Enforced removal report handed to Home Office

Campaigners are hoping for a change in procedure

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A report into the enforced removal of people from the UK has been handed to the Home Office.

The study by the National Independent Commission on Enforced Removals, was commissioned by Citizens UK, a coalition of community leaders.

It follows the death of Jimmy Mubenga, 46, who collapsed at Heathrow while being restrained on a flight bound for Angola in October 2010.

The father of five was pronounced dead shortly after being taken to hospital.

He was found to have died from cardio-respiratory collapse.

A peaceful march by demonstrators including pupils from the schools attended by Mr Mubenga's children was held outside the Home Office on Thursday.

In July, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the three guards who escorted him on the British Airways flight, employed by private security firm G4S, would face no action.

'Nobody's listening'
Gareth Myatt Gareth Myatt choked to death at Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre near Daventry, Northamptonshire

Thursday's report said: "Like many others, commissioners were surprised at this [CPS] decision, not least because of the similarity of Jimmy Mubenga's death with that of 15-year-old Gareth Myatt in Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre in 2004, also under restraint from G4S staff, following which the coroner required the Home Office to issue a formal warning against the dangers of positional asphyxia."

Gareth, from Stoke-on-Trent, choked to death at Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre near Daventry, Northamptonshire, in 2004, while being restrained.

The report was was commissioned in response to the concerns of Father Sean Connelly, Mr Mubenga's family priest, that the inquest process had stalled.

"I think they [the demonstrators] have a sense that nobody's listening to them, that nothing seems to be happening," he said.

"It's two years now since this terrible event and we want to make a difference about that."

Peaceful demonstration A demonstration by campaigners including pupils from the schools attended by Mr Mubenga's children

The report has four recommendations:

  • The setting up of a panel for complex returns
  • More robust licensing of security staff
  • Independent oversight of the enforced removal process
  • A review of restraint techniques appropriate for use during enforced removals

The recommendations are supported by Mr Mubenga's family.

The UK Border Agency said it took the welfare of those in its care extremely seriously and would always consider ways of improving its performance.

The inquest into Mr Mubenga's death is due to resume in the spring of 2013.

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