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TRIAL OF PRIVATE IMMIGRATION DETENTION COMPANIES SHINES SPOTLIGHT ON KEY ISSUES
The Crown Prosecution Service has today announced that they have authorised criminal charges against GEO Group UK Ltd and Nestor Primecare Services Ltd, who were running Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre in 2012, following the death of Prince Kwabena Fosu.
DEBORAH COLES, Director of INQUEST said:
“We hope this trial will shine a spotlight on the closed world of immigration detention, the treatment and standards of care of detainees, staff training and culture.
It will also afford much needed scrutiny on the privatisation of detention services and how multi-national companies are held to account when people die in their care.”
KATE MAYNARD, solicitor for the family said:
“The death of Prince Kwabena Fosu is a tragic reminder of the vulnerability of those facing forced removal from the UK.
Prince’s family welcomes the CPS decision to prosecute the private contractors who were responsible for Prince’s welfare while he was detained at Harmondsworth IRC in October 2012.
They look forward to following the trial and to hearing from staff, clinicians and managers as to how Prince was treated in their care, and to understanding the circumstances in which he died.”
The family of Prince Kwabena Fosu is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Kate Maynard of Hickman and Rose solicitors and Nick Armstrong of Matrix Chambers. Neither the family or INQUEST will be offering further comment until the conclusion of the trial.
NOTES TO EDITORS
For further information, please contact: Lucy McKay on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7263 1111
Prince Kwabena Fosu, a 31 year old Ghanaian national, died suddenly in Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre on the morning of 30 October 2012. Any inquest into the circumstances of Mr Fosu’s death will be postponed until after the prosecution.
As part of our ongoing monitoring of deaths in custody, INQUEST monitors deaths in Immigration Removal Centres (IRC) and Immigration Detention Centres (IDC). Statistics can be found here.
Many people in immigration detention are especially vulnerable due to physical or mental ill health. The high number of recorded self-inflicted deaths mirrors the high incidence of mental ill health and self-harm in immigration detention.
There have been several cases in recent years that have raised concerns over the quality of care offered to immigration detainees. For more information see the Medical Justice report on ‘Death in Immigration Detention: 2000-2015’.
INQUEST provides specialist advice on deaths in custody or detention or involving state failures in England and Wales. This includes a death in prison, in police custody or following police contact, in immigration detention or psychiatric care. INQUEST's policy and parliamentary work is informed by its casework and we work to ensure that the collective experiences of bereaved people underpin that work. Its overall aim is to secure an investigative process that treats bereaved families with dignity and respect; ensures accountability and disseminates the lessons learned from the investigation process in order to prevent further deaths.
Please refer to INQUEST the organisation in all capital letters in order to distinguish it from the legal hearing.
‘We would like to thank INQUEST and our case worker for their help and support. INQUEST is a real lifeline for people who have lost loved ones and they have helped us practically and emotionally. They are worthy of much more funding than they receive to carry on their excellent work in increasing understanding in this area and in the way they support bereaved families.’
– Family of a man who died in custody