They request compensation for being detained over a number of days as their status was checked. 03 November 2008. The six immigrants are all understood to have arrived in the UK saying they were under 18 — but had no documents to prove it.
Each asylum seeker want up to £50,000 for “false imprisonment and breaches of human rights as a result of the actions of the Immigration Service”.
Lawyers Bhatt Murphy obtained orders from the High Court in London blocking their identification because publicity would “unfairly damage their interests and the interests of justice”.
At least three were detained with adults for up to two weeks at an immigration centre while their ages were checked. At least three of the claimants have never complained about being detained.
The London-based solicitors, who specialise in protecting the rights of asylum seekers, have sent the High Court 70 claims for Human Rights Act damages this year.
A UK Border Agency spokesperson said: “Identifying the correct age of any applicant is crucial for the protection of those children already in our system, as well as the prevention of abuse of the immigration system.”
Donna Covey, chief executive of the Refugee Council, said: “We should not lock refugee children up at all, let alone with adults.”
A spokesman for Bhatt Murphy Solicitors said: “All the claimants were children that had been wrongfully assessed by the Home Office as adults.”