Written evidence submitted by Amnesty
International UK |
1. Amnesty International has been concerned for many
years about allegations of ill-treatment by private security escorts
during the forcible return or deportation of some foreign nationals
from the UK.
2. In June 2005, Amnesty International published
United Kingdom: Seeking Asylum is not a Crime: detention of
people who have sought asylum. The report included
claims by some of the interviewees that during attempts to enforce
return to their country of origin from the UK they were
ill-treated by escort staff and that in some cases excessive force
3. On 29 October 2010 the UK Border Agency announced
that it had awarded a new contract for escorting people detained
by the UK Border Agency to Reliance Secure Task Management Ltd.
The four year contact would start in May 2011 and the company
would be responsible for escorting detainees, both when in the
UK and also on removal flights to home countries. Amnesty International
was told that the intention was that current G4S staff responsible
for escorting detainees would move to Reliance but this was up
to individual staff members.
4. Until the end of April 2011 and for the past five
years it has been primarily one company, G4S which has provided
escort services to people being forcibly removed from the UK.
It is understood that Reliance underbid G4S for provision of these
5. This submission brings together allegations of
ill-treatment during enforced removals including removals of refused
and looks at what level of force is strictly necessary and proportionate
during the removal process by escorts, using accepted methods
6. In 2005 following a BBC documentary which reported
on vicious behaviour towards those being returned from the UK
by private security escorts during the journey from the Immigration
Removal Centre to the aircraft, the Prison and Probation Ombudsman
conducted a special investigation. The Ombudsman stated that it
was "on escorts - in particular, on escorts to aircraft prior
to removal - that the potential for abuse of their legitimate
authority by staff (and of misbehaviour on the part of detainees)
is the greatest".
7. Also in 2005 the Medical
Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture released a report
Excessive force during removal of Immigration detainees.
The report found that the use of force
against immigration detainees during attempts to expel them from
the UK must be limited to that which is strictly necessary and
proportionate under the circumstances, using accepted methods
of restraint designed to minimise injury risk to all concerned.
The report cited fourteen cases after failed removal attempts,
where there were allegations that excessive force had been employed.
8. In 2008 Birnberg Peirce and Partners, Medical
Justice and the National Coalition of Anti-deportation Campaigns
(2008) published its report Outsourcing Abuse: The use and
misuse of state sanctioned force during the detention and removal
of asylum seekers.
The report found "an alarming and unacceptable number of
injuries had been sustained by those subject to forced removals.
9. The Outsourcing abuse report presented
findings from their dossier of nearly three hundred cases of alleged
assault and 48 detailed case studies. Allegations of assault were
made by people originating from over 41 countries.
10. Baroness Nuala O'Loan was appointed by the then
Home Secretary to independently review the allegations and she
presented her report in March 2010. In her Executive Summary she
said that the use of force by detention Custody Officers and Escort
Officers takes two principal forms: the use of handcuffs and the
use of control and restraint techniques.
11. She reported that escort officers are equipped
with handcuffs. Leg restraints are also used to facilitate the
removal of a non-compliant detainee outside the detention estate.
The control and restraint procedures used by contractors working
for the UK Border Agency are those used by HM Prison Service.
12. Baroness O'Loan said in her conclusions that
examination of the complaint files in the earlier cases indicated
confusion as to responsibilities, some lack of training and of
understanding of the complaints procedures which applied, and
management deficiencies in identifying these problems and addressing
them. That situation had now improved and the procedures and policy
guidance are better than they were. However there was scope for
further development of policies and she made recommendations to
address these issues.
13. She concluded that during the period of her examination
from 2002 to 2008 there was inadequate management of the use of
force by the private sector companies. She had concerns in relation
to the guidance, management and training, for the use of handcuffs.
14. Baroness O'Loan's recommendations on the Use
of Force included:
of the training provided for the use of force and of the annual
retraining, to ensure that, in any case in which force is used,
officers are trained to consider constantly the legality, necessity
and proportionality of that use of force;
all occasions on which force is used, officers should be required
to justify that use of force by reference to the necessity, proportionality
and legality of the particular use of force;
should be a review of the control and restraint techniques and
of the Guidance used to determine what improvements could be made.
15. In August 2009 the HM Inspectorate of Prisons
conducted a thematic review on detainee escorts and removals.
In her introduction to the report Anne Owers the former HM Chief
Inspector of Prisons noted that: "The behaviour of immigration
escort staff involved in removing detainees, particularly those
resisting removal, has been a focus of concern for some time
She stated that it was essential that there were built-in safeguards
to minimise the possibility of over-enthusiastic use of force,
or abusive behaviour, and to ensure that those being escorted
had the fullest opportunity to complain if they believed that
they had been ill-treated. The review found that there were considerable
gaps and weaknesses in the systems for monitoring, investigating
and complaining about incidents where force had been used, or
where abuse was alleged.
16. On 12 October 2010, following numerous documented
allegations of harm during the enforced removal process, an Angolan
national Jimmy Mubenga died during an attempt to deport him to
Angola on a British Airways flight. Eye witnesses told the Guardian
newspaper how the 46 year old man was heavily restrained by security
guards and that Mr Mubenga had complained of difficulties in breathing
prior to his collapse.
17. On 15 October 2010, Scotland Yard's homicide
unit took over the investigation into the death of Jimmy Mubenga
and MPs called for a wide-ranging and independent inquiry into
the UK's deportation system. Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, the Chair of
the Home Affairs Committee said he would be writing the Theresa
May, the Home Secretary and G4S about possible questions surrounding
18. The three security guards from G4S were bailed
without charge initially until December 2010 and continued on
bail during the writing of this briefing, pending further enquiries.
Mr Mubenga's death and many other serious allegations of excessive
force have led to calls for G4S to be fully investigated. On 17
March 2011 it was reported in the Guardian that Scotland Yard
was considering bringing a corporate manslaughter charge against
G4S over the death of Jimmy Mubenga. The three security guards
from G4S could also face manslaughter charges.
19. At the end of 2010, at a public meeting at the
House of Commons called by INQUEST and Medical Justice, the chair
of the Home Affairs Select Committee Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP, reassured
Jimmy Mubenga's family that "we will not just pick up the
issue and drop it," promising to take up the case as soon
as the ongoing police inquiries had finished and the CPS had considered
whether a prosecution should be brought. He also agreed that the
committee should conduct an investigation into the wider issue
of the use of force during enforced returns.
20. Prior to the death of Jimmy Mubenga, Joy Gardner
a 40 year old Jamaican woman was the last person to have died
during deportation from the UK. She was gagged and restrained
by police at her home in north London 1993. Thirteen feet of masking
tape and a body belta leather contraption for pinning the
arms which had chains and handcuffs fitted which were compared
to slave manacleswere used to restrain Joy Gardner. The
officers involved were found not guilty of manslaughter and subsequently
the deportation squad was disbanded.
21. Cases sent recently to Amnesty International
by the organisation Medical Justice demonstrate that the allegations
of ill-treatment during the enforced removal process continue.
national claims that he was restrained by his arms and legs and
was dropped down the stairs of the airplane. His arm was broken.
national claims he was struck on the neck, handcuffed and his
ear was injured.
claims to have had his wrist broken and that he was bitten
claims to have been strangled.
from the Democratic Republic of the Congo claims to have been
beaten and that his head was banged on the floor.
claims to have been assaulted and had a suspected fracture but
was not taken to hospital for x-ray
22. During the past year there have been a number
of specific allegations of ill-treatment during enforced removals
that have been reported including:
A 37 year old Colombian was hospitalised on 6 October
2010 after G4S guards escorted him onto BA flight. He was refused
asylum in the UK claimed he was mistreated in the stairwell outside
the aircraft where there were no cameras.
There were five attempts to remove him and Amnesty International
subsequently learned he was finally sent to Colombia on 14 January
An asylum seeker from the Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC) claimed he struggled to breathe when security staff
restrained him at a Heathrow boarding gate, and feared he was
"going to die".
He alleged that escorts put a knee on his chest and sat on him
as he resisted efforts to enforce his removal on a Kenya Airways
flight to Nairobi in January 2011. He had been in the UK for eight
year and had claimed asylum as he is an opponent of the Government
and feared return to the DRC.
Two students from London University's School of Oriental
and African Studies were taken off of a Virgin Atlantic
flight to Nairobi on 5 January 2010 when a man nearby was being
forcibly removed from the UK. 
They said that the man was handcuffed and in pain as he being
violently restrained. Other passengers on the plane seated nearby
were looking at each other in disbelief at a fellow passenger
was who crying out for help and was clearly in considerable distress
The two students claim the man screamed as he was
restrained by three guards who were pinning him in his seat. The
students demanded to see the captain which was denied and they
were offered seats at the front of the plane so that they would
not hear the man screaming. When they continued to voice concerns,
the plane taxied back to the terminal where according to them
armed police were waiting for them. They were taken off and one
of the students said he was questioned under anti-terrorism powers
for several hours before being escorted to the underground station
A refused asylum seekers from Cameroon whose
removal on Kenya Airways took place on 9 April 2010 with 14 other
refused asylum seekers.
The Independent reported that he was accompanied
by a male and a female escort officer plus a male medical escort.
All three were provided by the private security company Group
4 Securicor (G4S). The report also stated that Escorts were authorised
to use a variety of techniques to restrain deportees including
a "Goose Neck" lock and a procedure called "Nose
He relates in the article that his wrists and legs
were handcuffed for the whole flight and that his lip was cut
and his wrist and chest were bruised. He was allowed to go to
the toilet only with the door open and four guards standing outside.
23. In October 2010 The Times newspaper reported
on a secret internal G4S document that it had obtained, revealing
the control and restraint techniques used during forced removals.
The escorts from the private security companies were allowed to
use techniques that the Government's advice warns can lead to
skull fractures, blindness and asphyxia. The document shows that
its escorts are permitted deliberately to inflict pain by applying
pressure to joints, to use handcuffs normally associated with
specialist police units, to use nose control or nose distraction,
which is essentially a karate chop to the nose.
24. The Times had learnt that the Prison Service
is to phase out nose control techniques as a way of restraining
inmates in jails in England and Wales because it is considered
to be too risky. Its use in juvenile detention centres has already
been banned after an inquiry into the death of Adam Rickwood,
14, who hanged himself hours after his face was bloodied by the
technique. "Nose control" is not used by police officers.
25. The Home Office has said that the use of force
was a matter of last resort if someone became disruptive or refused
to comply, or to prevent the returnee from harming themselves.
Handcuffs and in exceptional cases, leg restraints can be used.
26. The Home Office does not publish documentation
on the "control and restraint" methods used to effect
a removal and the UKBA operating standards state that "When
the application of force is deemed necessary no more force than
necessary will be applied and any such force must be reasonable".
27. As reported by the Independent documents obtained
exclusively by the newspaper reveal the "control and restraint"
techniques used by private detention and escorting officers. These
include: Rigid bar, chain link and double-locked handcuffs as
well as leg restraints.
28. David Banks Managing Director, G4S Care &
Justice Services and Stephen Small, Managing Director of Detention
and Escorting gave evidence to the Home Affairs Committee on 2
November 2010 for the Rules Governing Enforced Removals enquiry.
29. The Committee was looking at the rules and protocols
employed by G4S during enforced removal from the UK prompted by
the death 20 days before of Jimmy Mubenga who died while being
escorted by two G4S escorts.
30. Mr Banks said that his officers were empowered
under legislation to use control and restraint techniques when
appropriate. He went on to say that staff are selected for their
interpersonal skills. Use of de-escalation techniques is a huge
part of their training and the use of force and control and restraint
techniques are used as a last resort. These can mean anything
from the application of handcuffs to the use of Prison Service
approved methods of control and restraint.
31. He believed that last year control and restraint
was used in about 8% of removals. The control and restraint techniques
used were those that were developed by the Prison Service and
approved by UKBA and that the risks associated with positional
asphyxia were a major part of the training programme.
32. Mr Banks told the committee that UKBA wanted
to review the use of control and restraint and immediately following
the death of Mr Mubenga they did lift the ability of escorts to
use control and restraint and after a short period of consideration,
those powers were reinstated in full.
33. A member of the committee referred to allegations
of behaviour which had been considered inappropriate concerning
a detainee's arm being held too tightly, restraint by using an
inappropriate neck hold and being left too long in handcuffs and
was told that during the five and a half years of the current
contracts, complaints alleging assaults specifically relating
to control and restraint totalled 186. Such complaints were investigated
by the company and by UKBA Professional Standards Unit.
34. Banks said all G4S guards were trained in the
dangers of positional asphyxia and denied any of its approved
techniques involved pushing detainees' heads between their legs,
saying the only technique used involved "lifting their head
35. Mr Banks was asked about restraint of the head
as there had been photographs and drawing in the newspapers about
the restraint of individuals. Mr Small said that there was no
training in pushing the head downwards but training in trying
to keep the deportee upwards. There were no neck or head holds
used. Holds and arm locks are used to keep people down in their
seat but it did not involve pushing their heads down. Sometimes
their heads were held up when they were trying to put their heads
36. Reference was made to the Ministry of Justice's
Physical Control in Care Training Manual amended July 2010
which identified a number of risk factors associated with the
control and restraint procedures. They explained that there were
two holds that were discontinued following this publication and
that the guidance to G4S employees had subsequently been changed.
The two holds were the seated double embrace and the double basket
hold. Mr Banks further explained that there was a distraction
technique, commonly called the nose distraction technique which
involved "a very short chop to the nose" that was discontinued.
37. However, three months later it was reported that
following Jimmy Mubenga's death, whistleblowers from G4S had given
testimony which contradicted the evidence given by the G4S managers
regarding a banned restraint technique know as "carpet karaoke.
This revealed that G4S managers were repeatedly alerted that refused
asylum seekers who became disruptive on flights were being "forced
into submission" with their heads placed between their legs.
The technique, which is strictly prohibited because it could result
in a form of suffocation known as positional asphyxia, was nicknamed
"carpet karaoke" by G4S guards.
38. The article revealed that the whistleblowers
had repeatedly warned that "potentially lethal force"
was being used during the removal process. This evidence had been
secretly submitted to the Home Affairs Select Committee following
Jimmy Mubenga's death.
39. The whistleblowers also alleged that staff were
insufficiently trained. Their evidence conflicts with that given
by David Banks Managing Director, G4S Care & Justice Services
and Stephen Small, Managing Director of Detention and Escorting
to the Home Affairs Committee on 2 November 2010.
40. On 9 November 2010 Lin Homer former Chief Executive
of UKBA gave evidence to the Home Affairs committee on the work
of the UK Border Agency.
She was questioned about the award of the contract to the private
company Reliance and asked if she was aware of the complaints
about the way in which Reliance dealt with people in custody.
41. Ms Homer replied that they looked at the quality
of all the major providers as one of the aspects of award, and
expected them all to have a complaints system and to be able to
show that it was accessible and operated fully and fairly.
42. She was asked if she was aware of the complaints
made against Reliance and the case of Gary Reynolds was cited.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) completed
its investigation into the case of 41 year old Gary Reynolds,
who became unconscious while in police custody in Brighton, Sussex.
43. Brighton Custody Suite is run by Reliance, whose
staff are not subject to IPCC or Sussex police disciplinary recommendations,
despite the IPCC's highly critical findings.
The statement continued that if any part of the criminal justice
system was to be run by private companies it was vital that they
are held fully publicly accountable for their actions and omissions.
44. Gary Reynolds' long term prognosis is not known
but he has suffered life changing injuries and is currently paralysed
on his left side and is suffering from significant cognitive impairment.
45. Hickman and Rose, Gary Reynolds' solicitors reported
on 31 January 2010 that he was paralysed down the left hand side
of his body and suffers from a permanent brain injury after being
found in a coma in his cell in Brighton police station on 2 March
Gary Reynolds called for a public inquiry on receiving the report
of an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission
(IPCC), which highlighted systemic failures by custody staff at
Brighton Police Station, who were responsible for Gary's care
on 2 March 2008. The IPCC found a failure "to provide Gary
Reynolds with an adequate level of care", which "contributed
to Gary Reynolds remaining in a coma longer than he should".
The IPCC also found there was a collective failure to carry out
a range of highly significant duties required by the Police and
Criminal Evidence Act for the care of detainees.
46. In Germany private security companies are not
involved in escorting a person to the aircraft during the enforced
removals process. This practice is carried out by the German Federal
Police. In general the police are the responsibility of the regional
governments, but this is not the case at the airport, stations
or at the borders.
47. An effective monitoring system was introduced
in 2001 in Germany first at Düsseldorf Airport. Frankfurt
Airport followed in 2006 and Hamburg in 2010. The tried and tested
monitoring system comprises two components:
of people who are present for forced returns at the airports in
Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Hamburg airports
forums were established which are responsible for installing the
monitors and to which these monitors must regularly report.
48. The committees consist of representatives of
governmental and non-governmental organisations as well as the
churches. They receive the reports of the monitors and discuss
any incidents or problems that have arisen. The forums do not
have any legal or official supervisory competences. They see themselves
as discussion forums in which problematic situations and matters
can be reviewed and clarified.
49. Confidentiality is an important feature of the
forums' work. On the one hand the protection of personal data
has to be ensured in all governmental activities. Data on individual
incidents and other sensitive information is only discussed among
the forum members and not made available to third parties. The
forums can voice criticism and demand improvements, for example,
concerning the protection of the human rights of persons about
to be removed.
50. The work of those monitoring removal operations
and of the airport forums has lead to an ongoing discussion and
exchange between representatives of non-governmental organisations
and the churches with governmental agencies. The goal of this
process is transparency in a sector previously inaccessible to
51. Independent monitoring of forced returns also
protects the rights of everyone involved in such procedures. This
is true for people facing removal whose fundamental rights may
be violated when means of restraint are used, and it is also true
for police officials, since the presence of neutral monitors safeguards
them against unjustified attacks and accusations.
52. Essential preconditions for the establishment
and further development of the monitoring system:
to all relevant data and information while taking the confidential
nature of the material into account.
access to all phases of the removal procedure, meaning free and
uninterrupted monitoring from detention facilities to the interior
of the airplane.
possibility of accompanying the flight as far as the country of
origin, in particular in case of joint removal operations from
the European Union.
communication with the returnees.
contact with the official in charge of the removal procedure in
case of any problems or incidents.
exchange of best practices and experience with other German and
European monitoring institutions with a view to developing common
53. This briefing has documented a pattern of excessive
use of force by Private Security Contractors during the enforced
removals process over a number of years, often employing dangerous
and abusive control and restraint techniques that in at least
one case, appear to have resulted in the death of an individual
in October 2010. This death, and other many similar cases alleging
serious abuse by private contractors have continued despite two
critical government reportsone produced by Baroness O'Loan
March 2010 and the other by the HM Inspectorate of Prisons in
August 2009 - which highlighted deficiencies over the accountability,
training and techniques employed by these contractors. This suggests
there remains widespread and fundamental problems with the use
of Private Security Companies in the enforced removals process.
54. In Amnesty International's view, a complete and
radical overhaul and reform of the current system is now required
to enable the UK Government to meet its legal obligations to protect
individuals against human rights abuses. In short, reforms that
must drastically improve the accountability, monitoring, oversight,
compliance, training and techniques employed during enforced removals.
55. What follows is a more detailed set of recommendations,
both for the UK government and Private Security companies, to
help prevent serious human rights violations from occurring. Finally
a summary of the relevant international human rights standards
that apply to the lawful and proportional use of force is provided,
obligations that the UK and any companies contracted on its behalf
must meet during the enforced removals process.
THE UK BORDER
56. The roles played by Private Security Companies
that have been contracted by States, raise specific and challenging
accountability issues for the protection of human rights and international
law. Given long standing concerns over the accountability and
conduct of private security companies sub contracted to undertake
law enforcement or related security operations, the Government
should review experience in other EU countries, most notably in
Germany, where the state uses its own law enforcement personnel
to undertake enforced returns. Their experience suggests that
allegations of harm during the removals process are dramatically
reduced when state law enforcement personnel are used and independent
monitoring is allowed.
57. Where private companies are contracted by the
UK government for enforced removals, oversight, contracts must
only be awarded, overseen and monitored subject to:
acknowledgement that private companies exercising public law enforcement
operations including the use of force on the authority of the
state, are explicitly bound by the Human Rights Act, other relevant
human rights legislation or standards related to law enforcement
operations including detention, enforced removals and the use
incentive, cost or other commercial and or operational requirements
must not be a basis for awarding or operating contracts dealing
with the humane and lawful treatment of individuals during the
must be dependent upon suitability and robustness of the training
and accountability and compliance mechanisms, including risk assessment,
contingency planning procedures, reporting, monitoring and evaluation
process to ensure compliance with internationally recognised human
rights standards and subject to rigorous external and regular
compliance audit and monitoring. The UK government should not
allocate contracts to private companies which have been implicated
in instances involving the excessive use of force, harm on removal
or any act of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
ensure greater public confidence in the removals process, all
allegations of harm on removal must be subject, where necessary,
to independent investigation by competent body acting with integrity,
impartiality and independent from company, government or the complainant's
increase transparency and accountability and to mitigate against
harm, all removals must be independently monitored by a competent
independent body who should accompany, monitor and report on all
stages of the removal process, including transport from the place
of detention, escorting through airports and on-board aircraft.
58. In these instances, the UK government retains
the legal obligation to protect individuals against human rights
abuse caused by Private Security Companies as well ensure the
right to judicial remedies.
person or company can undertake enforced removals without adequate
training and annual certification. Training methods should be
subject to continuous review, assessment, learning and development
based on evaluation of operational experience and should be subject
to regular auditing by the UK Border Agency. All training must
be geared to help reduce the use of excessive force and must include:
relevant human rights and international legal obligations, human
rights legislation and related standards on use of force including
the lawful use of control and restraint techniques.
on dealing with potentially vulnerable groups, ethnic, cultural,
religious, age or gender related sensitivities,
assistance, including the medical and psychological implications
associated with the use of different devices and restraints, with
particular focus on the differential impacts it may have on different
based on likely issues faced during enforced removals, such as
different types of transportation, escorting, on board aircraft
and different categories of individuals being removed
on verbal techniques/de-escalation techniques.
Security Companies should have a clear use of force policy in
place to which they can be held publicly to account. The policy
should list prohibited techniques and practices, and state its
commitment to relevant human rights and international legal obligations,
human rights legislation and related standards on use of force
including the lawful use of control and restraint techniques.
should be an absolute prohibition on any control and restraint
techniques that are likely to impair breathing as should strikes
to the head and face whose application can seriously risk human
life, cause serious injury or constitute cruel and degrading treatment.
use-of-force, including use of restraints, should be reported
immediately, monitored and evaluated. Use of Force reports should
be thorough and detailed to allow for meaningful assessment to
ascertain if each use of force was strictly necessary and proportionate
at the time of its application. It must be clearly specified in
training and operational procedures that every individual authorised
to use force is accountable for each and every application of
force and must be able to justify each and every use of such force.
use of force must be reported and investigated through robust
internal compliance procedures allowing for continual assessment,
learning and evaluation, including appropriate disciplinary or
other remedial procedures. There must be recourse, to external
investigation by a competent independent body free from company
or government influence. Private Security Companies should not,
in any way, prevent or hinder an external investigation into use
of force allegations.
use of manual restraints should be avoided unless strictly necessary
to prevent imminent threats of serious injury or escape and must
not be applied for any longer time than is strictly necessary.
No individuals can apply restraints of any kind unless they have
been authorised and trained in the use of manual restraints. Only
approved restraint equipment and techniques may be used and, within
this, preference should be given to less injurious restraints
such as soft restraints made from fabric. The use of manual restraints
must never be used as a tool of pain compliance, or used in ways
that are likely cause unnecessary pain or suffering or heighten
risk injury, such as, for example by placing excessive stress
on wrist joints, or by over tightening. Rigid bar handcuffs and
hinged cuffs should not be used, given their history of abuse
use of leg restraints should be avoided in all but the most extreme
cases which cannot met with more humane alternative forms of restraint,
and must never be applied for prolonged periods. Fabric (soft)
leg restraints should be used; metal leg restraints should not.
enforced removals should include a designated compliance officer
who is qualified as a senior trainer with a supervisory role,
a certified medical officer and a certified social and welfare
enforced removals process should be subject to a detailed risk
management methodology and contingency planning prior to each
and every removal to help reduce the use of excessive force or
other human rights abuses. To reduce the likelihood of abuse,
contingency planning should ensure:
resources and capacity are allocated to each removal depending
on the likely nature of incidents to be faced
number of trained and authorised personnel necessary to deal with
person acting under the authority of the state for any law enforcement
operations can inflict, instigate or tolerate any act of torture
or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and
has a duty to disobey orders to carry out such acts.
law enforcement should apply non-violent means as far as possible
before resorting to the use of force. All use of force must be
strictly necessary, proportional to the threat faced and designed
to cause the minimum of pain and suffering necessary to meet its
lawful objective. They may use force only if other means remain
ineffective or without any promise of achieving the necessary
lawful objective. Force, including the use of restraints, must
not be applied for any longer time than is strictly necessary.
attention should be given to the protection of human rights of
members of potentially vulnerable groups, such as children, the
elderly, women, refugees, displaced persons and members of minority
groups. Law enforcement personnel should pay particular regard
to factors of race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, age, language,
religion, nationality, political or other opinion, disability,
ethnic or social origin when carrying out their duty.
enforcement personnel must ensure that all possible assistance
and medical aid are rendered to any injured or affected persons
at the earliest possible moment.
violations of human rights by law enforcement personnel, including
any breaches of these Basic Standards, should be investigated
fully, promptly and independently. All law enforcement personnel
must report every use of force incident, including the use of
restraints, promptly to their superiors, who should ensure that
proper investigations of all such incidents are carried out.
13 June 2011
1 www.homeoffice.gov.uk/media-centre/news/escort-detainees Back
Although not every asylum applicant is deserving of international
protection, many commentators including Amnesty International,
believe that the asylum determination procedure is flawed and
denies protection to some people who need it. Back
www.ppo.gov.uk/docs/special-oakington-irc-05.pdf page 3 Back
The Guardian, 16 October 2010 Back
The Guardian, 23 January 2011 Back
Witnesses 'thrown off plane' during deportation flight. The Guardian
31October 2010 Matthew Taylor and Paul Lewis Back
Independent, 15 July 2010 Back
The Times "control and restraint" techniques
used during forced removals Back
The Guardian, 14 October 2010 Back
The Independent, 5 July 2010 Back
The nose distraction technique was suspended by the Ministry of
Justice in December 2007, www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt200708/jtselect/jtrights/65/6505.htm Back
The Guardian, article G4S security firm was warned of lethal
risk to refused asylum seekers 8 February 2011 Back
For more details see, 10 Basic Human Rights Standards for Law
Enforcement Officials (1998). AI Index: POL 30/004/1998. Back