Rewarding failure in the privatised asylum seeker world

The death last year of Jimmy Mubenga by private contractor G4S, as he was being forcibly removed from Britain, revealed the largely hidden and unaccountable world of outsourced horror in a supposed democracy.

One year on, justice remains elusive. This letter appeared in the Guardian a few days ago:

Jimmy Mubenga died one year ago (Comment, 12 October) when he was restrained by guards from the private company G4S during a deportation to Angola. Today his family will join with friends and campaigners to remember Jimmy and the year that has passed at a… vigil at the offices of the Crown Prosecution Service.

The three G4S guards who were arrested in connection with his death remain on bail until December, as the police and CPS continue investigations. We are concerned that as the use of force during deportations continues as before, so do the allegations of abuse and mistreatment and injuries sustained during forced deportations. It can only be a matter of time before another family is forced to suffer in the same way that Jimmy Mubenga‘s family currently is.

We urge the police and CPS to conduct a thorough and robust investigation to ensure that the G4S officers are properly accountable to the law as are any other members of the public.
Helen Shaw Inquest, Emma Ginn Medical Justice, Richard Edwards London No Borders, Shiar Youssef Corporate Watch, Isabella Sankey Policy… director, Liberty, Lord Herman Ouseley, Julian Huppert MP, David Lammy MP, John McDonnell MP, Frances Webber Vice-chair, Institute… of… Race Relations, Daniel Machover Partner, Hickman and… Rose, Victoria Brittain, David… Edgar… Playwright

The family of Mubenga are crying out for justice but G4S is seemingly beyond the law (sound familiar to us here in Australia, where Serco is in a similar situation?)

Emma Ginn is a spokesperson for Medical Justice, the British charity that exposes inadequate healthcare provision to immigration detainees, and she writes in the Guardian that G4S was simply replaced by another private contractor:

During the year since Mubenga died, abuse and death is indeed what we have seen.

Reliance Security Task Management has since won the government contract to escort people being deported, yet allegations of abuse and use of excessive force have continued. Medical Justice volunteer doctors continue to see deportation injuries.

Sadly, the context is that based on medical evidence from many hundreds of detainees that we have assisted, we have documented the disturbingly inadequate healthcare provision that detainees are subjected to in immigration removal centres.

This, combined with the perilous and frightening conditions of detention, and the fear of deportation, is a lethal cocktail, a disaster waiting to happen yet again. Lessons urgently need learning, especially following the deaths of three immigration detainees in one month this summer.