Held indefinitely; detainees have vital info missing from files
12th March 2010: An inspection report on Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre reveals many detainees are being held at the centre indefinitely; others have vital information missing from their files, or it is not in order.
Quoting an example, the report by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons (HMCIP) Dame Anne Owers reveals the records for one Eritrean detainee stated he had been in detention for six months. He has in fact been in immigration detention for two years.
The report also revealed several detainees are being held at the centre with no prospect of removal from the UK. Reacting to the developments, the lawyers defending human rights, Refugee and Migrant Justice, have asserted this is in breach of UK law, the European Convention on Human Rights, and UK Border Agency Policy that detention should be ‘for the shortest period necessary’.
Chief Executive of Refugee and Migrant Justice Caroline Slocock says: “Indefinite detention of foreign nationals in immigration removal centres is unlawful. People should never be detained indefinitely, and for the authorities in charge of them, not to even bother keeping accurate records, shows a shocking disregard for the welfare of the individuals and for human rights. Without proper records, it is also difficult to see how the Home Office can enforce its own policy of using detention for ‘the shortest period necessary’.
“We welcome the report’s recommendations that the UKBA ensures the first date of detention is recorded for each case file, and we are calling on the Government to release detainees now for whom there is no prospect of removal. Refugee and Migrant Justice urges the UKBA to urgently address this issue.”
In a statement to the media, Refugee and Migrant Justice has asserted: The average length of stay at Campsfield House Immigration Removal Centre has increased from 46 days at a previous inspection to 61.
Refugee and Migrant Justice, formerly the Refugee Legal Centre, is the largest specialist national provider of legal representation to asylum seekers and other vulnerable migrants. RMJ was awarded the Liberty/Justice Human Rights Award in 2005, in particular for its litigation work with Zimbabwean asylum seekers.