Medical Justice, BID and ILPA have written today to the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Home Office to express concern about the Home Office’s response to COVID-19 in relation to immigration detainees, including:

  • Our understanding is that all visits to IRCs and prisons have been stopped.
  • Considerable difficulties contacting detainees due to poor mobile reception and reports of some detainees being locked into rooms.
  • Restriction of access to emails, faxes and the internet to contact their legal representatives, file legal applications or make submissions in their case.
  • Changes in the regime may also breach the following aspects of the Detention Centre Rules:
    – Access to a registered medical practitioner (Rule 33(7, 11))
    – Access to family life, visits and other persons (Rules 26 & 28(1))
    – Access to letters and faxes (Rule 27(1))
    – Access to legal advice (Rule 30)

We are concerned that such breaches may render detention unlawful and may not be effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 as evidenced by outbreaks on cruise ships.

Download the letter here and see the questions we have demanded answers to within 3 working days.