Refugee rights groups to hold welcome event outside Napier Barracks in Folkestone

17 October 2020: Morning Star: Far-right thugs harassing asylum-seekers whenever they leave MoD site in Kent where they are being held, campaigners tell the Star

Refugee rights groups to hold welcome event outside Napier Barracks in Folkestone.

ASYLUM-SEEKERS held in a former army camp in Kent are being harassed and intimidated by far-right activists every time they leave the site, campaigners told the Morning Star today.

Refugee rights groups are holding a welcome event on Saturday outside Napier Barracks in Folkestone to show support for the asylum-seekers and “undercut” the hateful messages of a small number of racists.

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Sanctuary Europe: Quaker work on Human Rights and Migration

Topic: North London Area Meeting Quaker Week Event – The Threat to Migrants

Time: Oct 8, 2020.  Doors open 07:00pm for a 7.30pm start.  We will finish by 8.45pm.

Andrew Lane, Director, Quaker Council for European Affairs (QCEA) in Brussels will talk about the work of Quakers to engage European governments and institutions on questions of migration justice. 
Luke Piper, Head of Policy, the3million.org Luke is a solicitor specialised in immigration law.  They currently have a campaign for EU citizens in the UK after Brexit to be allowed documentary proof of their rights, instead of simply being provided with a number which has to be used electronically to establish what rights they may have.

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Inspectors report on Home Office flight removing immigration detainees to France and Germany

Please do Read the report: Germany and France escort and removalit is disturbing

2.10.2020: Extract: ‘Managers were expecting some resistance, because of their previous experience of detainees being reluctant to return to other European countries under the TCU arrangements. Several of those scheduled to be on the flight had been very distressed; the removal of most of those identified as at risk of suicide or self-harm was cancelled, but two who were at risk travelled, of whom one self harmed on the aircraft and the other was found during the journey to be secreting a fragment of sharp metal in his mouth. Two detainees had to be carried on to the aircraft and restraints were used on half the total number.

Handcuffs were fitted for short periods to the wrists of three detainees for the purpose of achieving compliance through inflicting pain. We did not directly observe the incidents and so cannot judge whether use of this technique was proportionate in the circumstances.’

[and … ‘

1.7 Waist restraint belts (WRBs) were used for half the detainees which, in each case that we observed, followed a refusal to comply or stated intention to do so. Handcuffs were used on four detainees. In three cases, they were fitted to inflict pain and secure compliance. In one case, records showed that the rigid-bar cuff had been placed on the wrist where the detainee had just made cuts; in another, a detainee had cuffs on both wrists, neither of them attached to an officer. We did not observe these incidents and cannot judge the operational requirement for these actions, but this technique should meet the criteria of proportionality and minimum necessary use of force and should be used as a last resort.

HM Inspectorate of Prisons has published a report on an inspection of the first immigration removal flight on which all detainees were being returned to other nations involuntarily since the suspension of such chartered flights at the beginning of the COVID-19 period.

The flight on 12 August 2020, from Stansted, took 14 immigration detainees to Frankfurt in Germany and Toulouse in France, under the Dublin Convention, to which the UK is a party.

Six detainees were Iranian, three were Sudanese, one was from South Sudan, two were from Iraq and one each was from Guinea Bissau and Afghanistan. The youngest was 19 years old and the oldest 43.

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Global religious leaders urge end to “broken state of European migration”

22.9.2020 World Council of Churches: Global religious leaders urge end to “broken state of European migration”

A dozen global and regional religious organizations released an advocacy statement on the situation of migrants and refugees in Europe that defines their calling as Christians to “welcome the stranger,” and urges the creation of a world in which “we become human together.”

“Solidarity should be the guiding principle governing migration and particularly refugee reception,” the statement says. “We expect the EU to reject the discourse and politics of fear and deterrence, and to adopt a principled stance and compassionate practice based on the fundamental values on which the EU is founded.”

The organisations have issued the statement in advance of the EU Commission’s presentation of its new Migration Pact on 23 September.

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Corporate Watch report on UK Border regime

Throughout history, human beings have migrated. To escape war, oppression and poverty, to make a better life, to follow their own dreams. But since the start of the 20th century, modern governments have found ever more vicious ways to stop people moving freely.

The UK border regime includes the razor wire fences at Calais, the limbo of the asylum system, and the open violence of raids and deportations. Alongside the Home Office, it includes the companies running databases and detention centres, the media pushing hate speech, and the politicians posturing to win votes. It keeps on escalating, through Tony Blair’s war on refugees to Theresa May’s “hostile environment”, spreading fear and division.

This book describes and analyses the UK’s system of immigration controls. It looks at how it has developed through recent history, the different actors involved, and how people resist. The aim is to help understand the border regime, and ask how we can fight it effectively.

NB: we will be glad to send copies for free to asylum seekers and other people without papers. For other people and groups fighting the border regime, we can send at cost price or whatever you can afford to donate.

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100 groups demand safe and legal routes now

[updated 3 Oct 2020 with Channel 4 news item]

17 August 2020: (including the link to a suggested letter to your MP) JCWI: 100 civil society groups, Windrush survivors and religious organisations have come together to demand safe and legal routes now, in response to the government’s dangerous rhetoric surrounding recent Channel crossings. The fact is that people seeking protection in the UK can only do so once they reach UK soil. The lack of safe and legal routes by which to reach the UK means that people are pushed into the hands of people smugglers and forced to take dangerous journeys to claim asylum here.

In its response to Channel crossings, the government has so far sought to abdicate all responsibility. We’ve been here before – if the Home Office is truly serious about learning the lessons of Windrush, they need to listen to expert advice from people who have been through the immigration system, and those who work with them. If they don’t, further tragedy at the UK’s borders seems unavoidable.

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Home Affairs Committee Inquiry: Channel crossings, migration and asylum-seeking routes through the EU

Inquiry: This inquiry will examine the reasons behind the growth in migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats. It will look at the role of criminal gangs in facilitating the growth of this form of illegal immigration and the response of UK and French authorities to combat illegal migration and support legal routes to asylum.

This inquiry is currently accepting evidence

The committee wants to hear your views. We welcome submissions from anyone with answers to the questions in the call for evidence. You can submit evidence until Monday 14 September 2020.Read the call for evidence before submitting

https://committees.parliament.uk/work/496/channel-crossings-migration-and-asylumseeking-routes-through-the-eu/?fbclid=IwAR0OrVw5U20kY4MKNhZdH8ltxU4Vx0KySe-7s4fxVgDJfxXLWsr-tp1GMLk

Note the language used: Home Secretary appoints small boat commander

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