Sri Lankan asylum seeker in UK awarded nearly £20000 in damages

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A doctor who eventually examined KG found that scars on his right wrist and ankle were “consistent with his history of torture”, a conclusion which was supported by a second medical report produced after KG’s release.At a hearing at the High Court last week to decide on the amount to be awarded, KG’s barrister David Lock QC said there had been a “lamentable failure … to appreciate the vulnerability and fragility of the claimant as an asylum seeker”.Under the Detention Centre Rules, all detainees must be given a physical and mental examination by a doctor within 24 hours of admission. A Sri Lankan asylum seeker who says he was tortured in his home country has been awarded nearly £20,000 in damages from the Home Office for his unlawful detention, Asian Age reported.The man, referred to only as KG for legal reasons, was unlawfully held in immigration detention for 30 days between January and February 2016 because of a failure to arrange a medical examination within 24 hours of his admission. A judge sitting at the High Court in London has now awarded him a total of £19,500. The rules also require the doctor to provide a report on whether a detainee may be a victim of torture or whether their health is likely to be seriously affected by continued detention. She said KG’s “mental vulnerability was exacerbated during the course of his detention”.KG says he was tortured by the Sri Lankan authorities because his brother was a member of the Tamil Tigers, a militant Tamil nationalist group, before he fled to the UK on a student visa in 2011. Mr Lock said KG’s case was “yet another case which demonstrates systemic breaches of compliance” with the need for an examination within 24 hours of admission.He conceded that KG “was detained perfectly lawfully – he was an overstayer”, but added that he “ought to have had a medical examination arranged for him within 24 hours at his first place of detention” – at Campsfield immigration removal centre near Oxford.The barrister said KG was subsequently moved to Harmondsworth immigration removal centre, “which, of course, is right beside Heathrow” and which contributed to his fears that he was going to be imminently returned to Sri Lanka. Ruling on the sum to be paid to the 29-year-old, Judge Alison Foster QC said there was “independent medical evidence consistent with what he says about his treatment in Sri Lanka” and found that KG was “vulnerable upon his detention in January 2016”. KG, who had “mental health problems and who was gripped by fear that he was about to be put on a plane to go back to the place where he had been tortured”, should “never have gone to Harmondsworth”, Mr Lock said.He added that KG, who claimed asylum while in detention, “has still not had his substantive international protection interview”, which should be conducted within six months, meaning “he has been left in limbo for the last two-and-a-half years”. (Colombo Gazette) read more


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“I wish to express my deepest sympathies to the families of the victims,” said Hans Haekkerup, the head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). He added that the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., were not only aimed at the United States “but also at the fundamental values upon which the US and the UN are built: peace, democracy and human rights.”Meanwhile speakers in the Kosovo Transitional Council, representing political parties, civil society and ethnic and religious organizations, voiced their shock at the attacks and expressed support for the victims. Many Council members called today a day of mourning for all of Kosovo, and all endorsed the holding of a silent rally of solidarity in Pristina, which took place in front of the city’s National Theatre. read more