Concerns over restraint methods by G4S staff ignored for years: whistleblowers

Some G4S employees spent years raising concerns on potentially fatal methods

10th February 2011: Whistleblowers in their dossier have claimed concerns over restraint techniques used by G4S staff were taken no notice of for years.
On 26 January 2004 G4S chartered the plane heading to Kabul with cargo which included refused asylum seekers in handcuffs. Several of them were with their legs bound with tape and were placed in the first-class cabin.

According to The Guardian, the inaugural flight to Afghanistan should have been a display case for a multinational company vying for the rewarding contract to deport foreign nationals for the British government.
But new evidence has surfaced which suggests that some of the guards on the flight, who were hired to oversee the expulsion process, had not even completed a full training course.

The guards included several inexperienced prison staff. To make the matters worse, some of them had not even received Home Office accreditation.

These and more shocking details about the inaugural flight and dozens more can be found in earlier unseen proof to parliament. Obtained by the Guardian, the documents go a long way to show G4S employees spent several years raising concerns on the potentially fatal methods deployed on failed asylum seekers.

The Guardian says the most alarming practice involved bending deportees over in their seats and placing their head between their legs. Within the company the procedure came to be known as "carpet karaoke" as it would compel struggling for breath detainees to shout downwards toward the floor. The method can lead to a form of suffocation known as positional asphyxia.

The alleged use of the technique finds a mention in the written testimony by four G4S whistleblowers. It was submitted to the home affairs select committee after the death of Jimmy Mubenga, an Angolan who died on a British Airways flight from Heathrow in October last year.

Jimmy Mubenga died while being deported from the UK. Soon after his death, the Government announced that from May this year, private security company G4S will no longer escort detainees on removal flights to home countries.

In its place, the UK Border Agency has decided to entrust the responsibility of escorting to Reliance Secure Task Management.
G4S was at the centre of a police investigation into the death of 46-year-old Angolan asylum seeker Mubenga.

The whistleblowers have come out with personal grievances against G4S. Some of these have been settled out of court. The Guardian says some are understood to have been accused of inappropriate behaviour or later barred from conveying their concerns to the Press

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