The High Court has declared the Government’s policy on torture victims is unlawful, after being told asylum seekers fleeing persecution were being wrongly detained.
The case was brought by seven survivors of torture who had been detained in the UK and the ruling could help prevent thousands of vulnerable people from being incarcerated in the UK’s detention centres. The judge ruled individuals had been wrongly locked up during their asylum claims despite doctors submitting evidence of torture and ill-treatment to the Home Office.
The Home Office had developed new policy in September 2016, and had advised medical practitioners assessing individuals’ vulnerability to harm in detention that torture inflicted by non-state actors must not be considered torture in their examinations. However, Judge Ouseley told the Home Office unambiguously that their new policy was “unlawful and their actions upon it too were unlawful”, saying the new policy had “no rational or evidence base”.
Image credit: Beth Cortez-Neaval, Flickr