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Thursday, 13 August 2009

Identifying possible unlawful detention of torture victims

CAFID is a small group of civil action lawyers. CAFID and Medical Justice would like to facilitate more cases of unlawful detention of torture survivors being taken. We will be considering an initial batch of 15 cases and invite you to submit a case for consideration.

People submitting cases for consideration may include detainees, ex-detainees, visitors to immigration detainees, supporters, immigration solicitors, Medical Justice volunteers, and others.

Basic Criteria for cases

Note on R (D&K) v SS Home Dept etc - Detainees have a possible claim under art 5 where:

* They have been detained
* After they raised an allegation of torture
* Which has been confirmed by independent evidence
* And there are no other exceptional circumstances that could justify detention (e.g. history of absconding; convicted foreign prisoner awaiting deportation)

And either

* A medical examination was conducted by a DC's doctor within 24 hours of arrival in detention which confirmed evidence of torture
* Or no such medical examination was conducted
* Or a medical examination was conducted, but failed to ID the evidence - which should have been reasonably ascertainable - subsequently confirmed by another report (i.e. negligently prepared report - though this may be difficult to prove)

NB if the medical examination with 24 hours confirms evidence of torture, this can satisfy the 'independent evidence' requirement. If the detainee remains detained after this, the detention is likely to be unlawful.

Remember that torture doesn't only occur in the context of detention and interrogation: it can include other forms of degrading treatment such as rape, sex trafficking, female genital mutilation.

Submitting a case for consideration

Initial focus for this project ;

* Focus on Fast-track - we are initially focusing on fast-track cases, but not excluding others cases
* Exclude exFPNs - unfortunately claim highly unlikely to succeed in these circumstances, unless the period of detention occurred before the criminal conviction
* At least initially, this project does not address issues specifically around fitness to detain / fly.

If you would like to submit a case for consideration ;
1. A case must fulfil the above "basic criteria"
2. You must be able to supply as many of the accompanying documents (see check-list) required as possible
3. You must answer as many of the questions in the attached Questionnaire (Unlawful detention of torture victims.doc) / Check list as possible
4. Email us your completed Questionnaire / Check

For more information and a copy of the questionnaire email Emma Ginnuk


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