IMMIGRATION DETENTION IN THE UK

August 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Submission to the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

by

the Campaign to Close Campsfield (CCC) and Barbed Wire Britain Network to End Refugee and Migrant Detention

CCC and BWB submission to CPT July 2012

Campaign to Close Campsfield and Barbed Wire Britain statement [Previous] Greek government’s announcement of plans to open 30 detention centres for migrants

August 4, 2012 Leave a comment
There are concerns that the Greek government will be coming up with plans during the next few weeks to drastically curb the rights of migrants in that country.  Amongst the options which are being reported is the opening of 30 new ‘closed hospitality centres’ for undocumented migrants.[1] Each is scheduled to hold 1,000 people, making a total 30,000 detained migrants when the plan is complete. This compares with Greece’s total present prison population of under 13,000.[2]
The Greek government has blamed migrants for increased crime rates, homelessness and public health problems.[3] But it is arguable that it is the banks’ imposition of cuts in Greece’s spending on public health, housing and jobs investment that are responsible for the problems.
The government has defended the plan on the grounds that it will create thousands of jobs.[4] But it is not acceptable to salvage the Greek economy by trampling on the human rights of tens of thousands of people.
The Athens mayor has cautioned that the centres would only work if there was ‘full respect of human rights, including the right to asylum.’[5] However, the sheer scale of the scheme and the arguments put forward for this mass imprisonment of migrants make it extremely unlikely that human rights will be observed.
It has been reported that approaches have been made to the European Union to obtain funding of €250m (£208m) for this scheme, which is doomed to failure as it is not dealing with causes, only making scapegoats.
We believe that it would be wrong for the EU[6] to fund the mass incarceration of migrants in Greece that is being considered by the Greek authorities. On the contrary, the Union has a responsibility to uphold fundamental human rights and not to make itself a party to their violation.
We urge that instead a similar or greater amount of resources be made available to the Greek government to spend on housing, health measures and job protection policies.
The EU must also review those of its policies that prevent migrants from moving from Greece to other EU countries.
26.4.2012
See also Médecins Sans Frontières statement[7] on 27.4.2012, ‘Public health cannot be safeguarded through police-led health inspections and scaremongering’ concerning the 9 April amendment of Greek Presidential Decree 114/2010, included in the law governing ‘Electronic communications, Transports and Public Works Regulations and other decrees’. This foresees ‘mandatory health screenings of persons who suffer from communicable diseases or belong to groups vulnerable to communicable diseases and their detention in health structures defining these persons as a “danger to public health”’. MSF states: ‘The involvement of public healthcare actors in police “sweep” operations is dangerous and contrary to medical ethics.’

 


1 Guardian, 29 March 2012.
[2] The equivalent in the United Kingdom would be 165,000 migrants held in detention; the current figure is some  3,000.
[3] Guardian ibid.
4 Ibid.
5 Ibid.
[6]It is probably the case that any proposal to use EU money for a purpose which conflicts with a EU directive – in this case the EU directive on refugee reception – would be ultra vires.

[7] http://www.msf.org.au/media-room/press-releases/press-release/article/greece-public-health-cannot-be-safeguarded-through-police-led-health-inspections-and-scaremongering.html

NOII Public Meeting in Oxford

June 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Please come (and encourage others to come) to NO ONE IS ILLEGAL’S first Oxford public meeting:
7:30 pm Thursday 16th June 2011 in The Old Library, Oxford Town Hall.
Main speakers: Tracy Walsh (UNISON), Victoria Brittain and Rahila Gupta (writers and activists).

Click To Download Flyer. Please print, display and circulate.
Contact details at end.
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Statement in support of the meeting, from John McDonnell MP:
“We live in a world where the planet can be circled in days; a world in which people, seeking escape from threats to their physical safety and human rights or living in hopeless poverty, can travel thousands of miles to seek security. The walls around Europe cannot be built high enough to keep these people out and nor should they be. It is time now to accept the reality of a world without borders that is emerging and to start planning for this inevitability. We can then constructively face the vista of issues we need to address ranging from the role we must play in eliminating the push factors of poverty, oppression, climate change and war that are uprooting people from the developing world to determining how we can eliminate the brutality with which people are currently being treated.”
John McDonnell MP, May 2011

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Statement from meeting organiser, Bob Hughes:
FROM ARIZONA TO DENMARK, the far-right marches to an anti-immigrant drum, and no concession is enough for them.
For nearly 20 years, mainstream politicians have chosen not to confront, but to try to accommodate their demands. There has been apparent consensus, right across the political firmament, in all the countries of the “rich world”, that (certain kinds of) migrants are a great problem (in some way); that they must be controlled and if possible got rid of, by almost any means, at almost any cost.
The human cost exceeds our capacities to describe or comprehend it. The 15,725 known deaths at the EU’s borders between 1993 and early 2011 are just the “cherry on the cake” of abuse, precarity, overwork and ground-down bare existence on which 500,000 and one million invisible, “illegal” people subsist in Britain alone.
Instead of helping them, mainstream “left-of-centre” politicians have thrown themselves heart and soul into the witch-hunt, competing with petty racists for its leadership.
They have helped to turn a vague, abstract noun, “immigration”, into the cast-iron, un-trumpable card in a greater political game: the disparaging of human equality; the dismantling of collective provision, and the restoration of pre-1930s style inequality, elitism and brutality.
No career-minded British MP yet dares to challenge that orthodoxy, but a few brave and principled ones are speaking out (see statement from John McDonnell MP, above).
:: But can’t controls be made fair? ::
Those who’ve tried to help casualties of the new laws are ever more firmly convinced that there is no way, in practice, that they could ever be made fair or humane. They’ve never been intended to be humane. The only practical solution to the suffering they create, is to scrap them.
Yet a wishful orthodoxy has persisted, that controls could be made fair and humane, and so keep everybody happy: the fluffy humanitarians as well as the hard-liners and racists. Some otherwise resolute fellow-campaigners for migrants’ rights have argued that condemning controls would be “unrealistic”, “put us outside the political pale” or “off the radar”, or might even be “dangerously counter-productive”.
This is the thinking we want to challenge at our meeting – and create political space in which it is possible to confront racism and the Right in forthright terms, and develop an open, public discussion of what a world without borders could be like, where all human beings are treated as if they are, indeed, human beings.

In solidarity,
Bob Hughes
- No One is Illegal
01865 726804, 07968 292499
oxford@noii.org.uk, http://www.noii.org.uk

Free Edson Cosmas and All Immigration Detainees!

May 19, 2011 1 comment

Fight racism and anti-gay prejudice!
Mass Rally: Tuesday 24th May, 2pm at the Home Office Marsham St.
Edson “Eddy” Cosmas, currently being held at Harmondsworth Removal Centre, is a young black openly gay man originally from Tanzania. He is threatened with deportation back to Tanzania where he has previously been beaten, stoned, abused and tortured for his sexuality, and where homosexuality carries up to 30 years imprisonment.

Eddy is a leader for LGBT equality, and a member of Movement for Justice. He has lead campaigns against racism, anti-gay bigotry and for immigrant rights. Eddy is now in a fight for his life.

British law requires the Government to grant asylum to anyone who is gay and faces political persecution for being gay if returned to the country they were born in. However, on 9th May, when Eddy went to the Home Office in Croydon to submit his initial claim for asylum in Britain, he was stunned to be told that he was going to be taken into detention and put on “fast-track”.

By isolating Eddy from his community, denying him a fair hearing and putting him through a gruelling 2-day cross-examination in his interview, front line immigration officers have done everything in their power to undermine the new Court ruling. The Home Office have refused his claim stating that Tanzania is ‘safe’ for gay people, and have denied Eddy’s sexuality.

Amnesty for all immigrants now! End this divisive, racist system

Raids and deportations undermine and threaten everybody of African, Caribbean, Asian, Latin American, Arab and other non-white origin in this country, no matter how long our families have lived and worked here. It is essential that we fight against anti-immigrant prejudice, racism, the oppression of women and discrimination against the LGBT community if we want to live in a fully democratic country based on real equality and justice. The demand AMNESTY NOW can end the police state-style rule of the immigration authorities; close the detention centres and stop deportations.

G4S AGM/Justice for Jimmy Mubenga

The Justice for Jimmy Mubenga campaign invites people to demonstrate outside G4S’ AGM on Thursday 19th May, from 1pm-2.30pm, at Ironmonger Hall, Barbican, London. We will demand that G4S be held accountable for Jimmy Mubenga’s death on 12 October 2010 following ‘restraint’ by G4S officers while being forcibly removed from the UK. Members of Justice for Jimmy Mubenga will also be asking questions to senior management within the AGM.
More details on London NoBorders website.

Support the Iranian Hunger Strikers

Demonstration Friday 6 May
“Six Iranian refugees are now reaching their fifth week of a hunger strike to demand asylum in the UK and protest against mistreatment by the Home Office. This Friday we will march to the Home Office in Westminster to join our voices with their courage in demanding fair treatment for refugees.”
Details on NoBorders Website.

Phone Protest Against Barnardo’s

April 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Phone the UK’s latest prison profiteers! Ring them on Tuesday 26th April to protest against their involvement in detention and deportation!
Details on Indymedia.

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