Excessive force used as asylum seekers removed from UK

Campaigners have condemned the lack of action over allegations
that excessive and gratuitous force is being used during attempts
to remove asylum seekers whose asylum claims have been rejected
from the UK, as new research on the issue is released,
writes Amy Taylor.

The study, carried out by the Medical Foundation for the Care of
Victims of Torture, looks at claims from 14 asylum seekers and
finds that there may be a systematic problem of abuse rather than a
number of isolated incidents.

All the men featured had an injury that they claimed was the
result of excessive force. The report states that the medical data
from doctors’ examinations reveals “patterns of apparent

Emma Ginn, from the Campaign to Stop Arbitrary Detention at
Yarls Wood, said that allegations of abuse had been reported before
but that “no-one had done anything about it”, allowing the alleged
attacks to continue with impunity.

Sarah Cutler, policy and research officer at the charity Bail
for Immigration Detainees, said that the report put the onus on the
government to make sure that removals were carried out safely.

Ginn said that she heard allegations similar to those contained
in the report “on a weekly basis” and Cutler said that immigration
detainees had told her organisation that excessive and gratuitous
force during removals was a problem.

Research published by BID and Asylum Aid’s Refugee Women’s
Resource Project last month also contains allegations about
mistreatment during removal attempts.

N ‘They took me away’ – Women’s experiences of immigration
detention in the UK from www.biduk.org and Harm on Removal:
Excessive Force against Failed Asylum Seekers from pa@torturecare.org.uk

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