failure of the police to discharge their obligations in full respect of human rights and the rule of law resulted in increased levels of xenophobia. ECRI calls for prompt and effective action to contain racist aggression but at the same time warns the authorities to be careful not to feed the spiral of violence.
Although 2013 was another year of tragedy in the Mediterranean, asylum policies have become more restrictive in some countries and drastic measures – including border fences – have been taken to keep migrants out. Refugees have been subject to hate campaigns.
Read more: Council of Europe <>10/07/14
ECtHR: Family Reunification Procedure:
Need for Flexibility, Promptness and Effectiveness
The European Court of Human Rights has today notified in writing three judgments and a decision concerning the difficulties encountered by applicants - who were either granted refugee status or lawfully residing in France – in obtaining visas for their children so that their families could be reunited.
In its Chamber judgments in the cases of Mugenzi v. France (application no. 52701/09), Tanda- Muzinga v. France (no. 2260/10) and Senigo Longue and Others v. France (no. 19113/09), which are not final, the Court held, unanimously, that there had been:
a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Court found in particular that the procedure for examining applications for family reunification had to contain a number of elements, having regard to the applicants' refugee status on the one hand and the best interests of the children on the other, so that their interests as guaranteed by Article 8 of the Convention from the point of view of procedural requirements were safeguarded.
Download ECtHR Court Briefing <> here . . . .
ZM v AM  EWHC 2110 (Fam) (26 June 2014)
1. Where one party to a failing marriage has secure immigration status and the other does not, the opportunity arises for the former to exploit the latter's weakness by taking advantage of immigration controls. This case is a bad, but by no means unique, example of what has come to be known as the stranded spouse. A very young wife was lawfully brought to the United Kingdom, where she was dependent upon her husband and his family, and where she gave birth to a child who has major disabilities. Her husband made little effort to secure for her the immigration status to which she was entitled and when the marriage got into difficulties, she was then sent out of the country with no right to re-enter. The result is that she and her child have been separated for the past three years, a situation that is a wholesale breach of their right to respect for their family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The only way in which this breach can be remedied is by the mother regaining the ability to enter this country. The nature of the child's condition means that while his mother remains abroad there is no opportunity for any meaningful relationship between them.
Conclusion and consequential orders
52. The mother has substantially proved her case. A copy of this judgment will be available to the Home Office to enable it to reconsider its refusal of an entry visa. Failing that, it will be available to the tribunal hearing the mother's appeal in August. My order will contain declarations as to the infringements that have occurred in this case.