Wednesday, July 11, 2018

A plea for compassion

Victims of torture seeking refuge in the UK are being driven to suicide by the Home Office’s immigration system, which “accuses them of telling lies, even as they try to tell the truth”, according to an open letter signed by, among others: Amnesty International UK; Freedom from Torture; Helen Bamber Foundation; the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants; Liberty; Medical Justice; and Lord Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury.

 It criticises the Home Office’s use of immigration deportation centres for vulnerable groups. “Many are rounded up in Home Office vans and transported to immigration detention centres where clear evidence of their vulnerability is dismissed all over again,” the letter states.

The “inhumane approach” is “embedded” in all branches of the UK’s immigration system. “Home Office mishandling of these life and death decisions can lead people to terrible acts of self-harm, including taking their own lives. The message from the British government that their abuse did not happen, that they are lying, is often too much to bear.”

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