Four separate independent monitoring boards, which scrutinise prisons and immigration detention facilities, found that asylum seekers arriving at Dover were being subjected to “inhumane treatment.”
Evidence found that people arriving at Dover were being kept in crowded conditions – with no social distancing – and that serious errors were being included in their documentation. Individuals were moved between detention centres with untreated broken bones, burns and cancer.
Dame Anne Owers, national chair of the Independent Monitoring Boards (IMBs), said in her evidence that monitors “believe that the cumulative effect of the failings amounts to inhumane treatment of detainees which should be urgently addressed”.
Emma Ginn, director of the charity Medical Justice, which works for the health rights of immigration detainees, said:
"The relentless deportation charter flights feel like a crusade to quickly get rid of victims of war and persecution without having had their history of trafficking and torture being taken into account.”
Some asylum seekers were put on flights before a vulnerability assessment had been completed. One man, who was on constant suicide watch, poured boiling water on his legs just before the flight and was still put on a plane. Others who attempted suicide were taken to hospital just before their flight, then taken from hospital straight to the flight.