R (on the Application of EM (Eritrea) v SSHD  UKSC 12 On appeal from  EWCA Civ 1336 + (EH) + (MA) + (AE)
Issue whether the return of any of the appellants to Italy would entail a real risk of inhuman or degrading treatment in violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Supreme Court unanimously allows the asylum seekers' appeals and remits all four cases to the administrative court to determine on the facts whether in each case it is established that there is a real possibility that, if returned to Italy, the claimant would be subject to treatment in violation of the Convention.
Press Summary PDF
Pentonville Not Appropriate Place to Hold Immigration Detainees
The large number of foreign national prisoners (34% of the population) received some good support, but the officer responsible was too frequently deployed to other duties, which was increasingly affecting this support. The Home Office's input on immigration matters was inadequate, as was the use of translation services and access to independent legal advice. The prison was not an appropriate place in which to hold a large number of immigration detainees.
Report on an Unannounced Inspection of HMP Pentonville
"It is clear that Pentonville cannot operate as a modern 21st century prison without investment in its physical condition, adequate staffing levels to manage its complex population and effective support from the centre. If these things
cannot be provided, considerations should be given to whether HMP Pentonville has a viable future." Nick Hardwick
Inspection 27 August – 6 September 2013 by HMCIP, report compiled February 2014, published 18/02/14
Asylum Research Consultancy (ARC) COI Update Volume 73
This document provides an update of Country Guidance case law and UKBA publications and developments in refugee producing countries between 4th and 18th February 2014 - Volume 73 <>here . . .
Szczepanski v The Home Office  UKFTT 162 (TC)
– application to make appeal out of time - decision of Home Office not to restore seized lorry tractor unit upheld on review - appellant had 30 days in which to appeal under s 16(1) Finance Act 1994 - notice of appeal made out of time - appellant claimed delays occasioned by postal delay, difficulties of translating correspondence and an invitation to provide further evidence - whether tribunal should give permission for appeal to be made - yes - application allowed
UKBA: Operational Guidance Note: Eritrea
This document provides Home Office caseworkers with guidance on the nature and handling of the most common types of claims received from nationals/residents of Eritrea, including whether claims are or are not likely to justify the granting of asylum, humanitarian protection or discretionary leave. Caseworkers must refer to the relevant asylum instructions (AIs) for further details of the policy on these areas.
1.2 Caseworkers must not base decisions on the country of origin information (COI) in this guidance; it is included to provide context only and does not purport to be comprehensive.
Boko Haram Kill 90 In Attack On Northeast Nigeria Village
Suspected Islamist fighters killed at least 90 people in an early morning attack on a village in remote northeast Nigeria on Sunday, witnesses said. The Boko Haram gunmen surrounded the village of Izge, near the border with Cameroon, spraying it with bullets, setting off explosions and burning down dozens of houses, they said.
ÒAs I am talking to you now, all the dead bodies of the victims are still lying in the streets,Ó resident Abubakar Usman told Reuters by telephone. ÒWe fled without burying them, fearing the terrorists were still lurking in the bushes.Ó
Read more: Independent, 17/02/14
Qatar World Cup: 400 Nepalese Die on Nation's Building Sites
The grim statistic comes from the Pravasi Nepali Co-ordination Committee, a respected human rights organisation which compiles lists of the dead using official sources in Doha. It will pile new pressure on the Qatari authorities Ð and on football's world governing body, Fifa Ð to curb a mounting death toll that some are warning could hit 4,000 by the time the 2022 finals take place.
It also raises the question of how many migrant workers in total have died on construction sites since Qatar won the bid in 2010. Nepalese workers comprise 20% of Qatar's migrant workforce, and many others are drafted in from countries such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
A focus on the Nepalese deaths has seen Fifa and Qatar battling a PR crisis that threatens to cast a long shadow over the event. Last week, appearing before EU officials, Theo Zwanziger, a senior Fifa executive who has publicly criticised the decision to award the tournament to Qatar, pledged that his organisation would be carrying out "on-the-spot visits" to ensure that workers' rights were being respected.
Read more: Observer, 15/02/14
Garden Court Chambers - Immigration Law Bulletin - Issue 359
MD (same-sex oriented males: risk) India CG  UKUT 65 (IAC)
Decision: For the reasons given by Upper Tribunal Judge Gleeson, the First-tier Tribunal's determination contains an error of law requiring it to be set aside. Upon re-making the decision on appeal, we dismiss it on all grounds.
"1. …[T]he AIT made a finding that the appellant was a homosexual and noted (sic) accepted that anti-homosexual laws existed but that there are also areas and clubs where open displays of affection are accepted.
[a. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code 1860 criminalises same-sex sexual activity. On 2 July 2009 the Delhi High Court declared section 377 IPC to be in violation of the Indian Constitution insofar as it criminalises consensual sexual acts between adults in private. However, in a judgment of 11 December 2013, the Supreme Court held that section 377 IPC does not suffer from the vice of unconstitutionality and found the declaration of the Delhi High Court to be legally unsustainable.
b. Prosecutions for consensual sexual acts between males under section 377 IPC are, and have always been, extremely rare.
c. Some persons who are, or are perceived to be, same-sex oriented males suffer ill treatment, extortion, harassment and discrimination from the police and the general populace; however, the prevalence of such incidents is not such, even when taken cumulatively, that there can be said in general to be a real risk of an openly same-sex oriented male suffering treatment which is persecutory or which would otherwise reach the threshold required for protection under the Refugee Convention, Article 15(b) of the Qualification Directive, or Article 3 ECHR.
d. Same-sex orientation is seen socially, and within the close familial context, as being unacceptable in India. Circumstances for same-sex oriented males are improving, but progress is slow.
e. It would not, in general, be unreasonable or unduly harsh for an open same-sex oriented male (or a person who is perceived to be such), who is able to demonstrate a real risk in his home area because of his particular circumstances, to relocate internally to a major city within India.
f. India has a large, robust and accessible LGBTI activist and support network, mainly to be found in the large cities.]
Deborah Must Stay
Deborah Harry is an active member of the Zimbabwean opposition movement to Mugabe's brutal regime. She has been detained in Yarl's Wood for over a month now and has a history of depression which is exacerbated by this awful situation. She has been refused treatment for insomnia and depression and and was told by the guards that those are 'normal conditions' for women in Yarl's Wood so they don't treat them.
She arrived in the UK to seek asylum in 2009 but received unbelievably poor legal advice, with her solicitor not even bothering to tell her court dates! As a result of this, the Home Office has refused her claim despite her having a strong case and evidence.
She is an active member of the Restoration of Human Rights (ROHR) Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Association and also regularly participates in the demonstrations outside the Zimbabwean embassy in London. She has been outspoken against the Mugabe regime and so it is obviously completely unsafe for her to be removed back to Zimbabwe where it is well known that human rights activists often 'disappear' on arrival.
<>Read more and take Action
Urgent Support Needed For Noela Claye
Support Ms Noela Claye: Demand the Home Office withdraw its action against a rape survivor who won the right to stay in the UK. Noela suffered horrific rape and other violence in 1995 in Sierra Leone during the civil war. In November last year she won the right to stay in the UK. The Home Office is now appealing that decision! Please support Ms Claye by writing to demand that the Home Office drop the appeal and allow Ms Claye the chance to live in safety and to recover.
Campaign from Women Against Rape / </>Read more and take action
Flora belongs to Hull
Flora is a Cameroonian woman who came to the U.K. in 2007 to complete her academic career in Environmental Technology. In 2010 she graduated from the University of Hull, obtaining an MSC. Since then she has been living in the city, which she now refers to as her home. Flora has managed to build very strong community links in Hull, which have help her through hard times, supporting her through the end of the relationship with her previous abusive partner and forming a strong network to campaign for her right to remain. Since she moved to Hull Flora has been part of various charitable projects, working for the Methodist Church, the Mental Health Action Group and campaigning in schools to break the stigma often attached to refugees and asylum seekers. Flora has no ties to Cameroon and if removed she would find herself without any support.
See Updates on Flora's Situation and Get Involved </>Here . . . .
DRC Asylum Seekers Face 'Tortur ' if Removal From UK
A top-secret document circulating among senior police and security chiefs in the Democratic Republic of Congo suggests that individuals deported from Britain may face torture on their return to their home country.
Details of the document have emerged as the Home Office begins to detain dozens of Congolese nationals for removal, despite concerns over human rights abuses.
The highly sensitive document is an order from Congo's ministry of the interior, circulated to senior officials in the national intelligence agency, Agence Nationale de Renseignements, the police and the Direction Générale de Migration and leaked to the Observer. It instructs security chiefs to track down and arrest opponents of the government, including members of the main opposition party, the Union for Democracy & Social Progress, and suggests torture could be used with "discretion".
. . . . A report by Justice First monitored 11 returnees to the DRC from the UK for a period up to September 2013. Nine had been detained, of whom eight were imprisoned and two died, one apparently after receiving severe beatings from Congolese officials.
The document passed to the Observer urges police, immigration and secret service officials to be on the lookout for asylum seekers who have been forcibly returned at the different border posts in Kinshasa, including Ndjili airport, Ngobila Beach on the border between Congo and Congo Brazzaville, and other secret entry points along the river which borders the two countries.
Read more: Diane Taylor and Mark Townsend, <>Observer, 15/02/14
Kadyamarunga v SSHD  EWHC 301 (Admin)
The Issue: There is, upon this application for judicial review, a narrow issue: Did the Defendant send to the Claimant a letter promising her that her application for leave to remain would be dealt with by the 20th July 2011. For reasons that I explain further below if, as a matter of fact, such a promise was made then it is common ground between the parties that the Claimant is entitled to indefinite leave to remain ("ILR"). The issue before me therefore boils down to a question of evidence and as to the principles that I should apply in determining that issue. A sub-issue arising concerns the stance that the Secretary of State for the Home Department ("SSHD") may appropriately take in challenging propositions of fact advanced by a claimant.
Conclusion: (a) the application for judicial review of the Decision is granted; and (b) the Claimant is entitled to an order that she be granted indefinite leave to remain.
AHK & Ors, R (Application Of) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 151
[Judicial review appeals stayed -pending pursuing alternative remedy in SIAC]
1. The four appellants (AHK, AM, AS and FM) all have permission to appeal against orders made by Ouseley J in the Administrative Court by which, or as a result of which, their claims for judicial review were dismissed. The central issue before me is whether the appeals should be stayed pending pursuit by the appellants of an alternative remedy now available to them by way of applications to SIAC. A hearing of that issue, at which all parties were represented, took place on 11 February 2014. At the end of the hearing I reserved my judgment, in part because we had run out of time but principally in order to enable me to give proper consideration to written submissions and authorities relied on by Mr Southey QC which, through no fault of his, had not been received by me in advance of the hearing.
2. The background is that each of the appellants applied for naturalisation as a British citizen but had his application refused by the Secretary of State on the ground that he did not meet the "good character" requirement. In each case the Secretary of State declined to give detailed reasons for the refusal, adopting the position that disclosure of the reasons would be contrary to the public interest. AHK was simply told that his application for naturalisation was refused because of his association with Iranian elements hostile to British national interests. AM was told nothing beyond that naturalisation had been refused on the grounds of character and that it would be contrary to the public interest to give reasons. AS was initially told that it would be contrary to the public interest to give reasons beyond that naturalisation had been refused on grounds of national security; but he was subsequently told that it had been refused because there was reason to believe that he had made statements of an Islamist extremist nature to a number of individuals and had been involved in a range of activity for the purpose of advancing an Islamist extremist agenda. FM was told that the reasons for refusal were that he had openly preached anti-Western views and voiced sympathy with Usama Bin Laden at the Hatherley Street Mosque in Liverpool.
3. Each appellant brought a claim for judicial review to challenge the refusal of his application for naturalisation. Their claims came to be joined, numerous other claims of a similar nature being stayed behind them.
37. Accordingly, I am not persuaded by anything advanced on behalf of the appellants that I should allow these appeals to proceed now to a substantive hearing. I am satisfied that if the appellants are to pursue their alternative remedy in SIAC they must do so now and that the judicial review appeals should be stayed in the meantime.
38. I will therefore order that the stay of these four appeals is to continue pending determination of the appellants' applications to SIAC or further order. The position can be reviewed in the light of those determinations.
39. This judgment may be relevant not only in relation to similar cases pending in the Court of Appeal but also for judges of the Administrative Court when considering whether to stay judicial review proceedings at first instance (including Ignaoua) raising similar issues. I do not think that there are any restrictions on its citation but for the avoidance of doubt I give permission for it to be cited.