Amnesty UK calls for end to privatised removals from Britain

As Western countries increasingly outsource many aspects of life to unaccountable corporations desperate to make money from misery, resistance is both necessary and moral. Bravo Amnesty UK:

The UK Government must conduct a complete and radical overhaul of the current system of enforced removals from the UK, according to a new briefing and campaign launched today (7 July) by Amnesty International UK.

Private security companies, contracted by the UK Government, have reportedly used dangerous and improper control and restraint techniques. In the 2010 case of Jimmy Mubenga at least, these appear to have resulted in someone’s death. One such technique was nick-named by contractors “Carpet Karaoke”, as it involved forcing an individual’s face down towards the carpet with such force that they were only able to scream inarticulately ”˜like a bad karaoke singer’. It involves the seated detainee being handcuffed, with a tight seatbelt through the cuffs and their head pushed down between their legs. There is a serious risk of death by positional asphyxia when this technique is used.

Other cases featured in the Amnesty briefing include a Moroccan national who claims his arm was broken when he was restrained by his arms and legs and was dropped down the stairs of the airplane; and a refused asylum seeker from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who said he struggled to breathe and feared he was going to die when security staff put a knee on his chest and sat on him, after he resisted his removal at Heathrow.

Sources with direct working experience of enforced removals have told Amnesty about serious failings in the training of private contractors conducting forced removals. Staff are trained in control and restraint techniques that are unsuitable for use on aircraft; there is no mandatory training in the safe use of handcuffs and restraints; and there is no watertight system in place to ensure that those accredited to conduct removals have received the required level of training. The reportedly widespread use of sub-contractors to fill staff shortages also raises further serious concerns about training and accountability.