Huppert steps in to stop torture victim's deportation

November 2, 2010 11:15 AM

Julian at WestminsterCambridge MP Julian Huppert has stepped in to prevent immigration officials deporting a man who was brutally beaten and tortured in his home country.

Julian wrote to the UK Border Agency asking for deportation to be stopped so that further legal and medical evidence could be submitted in the case of Mr P.

Mr P had sought asylum in the UK after his parents and two brothers were murdered in southern Africa. His father had been killed in 2007 and the rest of his family was murdered two years later on Christmas Day. Mr P only escaped the killings because he was at church at the time.

He fled to a friend's house but police officers arrested him and threw him into a cell. Over the following 10 days he was beaten and tortured and left with deep wounds to his back and bite marks to his chest.

On his release last August, Mr P fled to the UK and was treated at hospital for his injuries before being taken to an immigration detention centre.

Mr P originally sought asylum in Italy in 2003 after fears for his safety because of his father's nationality; but two years later he was returned to his home country where he was jailed for 16 months and beaten and tortured.

The UK Border Agency had ordered Mr P to be sent back to Italy but there were fears that he would be returned once again by the Italian authorities to his home country.

Cambridge Migrant Solidarity, whose members had been visiting Mr P during his stay in the Oakington Immigration Centre, called for help from Julian.

Dr Frank Arnold, a founder of the Medical Justice Network and an expert in wounding and scarring, examined Mr P on Julian's request and said: "It is overwhelmingly probable that this man was tortured.

"The physical evidence is that he has been whipped across his back repeatedly with a stiff object and the skin has been broken."

It is government policy that torture survivors should not be detained because this is unduly harmful.

Despite reports from hospital and a detention centre doctor, it was decided that Mr P was fit for detention and he remains at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre at Gatwick Airport.

Julian said: "I am pleased that the UK Border Agency was prepared to halt Mr P's detention while further medical evidence was gathered.

"It is clear from Dr Arnold's report that Mr P has been beaten and Dr Arnold is in no doubt that he has been the victim of torture.

"The UK Border Agency must now review Mr P's case as a matter of urgency."

What would you like to do next?