Immigration Detention Dispatch – 7 December 2016

Murder inquiry into Colnbrook death as Home Office records 109 suicide attempts in 3 months

Catch up on the fortnight’s immigration detention news and parliamentary debate

Revealed this fortnight

  1. Man dies in Colnbrook fight. A 64-year-old man died on Thursday evening following a fight at Colnbrook detention centre, marking the 27th death in a UK immigration detention centre. A murder inquiry has been launched. The Guardian has more.
  2. 218 hunger strikers and 109 suicide attempts were recorded in UK immigration detention centres in the three months between July and September 2016, according to Home Office Freedom of Information disclosures. The Guardian has more.

In other news

  1. 10th Yarl’s Wood Protest. More than 100 demonstrators gathered outside the women’s-only Yarl’s Wood detention centre on Saturday to protest the UK’s detention system, marking the 10th protest outside the centre. The Oxford Mail and the Bicester Advertiser have more.
  2. NHS nurse’s deportation on hold. The deportation of Zambian-born nurse Dianne Ngoza, who has worked in Greater Manchester for more than 14 years, has been postponed following a local campaign and an intervention by her MP. The BBC has more.
  3. EU citizens to be deported for homelessness. Three EU citizens have been placed in immigration detention pending their deportation for breaching their EU treaty rights by rough sleeping, according to the Home Office. The Worcester News has more.

Immigration Detention in Parliament

Dungavel Done?

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley & Renfrewshire North, asked whether the Home Office still intends to close Dungavel detention centre in Scotland following Renfrewshire council’s refusal to allow a replacement centre to be built next to Glasgow Airport.

Robert Goodwill, the Immigration Minister, replied that the Home Office is looking into its options.

LGBT rights Stonewalled?

Baroness Barker, Baroness Burt of Solihull, Lord Roberts of LlandudnoLord Scriven (Lib Dem), and Lord Rosser (Labour) all asked what steps the Home Office is taking to improve the situation of LGBT asylum seekers in immigration detention following the publication of the Stonewall report No Safe Refuge: Experiences of LGBT asylum seekers in detention.

Baroness Williams of Trafford, Minister of State for the Home Office, replied that the Home Office is considering the report, that it has published guidelines on treatment of LGBT detainees in Detention Services Order 2/2016, and that detention is used as a last resort.

Women at risk

Jess Phillips, Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, asked what the Home Office is doing to reduce the detention of survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, and how it assesses the success of its Adults at Risk policy, as Carol Monaghan, SNP MP for Glasgow North, asked how the Home Office plans to improve safety for women and children in its gender-mixed initial reception centres.

Sarah Newton, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Office, replied that protection of women and girls is a government priority and that the Home Office intends to ask former prisons ombudsman Stephen Shaw to undertake an independent review of its updated policies in 2017 to assess their effectiveness.

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