By Austin Aneke
Failed asylum seekers in UK are usually under the care and supposedly- protection by private security guards during their detention and removal processes. These guards and immigration officers have been accused of abusing those on remand in Immigration Detention Centers (IDC), and those due for removal.
These allegations of mistreatment have been investigated by Dame Nuala O’leon, and she will release her report next week. She was given a remit to investigate cases of third world like brutality of innocent asylum seekers. She will report on why the generally accepted concept of ‘reasonable force’ has been thrown to the winds. A report in 2008 revealed nearly 300 cases of alleged physical assault and racial abuse. This brings into serious question – the use of private security firms and poorly trained and poorly vetted guards for the detention and removal of highly vulnerable and failed asylum seekers. It is currently being campaigned that all those dealing with asylum seekers and refuges should not be members of extreme groups like BNP. Such people are not currently accepted (at least on paper) into the Police at this time.
The previous report entitled ‘Outsourcing Abuse’ indicated that the violence and institutionalized racism and systemic abuse detailed within it, were a tip of the ice berg. The allegations included evidence that guards seem it normal to shout racist abuse and label asylum seekers. They are called names like ‘slaves’, ‘black pigs’, ‘monkeys’, and constantly told to go back to their countries. Even the not so reliable Home Office Complaints and Audit, reported about 177 cases of misconduct – most of them racist.
Governments’ targets on deportation, notoriously fuel a system of abuse, and encouragement of blind eye over misdemeanors. Government gloats over its ability to double detention capacity and is planning the re-designation of two prisons to Immigration Detention Centres (IDC). It is turning into a system where the end justifies the means.
The harsh conditions asylum seekers find themselves is unbearable. Three Russian people facing deportation recently plunged to their death from a high rise building in Glasgow. As everyone awaits the report of Dame Nuala O’leon next week, we can only hope that things will get better.