The Chief Inspector of Prisons today published a report into the removal of immigration detainees from the UK to Nigeria and Jamaica, and stated that “force or restraint was used unnecessarily” and that some staff “demonstrated an unacceptably unprofessional attitude.” In response Jonathan Ellis, Director of Advocacy at the Refugee Council says:
“It is unacceptable that people being returned to their own countries are not only still being forcibly restrained unnecessarily, but also have to put up with derogatory and offensive behaviour from their escorts. These are human beings we are talking about.
“Some of these people may have been let down by the asylum system and have a genuine fear of being returned to their country, and so will undoubtedly find this an extremely distressing experience. If people have to be returned in this way, it must be done in the most dignified, respectful and safe way possible. The Chief Inspector of Prisons’ report makes a clear case for a review of the removals process, including the use of restraint techniques, and arrangements for people when they arrive back in their countries to ensure their ongoing safety and wellbeing.”