Recent articles ;
Independent : "Inhumanity, hypocrisy, and a policy that shames Britain" - 05/10/07
Independent : 'It is easy to abuse when a victim is out of sight' - 05/10/07
Independent : "British guards 'assault and racially abuse' deportees" - 05/10/07
Independent : "Beaten, bleeding - and then returned in a wheelchair" - 05/10/07
Independent : "Airlines face 'direct action' threat in deportations row" - 09/10/07
Independent : "Deportation abuses 'should be investigated'" - 20/10/07
In 2004 an undercover journalist at Yarl’s Wood reported GSL officers describing giving detainees a “good pasting” and how “brilliant” that was.
A GSL officer referred to detainee Ms A saying “She was taken into the Removal from Association area in case she started to 'play up'” and because “we had got intelligence on her”. Ms A says she removed her clothes in protest and the officer described how “two males and a female went in and splattered her.’" (diagram left – Control & Restraint as described by Ms A). Ms A was taken to the airport and says the pilot refused to allow her and the immigration escorts to fly as she was still inadequately dressed and screaming in fear. Ms A is one of the relatively few detainees who was able to seek a legal remedy. She won her civil case against GSL and the Home Office.
In answer to a parliamentary question, the immigration minister revealed that detainees had made 71 allegations of “improper treatment” regarding immigration “escorts” in 2004. He added "all allegations were passed to police" and assured parliament that “All allegations of assault or inappropriate use of force” are “referred to the police as the appropriate authority to investigate such matters”. However, Medical Justice knows of no successful criminal prosecutions against the Home Office and its sub-contractors. In Ms A’s case, the police brought no criminal proceedings against them, saying that her injuries were consistent with the use of standard Control & Restraint (C&R) procedures and that no further investigation was required. The police did however charge Ms A with assault for biting an officer’s hand.
In a report on ‘Short Term Residential Holding Centres’, the HMIP referred to "Recent evidence of abuse under escort and at the point of removal”, noting that the Holding Centre “operates out of the sight of the community but unlike other custodial environments, with no regular independent monitoring.”
Officers are allowed to use “reasonable force” during C&R. The Prison Ombudsman reported in his April 2004 inquiry into racism and abuse by GSL staff at Yarl’s Wood about the use of C&R on one female detainee ; “an officer twisted her neck and kept twisting her wrists and swore at her while another officer put his/her hand in her mouth so that she could not breathe”. The Inquiry team viewed the CCTV and video footage of this incident and reported that: “It was clear that everything was done in line with proper procedures”.
“Harm on Removal: Excessive Force against Failed Asylum Seekers” by the Medical Foundation
The Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture produced a report “Harm on Removal: Excessive Force against Failed Asylum Seekers” on 14 cases where deportees alleged abuse medical evidence indicated that in 12 out of the 14 cases, excessive or gratuitous force had been used during an attempt to remove them from the UK.
An analysis of 35 cases
An analysis of 35 cases referred to four solicitors' firms revealed that injuries sustained by deportees during removal attempts ranged from cuts, bruises and swellings, to nerve damage, urethra/groin damage, fractured bones to sexual assault. Many of these cases have since been settled out of court.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 January 2008 18:32