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UK should only hold immigrants in Detention Centers for 28 days, Inquiry says

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On Tuesday, a public inquiry recommended that the UK should only detain people in immigration centres for a maximum of 28 days. This comes after an investigation found that detainees at Brook House immigration removal centre had been subjected to inhumane treatment.

Approximately 20,000 people are currently held in one of seven immigration centres in the UK. Presently, there is no time limit on how long someone can be detained, but it would typically be considered unlawful if they cannot be removed in a reasonable amount of time. However, some detainees at Brook House were held for up to two years, according to the inquiry.

The report has emerged at a time when the issue of immigration is highly contentious in the UK, with both the ruling Conservatives and opposition Labour party arguing over the matter. The inquiry’s chair, Kate Eves, stated that the introduction of a 28-day limit on detention would improve the “treatment and wellbeing” of detainees.

The inquiry was triggered by a BBC programme which revealed that G4S, the company that ran Brook House, had physically and verbally abused detainees. Eves found that there had been 19 incidents between April and August 2017, which amounted to a breach of detainees’ rights. She also noted that staff used force too often and that “dangerous techniques” were used to restrain individuals.

Although G4S apologised for the mistreatment of some detainees, it and the UK’s Home Office were reportedly unaware of the abuse due to a lack of reporting by staff. The Home Office’s lawyers acknowledged that the scandal had exposed “organisational failings”, but stressed that Brook House was an exception.

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has made “stopping the boats” a priority, as many asylum seekers travel to the UK from Europe across the Channel. However, his government’s policy of sending asylum seekers to Rwanda has not yet been implemented, with a legal challenge scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court next month.

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Birminghamgist Staff is a News Reporter, making waves in the UK with insightful and Engaging reporting.

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