A Nigerian woman was today cleared of assaulting guards UK during a violent attempt to remove her from the UK.

The Guardian today includes distressing footage of the incident in which the woman sustained multiple injuries at the hands of the guards :  “Woman cleared of assaulting Yarl’s Wood guards during struggle

Emma Ginn, Director of Medical Justice said ;

“The judge concluded that the lead guard in a use of force briefing was going to use force “come what may”.

The Home Office is clearly still outsourcing abuse.

For over a decade our volunteer doctors have documented injuries sustained by immigration detainees at the hands of violent guards which have included including fractured facial bones needing reconstructive surgery.

Despite all our warnings over the years about innumerable, reprehensible assaults on vulnerable detainees, the Home Office has failed to stop them.

Even an inquest verdict of unlawful killing of a detainee by guards in 2010 did not induce effective action by their paymaster, the Home Office. The brutality continued ; one of our clients – a wheelchair user – was dragged by a waist restraint belt ; a mentally ill torture survivor suffered serious physical and severe psychiatric injuries ; a detainee was strangled by a guard who threatened to put him “to sleep”.

Medical Justice agrees with the British Medical Association that immigration detention should be phased out.

Medical Justice calls for all immigration removal centres to be closed immediately before another detainee is injured or dies. “


  1. Medical Justice published “Outsourcing Abuse” dossier catalogued hundreds of allegations of assault in 2008.
  2. Undercover video footage has captured the abuse of detainees – BBC in Oakington IRC in 2005 and Brook House in 2017, and Channel 4 in Yarl’s Wood and Harmondsworth IRCs in 2015).
  3. Volunteer doctors for Medical Justice have visited hundreds of detainees in immigration removal centres (IRCs) to document their scars of torture, other serious medical conditions, and instances of medical mistreatment. Many of our clients are victims of torture, rape and trafficking. Many have complex healthcare needs and mental illness stemming from past persecution that they fled from to seek safety in the UK.
  4. Our volunteer doctors have exposed widespread inadequacies of healthcare in immigration detention and an alarming level of medical mistreatment. High court judgements have found that detention amounted to “inhuman and degrading treatment” in 6 separate cases, and inquests have found that neglect contributed to detainees’ deaths. It is now widely accepted that immigration detention can exacerbate existing medical conditions and be the cause of mental illness.


Emma Ginn
Medical Justice
Tel : 0207 561 7498
Mobile : 07786 517379
Email : emma.ginn@medicaljustice.org.uk
Web : http://www.medicaljustice.org.uk/