Yarl's Wood: 'Concern' Over Claims of Excessive Force
A recent incident at the Yarl's Wood detention centre has given HM Inspectorate of Prisons "considerable concern", the BBC has learned. Detainees say guards broke up a peaceful protest with excessive force two weeks ago, but Serco, the company which runs the Bedfordshire centre for the Home Office, denies this. One guard involved with the incident has been suspended ahead of an inquiry.
The Home Office says its professional standards unit will investigate. Bedfordshire police said their inquiry found no offence had taken place. Officials from the independent HM Inspectorate of Prison, which is currently carrying out an inspection of Yarl's Wood, said their concerns arose from CCTV footage of the incident.
A lawyer for the detainees said six women were staging a peaceful protest in a bedroom with a Kenyan asylum seeker, who was about to be deported. The facility houses up to 400 women under threat of deportation. Detainees claim staff in riot gear dragged them out, and that one guard used the edge of his riot shield to hit them on their legs and feet.
Serco said staff had believed the women were armed with cutlery, so the guards had worn protective clothing. They said the guard at the centre of the incident acted in self defence, but he has now been suspended pending an investigation. Two members of the facility's staff were suspended last month following allegations of abuse.
BBC News, Saturday, 25th April 2015
Anna Rjabova and Lillija Jezdovska - Update Thursday 23rd April
Today Lillija was released from Yarlswood following a bail hearing, the Home Office were not able to move her to prison - a huge victory for the women of Yarl's Wood and the movement. Anna has been moved to HMP Holloway, women's prison in London, we will be organising an emergency demonstration at Holloway this week - watch out for the email!
Detainee Dies of Suspected Heart Attack at Yarl's Wood IRC
An investigation has been launched into the death on Monday of a detainee at Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre. It is understood that the man was being held in the family unit at the Bedfordshire detention centre with his wife and child. Witnesses said he is thought to have had a heart attack and been taken from the centre in a private ambulance, but the Home Office did not confirm the details.
One female detainee, who asked not to be named, said the man who died was 33 and his wife was also in her mid-thirties. Both were on a visit to the UK from their home in India when they were arrested and detained in the family unit at Yarl's Wood. The detainee said she thought the couple had children back home in India.
'The man's wife is in a state of shock. She was taken to the legal corridor but she is not speaking,' said the detainee. 'The couple had just had breakfast and the man had been drinking an energy drink. Suddenly he collapsed and died.'
She added that the couple had been in Yarl's Wood for two months. 'I think they came here with visitors' visas. They said they wanted to see London but they were detained at the airport and brought to Yarl's Wood. As far as I know he was healthy and not on any medication. He was very nice and so is she, they would make us all laugh. They were a lovely couple but now she is quite alone.'
Read more: Diane Taylor, Guardian, <> 20/04/15
22 Deaths Across the UK Detention Estate -
Remember the Dead - Justice for the Living
Chen, R (on the application of) v SSHD
(Appendix FM – Chikwamba – temporary separation – proportionality)
(IJR)  UKUT 189 (IAC) (24 March 2015)
- Claim dismissed --
[Obiter: (i) Appendix FM does not include consideration of the question whether it would be disproportionate to expect an individual to return to his home country to make an entry clearance application to re-join family members in the U.K. There may be cases in which there are no insurmountable obstacles to family life being enjoyed outside the U.K. but where temporary separation to enable an individual to make an application for entry clearance may be disproportionate. In all cases, it will be for the individual to place before the Secretary of State evidence that such temporary separation will interfere disproportionately with protected rights. It will not be enough to rely solely upon the case-law concerning Chikwamba v SSHD  UKHL 40.
(ii) Lord Brown was not laying down a legal test when he suggested in Chikwamba that requiring a claimant to make an application for entry clearance would only "comparatively rarely" be proportionate in a case involving children (per Burnett J, as he then was, in R (Kotecha and Das v SSHD  EWHC 2070 (Admin)).
(iii) In an application for leave on the basis of an Article 8 claim, the Secretary of State is not obliged to consider whether an application for entry clearance (if one were to be made) will be successful. Accordingly, her silence on this issue does not mean that it is accepted that the requirements for entry clearance to be granted are satisfied.
(iv) In cases where the Immigration Rules (the "IRs") do not fully address an Article 8 claim so that it is necessary (pursuant to R (Nagre)) to consider the claim outside the IRs, a failure by the decision maker to consider Article 8 outside the IRs will only render the decision unlawful if the claimant in fact shows that there has been (or, in a permission application, arguably has been) a substantive breach of his or her rights under Article 8.]
Judgment delivered on: 24 March 2015
Judge Gill: Introduction
1. The applicant is a 29-year-old national of the People's Republic of China (China). She has been granted permission to challenge a decision of the respondent of 25 October 2013 (hereafter the "first decision" or the "first decision letter") refusing her application of 17 September 2013 for leave to remain on the basis of Article 8 of the 1950 European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ("ECHR") outside the provisions of the Statement of Changes in the Immigration Rules HC 395 (as amended) (the "IRs"). The applicant's Article 8 claim was based on her marriage to a Raymond Hoi Wing Cheung, a British citizen born in the United Kingdom.
2. The first decision considered whether there would be insurmountable obstacles to the applicant and Mr Cheung enjoying family life in China but did not consider the possibility of the applicant applying for entry clearance in China.
3. Following the grant of permission, the respondent made a supplementary decision on 21 November 2014 (hereafter the "second decision" or the "second decision letter"). This decision elaborated upon the reasons why there were no insurmountable obstacles to family life being enjoyed in China. It then went on to consider the possibility of the applicant making an application for entry clearance in China in order to join Mr Cheung as his spouse.
4. At the hearing, I granted Mr Palmer's application for permission to amend the applicant's grounds in order to include a challenge to the second decision. I also granted permission to apply for judicial review of the second decision. As a consequence, the issue before me is whether the respondent (in the second decision) unlawfully used an "exceptionality test" or a threshold of exceptionality in applying Chikwamba v Secretary of State for the Home Department  UKHL 40 when she considered the possibility of the applicant applying for entry clearance in China.
50. For all of the reasons given above, the first decision and the second decision are lawful.
The claim is therefore dismissed.
Home Office Ordered to Bring Back Deported Mother and Son
The Home Office has been ordered to arrange for a deported migrant family to be returned to Britain from Nigeria – in a landmark ruling that threatens to undermine the Government's "deport first, appeal later" policy. Theresa May's department will face contempt of court proceedings unless the woman and her five-year-old son are located and transported back to the UK at the Home Office's expense by Thursday 23 April. It is believed to be the first time that an immigration judge has demanded that the Government retrieve asylum-seekers previously deported from the UK. Asylum campaigners and children's charities have welcomed the ruling, which could have major implications for the way in which scores of children and their parents are deported from the UK every year.
Read more: Read more: Maxine Frith , Indpendent, <>22/04/15
Afghan Charter Flight - Cancelled
Following the granting of a significant number of individual stays on removal on the clients that we represent who were due to be removed on the Afghan charter flight due to depart at 23:30 yesterday 21st April, we are delighted to confirm that following an out of hours application with Lady Justice Rafferty, generic relief has been granted to cover all forced removals
We will provide you with more details shortly, but massive thanks for the incredible hard work and diligence of our counsel, Sonali Naik, Ali Bandegani and Bryony Poyner of Garden Court Chambers.
Source: "Jamie Bell" <Jamieb@Duncanlewis.com>
Haslar IRC to Cease Holding Immigration Detainees
Haslar IRC currently run by the Prison Service for the Home Office will be handed back to the National Offender Management Service, next month. Resident immigration detainees will be moved to other IRCs.
Religious and Refugee Groups Denied Access to Dungavel IRC
The Home Office has refused to allow religious and refugee representatives into the controversial Dungavel immigration centre in Scotland amid reports of detainees on hunger strike, it is claimed. An emergency motion before the Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) AGM on Tuesday condemns the decision and calls for an end to detention within the asylum system.
The request to assess the conditions in the South Lanarkshire facility, where dozens of asylum seekers have been held for months, followed recent reports that protests were taking place inside and that as many as 60 detainees were refusing food.The request was made by the STUC, the Church of Scotland, the Catholic church, the Muslim Council of Britain and the Scottish Refugee Council. ÒWhilst the visit was welcomed by the centre manager, the Home Office denied the request, citing their own assurances that nothing was happening within the walls as a reason to deny civic Scotland entry,Ó said the STUC.
Read more: Guardian, 21/04/15
Protest Against the 'Let Them Drown' Policy'
Saturday 25th April 2015
1:00 pm to 2:00pm, European Commission office,
32 Smith Square, London SW1P 3EU
The death of 700 African migrants in the latest loss of a ship crossing from Libya to Europe has exposed the appalling human cost of the 'Fortress Europe' immigration policy imposed by European Union and the British government.
Anti-migrant rhetoric of the establishment politicians, UKIP and the Katie Hopkins obsessed media has lead to thousands of people, many of whom are fleeing nations torn apart by Western intervention, drowning in the sea.
In the first quarter of 2015, approximately 1,200 migrants have already drowned, 20 times as many as in the same period of 2014, leading to fears of a record death rate this year. Last year nearly four thousand bodies were recovered from the Med, and those are just those that were found. The EU needs to change it's policy to stop this.
Protest called by the Movement Against Xenophobia, supported by:
Stop the War Coalition
BARAC UK (Black Activists Rising Against Cuts)
Global Justice Now
Asylum Research Consultancy COI Update Volume 100
This document provides an update of Country Guidance case law and UKBA publications and developments in refugee producing countries between 7th April and 20th April 2015 - Volume 100 < >here . . .