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Asylum Seekers: Torture

Volume 696: debated on Wednesday 14 November 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Under what circumstances, notwithstanding the submission of medical evidence substantiating a detained asylum seeker's claim to have been tortured, the case owner would allow the detention to be continued; and in any such circumstances, whether they will issue instructions that a document recording the reasons for the continued detention is placed in the Rule 35 log. [HL140]

Detention in such circumstances may be appropriate for the following reasons: public protection in the case of convicted criminals; where the person concerned might be a persistent absconder; where the person is to be returned to a third country for consideration of their asylum claim; or, most commonly, where the person has no lawful basis of stay in the UK and whose removal it is necessary to enforce.

Existing guidance to the Border and Immigration Agency staff requires them to acknowledge receipt of an allegation of torture report from a removal centre doctor. During the passage of the UK Borders Bill we acknowledged that the response might go beyond a simple acknowledgement and undertook to look at the arrangements that exist. This process is still taking place.