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Freedom from Torture calls for inquiry into Home Office misuse of torture evidence

Date of Publication: 
22 August 2017
Summary: 

Torture charity requests support for its campaign for Parliamentary inquiry

Freedom from Torture calls for inquiry into Home Office misuse of torture evidence

22 August 2017
EIN

Freedom from Torture said yesterday that it is calling on Parliament's Home Affairs Committee to conduct an inquiry into the treatment of the medical evidence of torture in asylum claims.

The call follows on from Freedom from Torture's November 2016 report Proving Torture (see here) which found Home Office asylum caseworkers are disregarding or mistreating expert medical evidence of torture.

James Brokenshire, the then Immigration Minister, publicly committed to improving Home Office systems in the wake of the report, but Freedom from Torture said yesterday that progress has since been slow and there is still a long way to go to securing the changes needed to properly protect asylum seekers who have survived torture.

"We urgently need to keep the pressure up on the newly-appointed Immigration Minister, encourage him to honour the commitments made by his predecessor, and ensure that the fragile progress we've secured is not lost," Freedom from Torture said in a statement.

Freedom from Torture urges that people contact their MP to call for a Parliamentary inquiry.

The charity has set up a page here which you can use to contact your MP and join the campaign.

"Your support is essential for making this happen. By calling on your MP to support an inquiry into the Home Office's treatment of medical evidence, you will be helping to keep the Government honest, and ensure that torture survivors are properly protected and treated fairly", the charity's statement said.

Freedom from Torture says the mishandling of medical evidence by the Home Office means vulnerable men, women and children who have come to the UK to escape torture are at risk of being sent back to persecution despite having valid asylum claims.