In response to questions posed by the Home Affairs Select Committee to the security firm G4S today, following the death of Angolan refugee Jimmy Mubenga during a deportation flight in October 2010, Jonathan Ellis, Director of Policy and Development at the Refugee Council, said:
“We welcome the Home Affairs Select Committee’s scrutiny of restraint techniques used by security firm G4S today, following the untimely and tragic death of Jimmy Mubenga last month.
“We are deeply troubled by the recent growing quantity of reports about the inappropriate use of force by immigration and security officials, during deportations and also in detention in the UK. The excessive use of restraint is unacceptable and a violation of human rights, and without consistent, independent monitoring of deportations, how can we be sure guidance on restraint techniques is properly adhered to?
“Many of these people will be fearful of returning to their countries and it is no wonder they will be distressed at being sent back. If removals must be carried out, they must always be done in a safe and dignified way, and restraint only used where absolutely necessary and in the safest way possible.
“Our government has the responsibility to protect people seeking safety in our country. Surely, as part of this commitment they should be careful to ensure those who are not allowed to stay are returned unharmed to their own countries?”
Watch the full Home Affairs Select Committee Meeting online