The UK Government must conduct a complete and radical overhaul of the current system of enforced removals from the UK, according to a new briefing and campaign launched today (7 July) by Amnesty International UK.
Private security companies, contracted by the UK Government, have reportedly used dangerous and improper control and restraint techniques. In the 2010 case of Jimmy Mubenga at least, these appear to have resulted in someone’s death.
One such technique was nick-named by contractors “Carpet Karaoke”, as it involved forcing an individual’s face down towards the carpet with such force that they were only able to scream inarticulately ‘like a bad karaoke singer’. It involves the seated detainee being handcuffed, with a tight seatbelt through the cuffs and their head pushed down between their legs. There is a serious risk of death by positional asphyxia when this technique is used.
Oliver Sprague, Arms, Security & Policing Programme Director at Amnesty International UK, said:
“Ill-trained and unaccountable staff should not be carrying out enforced removals and it is little wonder there are so many reports of improper treatment. The death of Jimmy Mubenga was a tragedy waiting to happen.
The new campaign, backed by Jimmy Mubenga’s widow Adrienne Makenda Kambana, urges people to go to www.amnesty.org.uk/removal and take action by writing to Home Secretary Theresa May, urging independent monitoring of all enforced removals and improved training for removals staff.
Adrienne Makenda Kambana, widow of Jimmy Mubenga, said:
“If someone had been monitoring how Jimmy was being treated on that flight, I’m sure he’d still be alive today. The other passengers said he was crying out for help.
“I hope people will support Amnesty’s campaign. The system must change to stop this happening again. No-one should have to go through what me and my family have suffered, and no-one should be treated like my husband was that night in October.”
Read the full article and download the report from Amnesty International
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