Stand in Solidarity With Migrants & Asylum Seekers
Join "Leeds No Borders' Protest
12:00pm - 1:30pm Monday, June 15
UK Border Agency
Waterside Court, 471 Kirkstall Road, LS4 2QB
Marking the beginning of Refugee Week, we stand in solidarity with migrants & asylum seekers everywhere. We call for freedom of movement for everyone. No to racist immigration controls! No borders, no nations, stop deportations!
Asylum seekers must sign here either weekly, monthly or every 2 months and for many people there is a real fear of being detained so each visit is loaded with anxiety.
- Show solidarity with people going in to sign. ..it's a horrible experience and most people are liable to be detained at any time so each visit is filled with anxiety. we try to give a friendly welcome to people before they go in and offer them a leaflet with our phone number in case anything goes wrong. Many people going to sign express their relief at seeing friendly supporters.
- Raise awareness of the ongoing plight of people seeking asylum (not allowed to work, years waiting, living on £5 a day etc) -Kirkstall Road is really busy so we often have people stopping to ask for info about what is happening/beeps of support
-Let the Home Office know we are keeping an eye on them! Someone who works there told us quietly how much the Home Office management hate our protests!! it draws attention to them.
-Come together as a group united against racist immigration controls. It's a really good way for people with and without papers to show their opposition to the Home Office and give hope that together we can make change, even if it's going to be very long term!
Protests are used to highlight individual anti-deportation campaigns and have helped cancel a number of people's flights.
No Borders, No Nations, Stop Deportations! - No Borders Leeds
From: Leeds No Borders <firstname.lastname@example.org>
EDM 60: Eviction Of Palestinian Bedouin Communities From Israel
That this House notes with deep concern that, despite being a clear and egregious violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Israel advanced a 'relocation plan' that will see 7,000 Palestinian Bedouins and herders, 60 per cent of them children, who currently reside in 46 small residential areas, forcibly transferred and their homes demolished; further notes that, according to the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, most families have pending home demolition orders, 85 per cent of which lack connection to electricity and water, and that two-thirds of Palestinian communities have experienced extreme settler violence creating a coercive environment that functions as push factors; affirms Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the International Committee of the Red Cross's legal interpretation, that mass forcible transfer and forced evictions of protected peoples in occupied territory is prohibited under international humanitarian law and human rights law; reminds the Government of its obligations to ensure that Israel, as an occupying power, abides by its legal obligation to protect the civilian population in the occupied territory and administer it for their benefit; believes that these plans will undermine Palestinian presence in the area, further disconnect Palestinian Jerusalem from the West Bank and disrupt the territorial contiguity of the occupied territory; urges the Government to condemn Israel's actions and policy as flagrant violations of international law; calls for urgent action to be taken to oppose these policies; and further calls on the Government to pressure the State of Israel to immediately scrap the outrageous relocation plans.
Sponsors: Morris, Grahame M / Cryer, John / Corbyn, Jeremy / Burgon, Richard / West, Catherine /Sharma, Virendra
Date tabled: <>01.06.2015
Put your MP to work demand they sign EDM 60
Early Day Motions are very good ways of raising issues in parliament, which do not get debated in normal sittings of parliament.
You can contact your MP for free, through: WriteToThem.Com
UKHO Detention Capacity @ 31st march 2015
As of 31st March 2015 there are a total of 3,321 bed spaces, in Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs) and Short Term Holding Facilities (STHFs).
The total number of people in 'Immigration Detention' at the 31st March 2015 was 3,483 this number includes 347 detainees held in prison establishments (HMPs).
Seven IRCs and 3 STHFs are owned/managed or managed by private corporations, three IRCs owned by the Prison Service/managed under Detention Centre Rules (DCR).
Campsfield House IRC MITIE care and custody Bed spaces: 216 male detainees
Harmondsworth IRC MITIE Bed spaces 615 male detainees
Colnbrook IRC MITIE Bed spaces 308 male detainees ( STHC 40 beds male/40 beds female)
Dungavel House IRC GEO Bed spaces 217 Mixed, male, female
Yarl's Wood IRC Serco Bed spaces 405 Female detainees
Brook House IRC G4S Bed spaces 426 male detainees
Tinsley House IRC G4S Bed spaces 119 Male Detainees - 8 Families
Larne House STHF Reliance Bed spaces 19
Pennine House STHF Reliance Bed spaces 32
*Dover IRC HMP/UKHO Bed spaces 314 male detainees
*Morton Hall IRC HMP/UKHO Bed spaces 392 male detainees
*HMP The Verne HMP/UKHO Bed spaced 214 male detainees
Cedars Pre-departure accommodation Barnardo's 44 Children/parents
*Detainees held in Dover/Morton Hall/The Verne, are managed by the Prison Service under 'Detention Centre Rules'.
IRC – Immigration Removal Centres
Addresses/phone/fax/visiting times for all the above can be found here:
ECtHR: Ouabour v. Belgium (application no. 26417/10)
The applicant, Abdellah Ouabour, was born in 1974 and lives in Maaseik (Belgium).
The case concerned an order for his extradition to Morocco, issued after he had been sentenced in 2007 to six years' imprisonment for taking part in the activities of a terrorist organisation and for criminal conspiracy.
In April 2005 the chief public prosecutor at the Rabat Court of Appeal (Morocco) issued an international arrest warrant in respect of Mr Ouabour, who was wanted for "forming a group to prepare and commit terrorist acts". The Brussels Court of First Instance declared the warrant enforceable in July 2005.
In December 2009 Mr Ouabour appealed to the Conseil d'État against a ministerial order of 5 October 2009 approving his extradition. He alleged that torture was systematically practised in Morocco during questioning and in prison in the context of terrorism prevention and that he belonged to the category of persons affected by such practices. The legal adviser at the Conseil d'État expressed the opinion that the appeal was ill-founded, noting that most of the documents supplied by the applicant dated back to the period from 2003 to 2006 and did not warrant a conclusion that the situation in Morocco would be dangerous for him.
On 30 July 2010, after the European Court of Human Rights had indicated an interim measure (Rule 39 of the Rules of Court) to the effect that it would be advisable not to extradite Mr Ouabour to Morocco until further notice, his immediate release was ordered on the grounds that the length of his detention was disproportionate to the aim pursued.
Mr Ouabour and the Government disagree as to whether the Conseil d'État's judgment of 19 November 2010 means that the ministerial order of 5 October 2009 approving the applicant's extradition has been withdrawn.
Mr Ouabour alleged that if extradited to Morocco, he would face a real risk of being subjected to treatment in breach of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights. Relying on Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) in conjunction with Article 3, he argued that his appeal to the Conseil d'Etat was ineffective.
Violation of Article 3 - in the event of Mr Ouabou's extradition to Morocco
No violation of Article 13 in conjunction with Article 3
Full judgement in French only <>here . . . .
BM and Others (DRC returnees - criminal and non-criminal)
(CG)  UKUT 293 (IAC) (2 June 2015)
In the result, we remake the decisions in each of the five cases in the following way:
(a) the appeals of DS, BBM and DK are dismissed on all grounds;
(b) the appeal of AA is allowed on asylum and Article 3 ECHR grounds; and
(c) the appeal of BM will be completed in accordance with above as soon as possible.
[Obiter: 1. A national of the Democratic Republic of Congo ("DRC") who has acquired the status of foreign national offender in the United Kingdom is not, simply by virtue of such status, exposed to a real risk of persecution or serious harm or treatment proscribed by Article 3 ECHR in the event of enforced return to the DRC.
2. A national of the DRC whose attempts to acquire refugee status in the United Kingdom have been unsuccessful is not, without more, exposed to a real risk of persecution or serious harm or proscribed treatment contrary to Article 3 ECHR in the event of enforced return to DRC.
3. A national of the DRC who has a significant and visible profile within APARECO (UK) is, in the event of returning to his country of origin, at real risk of persecution for a Convention reason or serious harm or treatment proscribed by Article 3 ECHR by virtue of falling within one of the risk categories identified by the Upper Tribunal in MM (UDPS Members – Risk on Return) Democratic Republic of Congo CG  UKAIT 00023. Those belonging to this category include persons who are, or are perceived to be, leaders, office bearers or spokespersons. As a general rule, mere rank and file members are unlikely to fall within this category. However, each case will be fact sensitive, with particular attention directed to the likely knowledge and perceptions of DRC state agents.
4. The DRC authorities have an interest in certain types of convicted or suspected offenders, namely those who have unexecuted prison sentences in the DRC or in respect of whom there are unexecuted arrest warrants in the DRC or who allegedly committed an offence, such as document fraud, when departing the DRC. Such persons are at real risk of imprisonment for lengthy periods and, hence, of treatment proscribed by Article 3 ECHR. ]
1. These five appeals have been selected and conjoined for the purpose of determining the legality of the actions of the United Kingdom Government whereby certain persons are returned from this country to the Democratic Republic of Congo ("DRC"), their country of origin. All five Appellants are DRC nationals. There are two groups of Appellants:
(a) The members of the first group are the second, third and fourth Appellants DS, BBM and DK, who are united by the characteristic that each is a foreign national offender subject to automatic deportation to the DRC. In the case of BBM only one of the permitted grounds of appeal is Article 8 ECHR.
(b) The first and fifth Appellants, BM and AA, who challenge decisions to remove them to the DRC, have in common the characteristic that each is a failed asylum seeker. We shall examine in due course the significance of one further characteristic of the Appellant AA, namely her role in the organisation APARECO.
In all five cases the Secretary of State for the Home Department (the "Secretary of State"), the Respondent to these appeals, has initiated action to deport or remove the Appellants to the DRC.
2. The assorted ingredients identified above give rise to the following country guidance issues:
(i) Is a national of the DRC who is proposed for deportation or removal to his country of origin exposed to a real risk of persecution or serious harm or treatment proscribed by Article 3 ECHR by virtue of having been convicted of an offence in the United Kingdom?
(ii) Is a national of the DRC proposed for deportation or removal to his country of origin exposed to a real risk of persecution or serious harm or treatment proscribed by Article 3 ECHR or in need of humanitarian protection by virtue of having claimed asylum unsuccessfully in the United Kingdom?
(iii) Is a national of the DRC proposed for deportation or removal to his country of origin exposed to a real risk of persecution or serious harm or treatment proscribed by Article 3 ECHR or in need of humanitarian protection by virtue of having claimed asylum unsuccessfully in the United Kingdom and/or by virtue of having a prominent role in the organisation "APARECO"?
3. All of the Appellants challenged the Secretary of State's decisions by exercising their statutory right of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal ("FtT"). Their appeals were dismissed. In all of the appeals permission was secured to appeal to this Tribunal which, by its earlier decisions, ruled that the determinations of the FtT must be set aside as they are vitiated by error of law pursuant to section 12(2)(a) of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. In all of the appeals the Upper Tribunal has held that the FtT erred in its consideration and determination of the central issue of risk to the Appellants in the event of their enforced return to DRC. The individual errors of law consisted of applying the wrong test, failing to take into account material facts and factors and misunderstanding the evidence. In the case of BBM only, the determination of the FtT has been set aside on the further ground of error of law concerning his claim under Article 8 ECHR. We held that the approach of the FtT to the issues of risk on return and Article 8 was unsustainable in law. The decisions of the FtT are hereby re-made, in accordance with section 12(2)(b)(ii).
4.The fundamental question for this Tribunal is whether the deportation or removal of any of the Appellants from the United Kingdom to the DRC would expose them to a real risk of persecution within the framework of the Refugee Convention or serious harm within the compass of the Qualification Directive or a breach of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ("ECHR"). If this Tribunal were to conclude that either of these risks is demonstrated in any of the Appellants' cases, the individual appeal would succeed as the Secretary of State's decision to deport would not be in accordance with the law, being in contravention of the ECHR and/or the Refugee Convention. The Appellants contend that such a risk exists by virtue of their status of failed asylum seeker or foreign national offender without more. In the particular case of the fifth Appellant, AA, reliance is placed on the additional factor of activity within and association with the organisation APARECO.
5. These appeals were presented and argued by reference to four main categories of evidence. Belonging to the first category was a reasonably substantial volume of evidence emanating from a broad spectrum of sources relating to the conditions prevailing in the DRC. The second category consists of various strands of evidence relating to the APARECO organisation and certain members and office bearers thereof. The third category, in contrast, has but a single component, namely the report of an expert witness, Dr Erik Kennes, upon which all Appellants relied. Finally, we have considered evidence, both oral and documentary, bearing on each Appellant individually. In essence, our determination of these appeals is based upon our evaluation of all of this evidence in the round.
New MPs on the Block - Scottish National Party (SNP)
Off to a good start: Stuart McDonald, Anne McLaughlin, Natalie McGarry
Early Day Motion 71: Dawn Raids By Border Agency Staff
That this House condemns the dawn raid reportedly carried out in Glasgow on 28 May 2015 during which it is understood that 20 UK Border Agency staff detained a family, including three young children and split the family up by immediately removing the mother and her children while the father remained in the UK; believes dawn raids to be inhumane; and calls for effective, humane and sustainable alternatives to be fully explored with a view to ending the practice.
Sponsors: Stuart McDonald, Anne McLaughlin, Natalie McGarry
House of Commons: <> 02.06.2015
Early Day Motion 72: Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre
That this House commends the protestors who gathered at Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre on 30 May 2015 to call for the closure of the centre; and agrees that the Government must pursue alternatives to detention with a view to achieving the closure of Dungavel House and other immigration removal centres.
Sponsors: Stuart McDonald, Anne McLaughlin, Natalie McGarry
House of Commons: <> 02.06.2015
400 People at Dungavel IRC Call for End To Immigration Detention
Protesters have called for an end to the detention of immigrants during a demonstration at Scotland's only immigration removal centre. Trade union groups, human rights campaigners and religious organisations held the protest outside Dungavel, last Saturday 30th May 2015. About 400 people, many with banners, gathered at the centre in South Lanarkshire to hear speakers including STUC president Lawrence Wason.
Asylum Research Consultancy COI Update Volume 103
This document provides an update of Country Guidance case law and UKBA publications and developments in refugee producing countries between 19th May 2015 and 1st June 2015 - Volume 103 <>here . . .
Continuing Conflicts that Create Refugees - May 2015
10 actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and 2 improved in May 2015, according to CrisisWatch N°142
Deteriorated Situations: Afghanistan, Burundi, Colombia, Korean Peninsula, Macedonia, Pakistan, South China Sea, South Sudan, Tajikistan, Yemen
Burund's violent pre-election crisis prompted increasing alarm over the potential for open conflict. Meanwhile, fighting escalated dramatically in Afghanistan, South Sudan and Yemen in May, and Colombia's peace agreement looked further imperilled as FARC suspended their ceasefire. A high-level defection to Islamic State from Tajikistan and a horrific attack on minorities in Pakistan were a stark reminder of ongoing destabilising extremist threats in these countries. May also saw a marked rise in geopolitical tensions in the South China Sea, developments in North Korea's nuclear weapons systems, and a worsening of Macedonia's political crisis. In contrast, both the Philippines and Cyprus made progress to resolve decades-old conflicts.
Burundi: Violent protests against Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza's proposed third term escalated dramatically last month, including a failed coup attempt led by former army chief of staff General Godefroid Niyombare. As the country teeters on the brink of renewed civil war, Crisis Group's latest briefing stresses that peaceful resolution is still possible if a range of measures are taken swiftly, including establishing a new electoral calendar and ensuring that the security and political conditions necessary to hold elections are restored.
Colombia: An increasingly volatile peace process suffered a major blow with the collapse of FARC's five month-old unilateral ceasefire, following one of the deadliest government attacks on the guerrillas in the last five years. Crisis Group's Statement on the crisis argues that, to bring the process back on track, both parties need to show maximum restraint on the battlefield, ring-fence the negotiations from this new conflict dynamic, and demonstrate concrete progress with de-escalation measures like their joint demining scheme.
South Sudan: The situation continued to deteriorate. Fighting escalated dramatically in May and fears of economic collapse and an impending famine are growing. Both President Salva Kiir's government and the SPLM-IO continue to prioritise military gains, and critical peace talks remain stalled (read our recent statement). In late May, Kenya launched an initiative to link IGAD negotiations with the SPLM reunification process.
Yemen: continued to slide toward an increasingly intractable conflict as Saudi-led airstrikes against the Huthi/Saleh coalition inflicted a heavy toll, including on civilians (see our latest briefing).
Afghanistan: Tens of thousands of people fled fighting outside the northern provincial capital Kunduz in early May amid deteriorating security, as the government launched a major counteroffensive against the Taliban's advance on the city. The situation in Kunduz stabilised by the end of May, but further unrest is expected.
The proximity of the increased fighting to Tajikistan prompted growing concern there, compounded when a former special forces commander announced he had joined Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) and threatened to bring jihad to the country. In ongoing criminal and terrorist violence in Karachi, 45 members of Pakistan's Ismaili Shia minority were killed in an attack on a bus on 13 May.
Elsewhere, the month saw increasing concern over stability in Macedonia, where eight police and ten gunmen were killed in a bloody shootout in the town of Kumanovo on 9-10 May, and the ongoing political crisis deepened. East Asia saw rapidly rising tensions over the South China Sea as the U.S. challenges China's reclamation of islands in the disputed Spratly chain (see our latest report), and alarm as North Korea continued to develop its nuclear delivery systems, combined with reports of a high-level purge in Pyongyang with the potential to trigger internal instability.
Improved Situations: Cyprus, Philippines - In a positive step forward, the House of Representatives in the Philippines passed the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) for plenary hearing. As the cornerstone of the 2012 peace agreement ending decades of conflict in Mindanao, the bill still needs to be ratified by the House of Representatives and passed by the Senate – where there remains strong opposition – all before congress enters recess in early June. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) must also agree to amendments that have been made to the BBL. In Cyprus, UN-mediated reunification talks between the Greek Cypriot leader and the Turkish Cypriot leader resumed on 15 May after an eight-month impasse. On 28 May, the leaders agreed on five concrete steps in the framework of confidence-building measures.
June 2015 Outlook
Conflict Risk Alert: Afghanistan, Burundi
Conflict Resolution Opportunity: None
Download the full report: <>CrisisWatch N°142
Tinsley House IRC - Performing Well, But Still Matters to Address
Tinsley House was one of the best performing immigration removal centres, but needed to give some matters more attention, said Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons. Today he published the report of an unannounced inspection of the centre near Gatwick. Tinsley House held 110 detainees at the time of the inspection. Families may be held for short periods in the family unit, which is also sometimes used to hold vulnerable individuals. Its last inspection in 2012 was very positive. This more recent inspection found that standards had been maintained on the whole, but there were now areas that needed attention.
Inspectors were concerned to find that:
- detainees at risk of self-harm were well cared for, but those who needed constant supervision were held in the care and separation unit, which was bleak;
- some detainees' cases had been progressed too slowly, resulting in prolonged, unnecessary and therefore possibly unlawful detention;
- rule 35 reports, which deal with allegations of torture and special conditions, had resulted in more releases than usual, but they were of variable quality and were not given sufficient weight by the Home Office;
- a minority of staff were less respectful and distant with detainees and some staff did not always knock before entering rooms;
- escort arrangements for families were unacceptable; and
- inspectors were not assured that the management and risk assessments required by the different groups held in the family unit were given enough attention.
Progress on recommendations from the last report 2012:
Detainees at risk of self-harm or suicide should not be located in the separation accommodation solely for reasons of vulnerability. A suitable care suite should be available. (HE.45) - Not achieved
Detainees should not be subject to exhausting overnight transfers between centres. (1.7) - Not achieved
Families should not be subjected to excessive stays in airport holding rooms and should be escorted promptly to the centre. (5.18) - Not achieved
Formal arrangements for safeguarding adults should be developed in partnership with the local authority. (1.36) - Not achieved
Use of force meetings should take place regularly and include analysis of relevant data to help identify patterns and trends. (1.63) - Not achieved
There should be a clear referral and assessment system for mental health needs, with appropriate linkage between primary mental health and services for severe and enduring mental health. Recognised assessment tools and care planning should be used. (HE.46) - Not achieved
The centre should regularly communicate to detainees the best ways to improve ventilation. (2.5)
There should be suitable facilities for health care staff to run clinics and consultations in private and without being disturbed. (2.64) - Not achieved
Detainees should be able to prepare their own food in a cultural kitchen. (2.102) - Not achieved
Compliance with UKBA should not be a pre-requisite for obtaining work in the centre. (3.12) - Not achieved
The practice of taking additional detainees as reserves to the airport for charter flight removals should cease. (HE.47) - Not achieved
Detainees' needs relating to their detention, release or removal should be systematically assessed by welfare staff during induction and resolved through ongoing individual casework which recognises the complex nature of the challenges faced by detainees. (4.3) - Not achieved
Inspectors were pleased to find that:
- reception and early days arrangements were good;
- the atmosphere was calm and there were few recorded violent or bullying incidents;
- use of force was low and security was proportionate;
- most detainees told inspectors they felt safe, although fewer of those who completed surveys reported feeling safe than at the last inspection;
- adults at risk were well cared for;
- the standard of accommodation was reasonable, although ventilation was poor;
- health care services were reasonably good;
- the relationships between staff and detainees were good overall and inspectors observed many examples of kind and helpful interactions;
- detainees had access to a good range of recreational and education activities and good freedom of movement around the centre;
- there was a good range of work opportunities, but pay rates were very low;
- preparation for removal or release was good, with useful welfare services provided;
- the family unit was a good facility with impressive staff and managers; and
- sufficient consideration was not always given to alternatives to detention for families, though in at least two cases, the process had enabled children who were being trafficked to be intercepted and protected.
- Inspectors made 75 recommendations.
Nick Hardwick said: "Tinsley House continues to be one of the best performing immigration removal centres. However, that in no way detracts from the need to ensure that no one is held there unless absolutely necessary. That is particularly so with families with children and we were not persuaded that necessity to detain was always adequately considered for individuals or families. That is not an issue the centre itself can control, but there are matters it needs to address. Deteriorations in our survey results about safety and relationships with staff, though still similar to comparable establishments, are a matter for concern and need close attention. The purpose of the family unit and the management of the wider group of detainees it now holds needs clearer focus. Tinsley House has many strengths on which to build, but it now has improvements to make. We hope this report will assist with that process."