Cambridge MP Stops Deportation
4 August 2010, 10:34
Cambridge MP Julian Huppert [pictured - right] has stepped in to stop a Sudanese torture victim being deported.
The man, known only as Mr F, was being held at the Oakington Immigration Reception Centre.
The UK Border Agency has confirmed that the 35 year old man was on a plane at Heathrow Airport and about to be flown to Sweden, where he has an outstanding application for asylum.
However, he was taken off the aircraft after Mr Huppert wrote to the UKBA asking for the deportation to be delayed so more representations from Mr F's lawyer could be made about him staying in the UK.
Cambridge Migrant Solidarity, a group that works with inmates at the detention centre, claims Mr F has suffered physical abuse and confinement in his home country of Sudan.
The group also claims he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and he is on a 24 hour watch to stop him from harming himself.
A spokesman from Cambridge Migrant Solidarity said: "As a victim of torture, Mr F should never have been detained.
This man has suffered a catalogue of oversights, errors, and omissions in care, leaving him inappropriately detained for over four months, so that he is now suicidal, and yet still detained and in danger of imminent deportation."
The group is calling for Mr F to be granted asylum in the UK and released from Oakington so he can receive medical treatment, claiming that his history of torture and abuse should be enough grounds for asylum.
A spokesperson for the UKBA said: "Detention and removal is an essential part of effective immigration controls.
It is important to stress that where a detainee refuses to co-operate with the removal or deportation process, often by putting in last minute representations, detention may be unavoidably prolonged.
Every detention decision is made on a case by case basis and is reviewed on a regular basis by a senior manager at a level appropriate to the length of detention.
The detainee also has the option of applying to an Immigration Judge for bail."
The objections raised in Mr Huppert's letter will now be considered by the UK Government before a further decision is made on his future.
This comes after Julian Huppert visited the reception centre at Oakington to investigate conditions there, following the death of an inmate from Kenya called Eliud Nyenze back in April.
Speaking at the time, Mr Huppert said: "It is vital that people fleeing persecution or danger in their own countries should feel they can come to Cambridge and Britain generally and be treated with dignity.
Locking up people in detention centres is not the way to treat these people. It is a poor reflection of our country and we need to change this.
I am anxious to make sure that procedures and policies are reviewed at the centre and lessons learned following the death of Mr Nyenze and the incident that followed."