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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Home Office plans to evict thousands of refused asylum seekers

Guardian: People in England whose cases have been refused will be given 21 days to leave UK, letter states

Thousands of asylum seekers currently accommodated in hotels are facing removal from the UK, the Home Office has announced.

A letter from the Home Office, seen by the Independent, states that evictions of refused asylum seekers will take place “with immediate effect” and charities have reported an increase in people being held in immigration detention centres.

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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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Early Day Motion EDM#658 Leave to Remain status

Please ask your MP to support EDM #658.

We have an urgent request: the call for Status Now for All is being carried into Parliament in an Early Day Motion – EDM #658 as follows:

EDM #658 – LEAVE TO REMAIN STATUS

​That this House notes that there are currently an unknown number of persons in the UK who are not citizens of the UK and who do not at present have leave to remain in this country, who lack any entitlement to support from the state and are therefore entirely without funds to feed, clothe and house themselves and their families and who are unable to comply with government guidance on self-isolation and social distancing; and considers it essential that the government takes immediate action to ensure that leave to remain in the United Kingdom is granted to all such persons who are within the UK but are not citizens, irrespective of their nationality or immigration status, so that they can access healthcare, food and housing to enable them to adhere to government advice on social distancing, and to ensure the health of themselves and their families as well as helping protect the health of all of us.

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Refugee Week – powerful Stay Home for Labour online event

Refugee Week Facebook event – it took place on Wednesday 17.6.2020, but is available for viewing. You may find it interesting to hear the stories of people with lived experience, and hear from Shami Chakrabarti, Alf Dubs and Jeremy Corbyn: 

Shaista spoke about Status Now at 1hr 17 mins on this Zoom event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGGeBUdY-ps

This is a powerful discussion, giving a voice to people with lived experience, also featuring Shami Chakrabarti, Alf Dubs and Jeremy Corbyn.

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A Short History of Resistance to Immigration Detention and Deportations in the United Kingdom

April 2020: Bill MacKeith, published by Oxford Against Immigration Detention http://oaid.org.uk

In 2019, ‘enforced returns’ from the UK fell to 7,361, 22% lower than the previous year and the lowest number since records began in 2004. Over the same period, there were 11,421 ‘voluntary’ departures. 

On 31 December 2019, there were 1,637 people in immigration detention, 8% fewer than on 31 December 2018, and fewer than half the number on 30 September 2017. The number of people entering detention in 2019 was similar to the previous year at 24,443. Prior to this, there has been a downward trend since 2015. (Immigration Statistics, Year Ending December 2019)

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Idea for a Zoom reading meeting

QARN ‘Excessive fees: leave to remain in the UK’ leaflet:  In these times of online meetings, here’s a suggested format for considering the important issues raised in this leaflet.  Gloucestershire AM has recently had a good experience of this.  Having originally planned a whole ‘faith in action’ day on refuge and asylum issues, we had to alter it to a zoom event instead. Continue reading “Idea for a Zoom reading meeting”

Stanstead 15

2019/1 QARN Minute: We agree to support the work of the campaign End Deportations- Stop Charter Flights, and ask Sheila to write to them expressing our support, and to put a link on our website.  On our own website we will also highlight the moral injustice of using terrorism legislation against peaceful protest.  QARN has taken on Removals/Deportations as a specific concern.

QARN Meeting of 19 January 2019 Continue reading “Stanstead 15”

QARN Leaflets: Download them here, including ‘Excessive Fees’

We have the following leaflets here: About QARN_Detention_Language_Hostile environment_Removals Deportations_Excessive fees

QARN has put together leaflets that you can download from this page by clicking on the links below. Please feel free to download and print off your own copies. There is also a form below, for ordering printed copies of our leaflets – which are free:

12 April 2020:  The newest leaflet from the Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network (QARN) supports our campaign about the recent increases to the fees for those seeking refuge in this country.   Along with other groups and faith bodies QARN seeks to inspire others to express outrage at this injustice.

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Petition calls for suspension of removals to DR Congo

HM Government e-petition. Responsible department: Home Office

Refused asylum seekers at risk on return to the Democratic Republic of Congo

Stop the torture of vulnerable Congolese asylum seekers now. The report ‘Unsafe return’ has documented that refused asylum seekers removed to the DRC are at risk of: – interrogation at the airport – arbitrary detention – being denied access to lawyers – torture and rape in detention It also documents the detention and ill treatment of children removed with parents and cases where returnees have successfully left the airport without harm but have been arrested at home later or been forced into hiding or exile. The Petition seeks to question: a)The adequacy of systems in place to monitor what happens to refused asylum seekers; b)The Home Office evidence for maintaining that the refused asylum seekers are not at risk. This petition calls for the suspension of removals until there has been a full inquiry into the safety of failed asylum seekers on return, in order to prevent future ill-treatment of vulnerable Congolese asylum seekers.

What are e-petitions?

e-petitions is an easy way for you to influence government policy in the UK. You can create an e-petition about anything that the government is responsible for and if it gets at least 100,000 signatures, it will be eligible for debate in the House of Commons.