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The Lethal Policy of Indefinite Immigration Detention

Posted on Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

René Cassin’s Campaigns Officer, Hannah Swirsky, writes in Jewish News Online:

In Britain each year, around 25,000 migrants and asylum seekers are routinely locked up in detention centres – often for months, sometimes for years. No trial. No redress. No knowing when they will be released. No time limit on how long they can be held.

This is indefinite detention. It robs people of their dignity, their spirit, and, in some tragic cases, their lives. Four years ago, a cross-party group of MPs condemned it as “expensive, ineffective and unjust”. Four years later, it is still happening.

The death of Amir Siman-Tov, a Moroccan Jewish man who died in Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre, highlights the lethal policy of indefinite detention.

Amir had a history of mental ill health and, as highlighted by immigration solicitor Michael Goldin, needed to be taking regular medication and in a supportive environment, not in a detention centre – a prison in all but name.

Following the inquest into his death, which concluded last week, Amir’s family stated that “Amir was loved by his family and his death has been devastating for us. The jury’s conclusions show that he did not wish to die and that if those with responsibility for his care had not failed him, he would be alive today.”

Read Hannah’s full blog in Jewish News Online

You can also read more about Mr Siman-Tov’s case here: