No-Deportations - Residence Papers for All
36 Deaths Across the UK Detention Estate - Suicide/Murder/Undetermined

Plus 5 Deaths Following Release From Immigration Detention

Remember the Dead - Justice for the Living - End Immigration Detention Now

Oscar Okwurime died in Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre on thursday 12th September 2019. The cause of death is not yet known. The Home Office said the police, the coroner and the prisons and probation ombudsman were investigating. Detainees staged a protest about the death at 10am on Friday and passed photos of the demonstration to the Guardian. On a bedsheet used as a banner, detainees wrote “RIP Oscar Okwurime”. Friends on Okwurime’s wing said he had received a ticket for a charter flight to Nigeria due to take off next Tuesday. “He was terrified when he received the ticket and was so stressed about it,”

Carlington Spencer, died in Morton Hall Immigratin Removal Centre, after medical staff “dismissed” signs that he was having a stroke because they wrongly presumed that he had taken spice, an inquest has concluded. Carlington, a Jamaican national afed 38, died in hospital on 3 October 2017, after medical staff in Morton Hall took more than 48 hours to treat his condition as an emergency despite warnings he was “fire hot” and one side of his face was drooping, the jury heard. After separating from his wife, he became homeless for periods and struggled with mental and physical ill health. In April 2016, he was imprisoned for drug-related offences and a year later, after serving his sentence, was detained in Morton Hall IRC under immigration powers.

Arim Bakar: A 27-year-old Iraqi man was found dead at Morton Hall in an apparent suicide.On Sunday 19th November 2017. The Home Office have confirmed the death but gave no further information, except to say: 'a full independent investigation has been launched into the death, which is the fourth at the centre in the last year.'

Jamaican Detainee Carlington Spencer Dies in Morton Hall IRC
An investigation has been launched into the death of Carlington Spencer a 38-year-old immigration detainee after the Home office confirmed that a Jamaican man died on Monday 2nd October, while he was being held at Morton Hall immigration removal centre in Lincoln. It is the third such death in less than a month and human rights campaigners have expressed alarm at the incident. The prisons and probation ombudsman has begun an investigation. A Home Office spokesperson said:

Chinese Man Dies at Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre
An investigation has been launched after a Chinese man was found dead at an immigration detention centre. The body was discovered at Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre in Strathaven, South Lanarkshire, on Tuesday 19th September 2017. Officers from the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will now begin investigating the circumstances surrounding his death.

The death has been confirmed by the Home Office. A spokesman said: "We can confirm that a male Chinese national who was detained at Dungavel Immigration Removal Centre was found dead on 19 September.

Marcin Gwozdzinski: An investigation is to be conducted into the death of a Polish man at Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre, The Independent has learned. The 28-year-old allegedly hanged himself on Sunday afternoon 3rd September 2017, and was taken to hospital. The Home Office today confirmed that a man who had recently been held at the facility, near Heathrow airport, died yesterday, Friday 8th September, in intensive care after life support was withdrawn. A spokesperson had previously denied any knowledge of the incident, 

Lukasz Debowski, 27-year-old Polish detainee: His death occurred at Morton Hall IRC, by suicide on Wednesday 11th January 2017.  Detainees at Morton Hall report the man as 'young and quiet, never causing any trouble'. He spent his time watching TV, playing games and at the Gym. They say the vibes at the centre are 'very low and people are sick and tired of the place'. Speaking to ex-detainee friends of The Unity Centre the mood is also low, no one is surprised at yet another death but anger levels are high as suicides and deaths within the detention estates continue at what seems to be an increasing rate. 

Bai Ahmed Kabia, a 49-year-old man from Sierra Leone, died (06/12/16) In Morton Hall IRC: Detainees report that the Home Office signed the man’s release papers whilst the man was in hospital, heavily suggesting that the Home Office wanted to release the man from their responsibility before he would die, in an attempt to avoid the accusation of a second death in detention within one week.

The man who died had been detained for 2 years, having lived in the UK for 27 years. Although detention is described by the Home Office as a place in which people awaiting removal are to be held for the shortest possible time, the death of this man highlights once again how untrue this contention is. The man who died had no viable way to be removed from the UK and had not been issued with travel documents during the whole 2 years he was in detention, yet he continued to be detained until his death.

Branko Zdravkovic: A 43-year-old man found hanged at the Verne in Portland, Dorset, a detention centre run by the Prison Service, 09/04/17. According to the Daily Echo, Zdravkovic was meant to be on ‘enhanced observation’ as he was at risk of self harm.

Tarek Chowdhury aged 64, died following a fight in a detention centre close to Heathrow. Officers were called to an assault at the Colnbrook immigration removal centre in west London on Thursday morning1st December 2016, but the man died in hospital 12 hours later at 9.30pm.

Amir Siman-Tov, thought to be in his thirties and of Moroccan origin, died in the early hours of Wednesday 17th February 2016, at the detention centre near Heathrow. A cause of death has not been established.  A note circulated to detainees by Mitie Care and Custody, which manages Colnbrook, said: “It is with sad regret that on the morning of 17 February 2016 Mr Amir Siman-Tov passed away. The police have attended the centre and we are assisting them with their inquiries. This may be distressing news to some people and I would request that if you would like to speak to a member of staff please do so immediately.”

A fellow detainee at Colnbrook, Adel Kader, 50, from Lebanon, told the GuardianSiman-Tov was put on the healthcare ward when he arrived, where detainees with physical or mental health problems are placed, and said he was on suicide watch when he died. The Home Office would not comment on the case

Thomas Kirungi, a 30-year-old detainee from Uganda had been refused asylum in the UK and was awaiting deportation. It is understood that he took his own life and was discovered in his cell Friday 7 August 2015.  A spokesman for the Home Office said: "We can confirm that a 30-year-old man was found dead at the Verne Immigration Removal Centre this morning.

Pinakin Patel a 34 year old Indian man died at Yarl's Wood On 20 April 2915, from a heart attack. He was detained in the family unit with his wife.[14] Detainees went on hunger strike calling for the release of Mr Patel's widow, Bhavisha Ben Patel. She said the couple had to wait 15 minutes for health care staff to attend after he suffered from shortness of breath on the morning he died. They had been detained at Yarl's Wood for over two months since coming to the UK on holiday. An inquest into Patel's death heard how there had been delays reporting his collapse to emergency services and the ambulance was delayed at the detention centre's gates.

Rubel Ahmed: A 26-year-old man Bangladeshi man died in Morton Hall detention centre 05/09/14. The Home Office informed his family that he had taken his own life, but fellow detainees report that he had complained of chest pains. Ahmed reportedly banged on the door asking for help, but an ambulance was not called until 11.30pm. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

Christine Chase a national of Jamaica aged 40, died in Yarl's Wood on Sunday 30th march 2014. Sources said they heard Ms Case crying for help before suffering a heart attack. The death caused panic within the immigration removal centre. A spokesman for the NHS East of England ambulance service said: "We were called to Yarl's Wood immigration removal centre at 8:17 am after receiving reports that a woman was in cardiac arrest. We attended along with the air ambulance service. "She was immediately tended by medical staff from the Centre and by paramedics, but did not regain consciousness and sadly died soon after. Ms Chase had been living in the UK for the last fourteen years.

Tahir Mehmood, aged 43 a national of Pakistan: Died in Pennine House STHC on Friday 26th July 2013. 'He was refusing to leave the centre because he feared police torture and detention in Pakistan but the UK Border Agency (UKBA) refused to listen to his pleas for sanctuary in Britain. Other detainees at the centre at the time are believed to have been moved to Dungavel IRC.

Khalid Shahzad: Died on Saturday 30th March 2013. It has been confirmed that Mr. Shahzad, was discharged from Colnbrook IRC as medically unfit to remain in detention on Saturday 30th March. He was travelling back to Manchester by train and died around 19:15 hrs on the journey. Detainees said, Doctors referred to Mr Shahzad to the coronary angiogram and he went through with that process and eventually because of stress became extremely unhealthy.

Alois Dvorzac an 84-year-old Canadian entered the UK on the 23rd January 2013 and was immediately detained. According to the Canadian High Commission in London he was trying to find his estranged daughter in Slovenia. He made it as far as Gatwick airport. He was detained there because his paperwork was not in order and was eventually brought to Harmondsworth IRC.

On Jan. 30, 2013, a doctor at the centre diagnosed the man with Alzheimer's disease and declared him unfit for detention. The doctor's report stated: "Frail, 84 yrs old, has Alzheimer's disease demented. UNFIT for detention or deportation. Requires social care."

An attempt by UKBA early February 2013 to remove Mr. Dvorzac, failed after doctors declared he was unfit to fly. On 8 February he was taken to hospital and then made a return visit two days later. Soon afterwards, he died of heart failure. date of death was Sunday 10th February 2013.
Source for this information: <>CBN News& Paraic O'Brien, <>Channel4News

Prince Kwabena Fosu:  Management at Harmondsworth IRC posted a notice on Tuesday 30th October 2012, informing detainees of a "Death of a resident" saying no more than "we regret to inform you of the death of a resident" No further details were given, no name/nationality and manner of fatality. Home Office when asked about the death, confirmed there had been a death but as their want, refused point blank to give any details whatsoever.

Ianos Dragutan (AKA John Yohona) from Modova, died in Campsfield IRC on the 2nd August 2011. Inquest was held at Oxford Old Assizes 15.10.12. [ Mr Dragutan had served three months at London's Wandsworth Prison for possessing false documentation before arriving at Campsfield on July 31, the court heard. Two days later officers told Mr Dragutan to collect his belongings for release, although it is believed that he was also due to face questioning in connection with a rape case. When police arrived Mr Dragutan left the waiting room, entered the shower block and hung himself, the court heard. ].

Brian Dalrymple from America died in Colnbrook IRC on 31st July, he was 35 years old. Brian arrived in the UK towards the end of June, he was immediately detained and placed in immigration detention and remained their until his death. UKBA have refused to give cause of death.

Muhammed Shuket from Pakistan, died in Colnbrook IRC 2nd July 2011. UKBA refused to give cause of death. - Abdul Khan pressed the emergency button again. It was after 6 am and his roommate Muhammad Shukat was groaning in agony, clenching his chest, and sweating profuselyÑhe had collapsed for the second time that morning. Nursing staff came in, unlocked the door to the small window-less room, picked Shukat up, put him back in his bed, took his temperature, administered medication, and left the room. After three separate similar visits by nursing staff and ten different frantic calls of the emergency button by 19-year-old immigration detainee Khan, an ambulance was called at about 7á20 amÑnearly 2 hours after Khan's initial call for help. Paramedics attempted to resuscitate Shukat but the 47-year-old was pronounced dead on arrival to hospital. His body was flown from the UK back to his family in Pakistan. This was Kahn's account of a tragic morning at Colnbrook immigration detention centre, Middlesex, UK, at an inquest in 2012. <>Lancet

An inquest jury recorded a highly critical verdict that found neglect had contributed to Shuket's death. The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) made a number of recommendations in relation to healthcare following its investigation into his care at two detention centres (Harmondsworth and Colnbrook

Eliud Nguli Nyenze from Kenya, born 1970 - died Oakington IRC 15th April 2010. An inquest ruled Kenyan Mr Nyenze died from natural causes probably caused by an irregular heartbeat.

Bereket Yohannes from Eritrea. Detainees at Harmondsworth IRC told NCADC that 26-year-old fellow detainee Bereket Yohannes was found hanged in the showers at Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre at 5:25 pm on the afternoon of Thursday the 19th January 2006.

Manuel Bravo a national of Angola living in Leeds was 'snatched' by immigration officials with his son Antonio on the morning of Wednesday 14th September. In the early hours of Thursday the 15th September 2005 Manuel was found hanging in a stairwell at Yarl's Wood Removal Centre. Manuel and Antonio had been living in Armley, Leeds for the last three years after leaving war-torn Angola. (Asylum-seeker killed himself so son could stay)

Ramazan Kumluca (19), 27/6/05, a Kurdish asylum seeker from Turkey who was found hanged in Campsfield House removal centre in Oxford. He had been detained for five months and was said to be depressed after a bail application was rejected for the third time.

Kenny Peter, 7/11/04, a Nigerian asylum seeker who died in Charing Cross hospital, nearly three weeks after sustaining injuries during an apparent self-harm attempt at Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre. It is believed that on 19 October, Kenny jumped from a landing and sustained serious injuries, from which he later died.

Tran Quang Tung, (23), 23/7/04, a Vietnamese man who was found hanged in Dungavel removal centre in Scotland just days after being transferred from Harmondsworth removal centre after the disturbance.

Sergey Barnuyck, (31), 19/7/04, a Ukrainian who was found hanged in Harmondsworth detention centre. His death sparked a night of disturbances at the centre and led to all of the detainees being transferred to prisons and other detention centres.

Kabeya Dimuka-Bijoux from DR Congo, 01/05/2004 collapsed and died whilst exercising in the gym at Haslar IRC, Post mortem states cause of death 'undetermined'.

Elmas Ozmico A 40-year-old Kurdish asylum seeker died (12/7/03) three days after being admitted to hospital from Dover detention centre suffering from septicaemia/necrotising fasciitis. She had arrived at Dover on 8 July 2003 after travelling clandestinely from Turkey; during the journey she developed an abscess on her thigh. On arrival in the UK, she claimed asylum and her nephew (with whom she had travelled) requested a doctor and an interpreter. He says this request was ignored, as were subsequent ones. The family spent the night in detention in Dover detention centre and the following day Elmas requested a doctor, but it was not until she collapsed that it was realised that she was very ill and needed an ambulance to take her to hospital. An inquest found that she died of natural causes.

Olga Blaskevica (29) from Latvia, detained in Harmondsworth IRC, murdered by her husband on the 7th May 2003

Mikhail Bognarchuk (42), 31/1/03, a Ukrainian asylum seeker who was found hanged at Haslar removal centre.

Robertas Grabys 24/01/00, a Lithuanian asylum seeker who was found hanged in Harmondsworth detention centre on the day he was due to be deported. A report into his death criticised the private company that was in charge of Harmondsworth at the time.

Kimpua Nsimba, 24, 15/06/90, Pr, Zairean asylum-seeker found hanged in Harmondsworth detention centre; no-one had spoken to him in over 4 days.

Siho Iyiguveni, 26, 08/10/89, He and another Turk barricaded (5 October 1989) themselves in a bedroom in Harmondsworth detention centre and set light to bedding, died from injuries sustained.

Deaths Following Release From Immigration Detention

There have been at least five deaths since 2005 shortly after release from detention.

Khalid Shahzad 30/03/13  A 52-year-old Pakistani man died (unaccompanied) on a train to the Northwest, hours after he was released on medical grounds from Colnbrook. He had reportedly been told that he did not have long to live and had already collapsed (and been hospitalised) twice before his release.

Jakana Chowdhury 17/11/12 Died in hospital having been there for several days. He was placed in intensive care during the evening of 16 November and was only at that point released from detention at Harmondsworth. The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) decided not to investigate this death because of ‘insufficient staff resources’. The Home Office Professional Standards Unit is investigating.

Unnamed Homeless French man 6/12/11 An unnamed man died in hospital after release from Harmondsworth (run by GEO). The PPO investigated the death and a draft report made seven recommendations, five of which related to the procedures that should be followed by the Home Office and contractors after a death in custody. (This report has not yet been published.)

Unnamed Zimbabwean man 09/2008 A 32-year-old died after release from Colnbrook where he had been held for two years. A post mortem revealed the cause of death as tuberculosis (TB) which, being deemed a natural cause, meant that no inquest was held into his death.

Unnamed Cameroonian man 14/03/05 A 33-year-old Cameroonian man died in Addenbrookes hospital, Cambridge following his release from Oakington on 26 February after being held there for just one day. He had been transferred from Manchester short term holding centre where he had spent two nights. He died from natural causes owing to an AIDS related illness.


Last updated 5 November, 2020