The High Court has today ruled that the government’s use of Napier Barracks to accommodate people seeking asylum was ‘unlawful’.
The High Court found that Napier Barracks provided inadequate accommodation for people seeking asylum, that the government’s process for selecting people to be accommodated at the Barracks was flawed and unlawful, and that residents of Napier Barracks were unlawfully detained under purported Covid rules.
The disused army barracks in Kent had clear failings, including overcrowding, lack of ventilation, buildings being run down, use of communal dormitories during a pandemic, significant fire risks, facilities being ‘filthy’ and the use of a ‘decrepit’ isolation block that was not fit for habitation.
Responding to this news, Dr Lisa Doyle, Director of Advocacy at the Refugee Council, said: “This hugely important judgment highlights the level of harm and complete lack of dignity people seeking asylum are being forced to endure. Nobody should be made to live in these terrible conditions and have their health put at risk. This government must close Napier Barracks immediately and start treating people who have already experienced great trauma in their lives with compassion and humanity.”