The healthy response to an investigation of uncontrolled power towards refugees would be to stop the outsourcing of such tasks but rest assured the British government will simply find another multinational to do the job. The sick religion of privatisation over people’s lives:
The multinational security company hired by the government to deport refused asylum seekers was warned repeatedly by its own staff that potentially lethal force was being used against deportees, an investigation by the Guardian can reveal.
Details of how some G4S guards developed a dangerous technique for restraining deportees by bending them in aircraft seats is disclosed in official testimony drawn up by four whistle-blowers from the company.
Their evidence was secretly submitted to the home affairs select committee in the aftermath of the death of Jimmy Mubenga, an Angolan man who died while being forcibly restrained on a flight from Heathrow in October.
The previously unseen testimony reveals 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.
The whistle-blowers also allege that staff were not trained properly, criticised for showing compassion to refused asylum seekers, particularly children, and ostracised if they ever voiced concerns. They state that some guards went years without receiving official Home Office accreditation.
Their evidence contradicts testimony given to parliament by senior G4S executives who were summoned to appear before the home affairs select committee following Mubenga’s death. One senior G4S official told MPs during a the hearing in November that he was “not aware” that his staff had ever raised concerns about any aspect of the removals process.
The contract will be taken over in May by a rival security firm, Reliance. Under European employment regulations, Reliance has been compelled to offer employment to all G4S staff involved in removals.
Meanwhile G4S continues to hold contracts with several government departments estimated to be worth £600m. It manages four prisons, three immigration removal centres and escorts around half of all prisoners to and from court.