Home office to appeal

The Home Office will “appeal shortly” against
last week’s high court ruling that it unlawfully detained, and
breached the human rights of, four asylum seekers at its Oakington
reception centre in Cambridgeshire.

The ruling follows a challenge by four Iraqi Kurds who had been
held at the fast-track immigration reception centre. The centre
processes asylum applications within 10 days compared with the
average 13 months it takes for asylum seekers who have been
dispersed around the country.

A Home Office spokesperson said that the department planned to
appeal against the decision before 5 October, the date on which the
ruling comes into effect.

Mr Justice Collins ruled that the men had been detained for
administrative efficiency rather than concerns that they would
abscond, and therefore their human right to security and liberty
had been breached.

Refugee Council chief executive Nick Hardwick supported the high
court’s decision. “The fundamental principle at stake here is
whether it is right to detain people who have committed no crime,”
he said. “We have always maintained that locking up innocent men,
women and children is unacceptable.”

Liberty associate director Mary Cunneen said: “The whole basis
of detention policy relating to asylum seekers needs to be fairer,
more rational and more transparent – and compliant with article
five of the European Convention on human rights and our other
international human rights obligations.”

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