Minister quizzed on immigration centre after detainee died

June 10, 2010 11:24 AM

Julian HuppertImmigration Minister, Damian Green has been quizzed by Cambridge MP, Julian Huppert about procedures at Oakington Immigration Centre following the recent death of a detainee.

Julian raised the issue in a written Parliamentary Question asking what steps had been taken to review policy and procedures at the centre.

Kenyan asylum seeker, Eliud Nyenze died at the centre on April 14 immediately sparking protests from other detainees.

Mr Green said: "All immigration removal centres are governed by the Detention Centre Rules 2001 which are underpinned by a set of operating standards.

"Centres are subject to a programme of inspection visits by HM Inspectorate of Prisons, and the UK Border Agency considers carefully any comments about the operation of the centre."

He added that Oakington was inspected in 2008, recommendations were made and a service improvement plan has been put in place.

Julian, who met Mr Nyenze's brother and sister recently to discuss the issue, will be visiting Oakington Immigration Centre.

He has also signed a five point Sanctuary Pledge which gives a commitment to safeguard the long-term future of Britain as a place of sanctuary.

Julian 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."

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