Notice is now being taken of the disgraceful results of indefinite detention for immigration purposes. Not only is £171 million a year spent on this policy, and £75 million of that is on detaining people who end up back in the community any way – it wastes lives. Even people who have committed crimes in the UK know how long they can be detained for, and are free after that.
Some of the information that has been looked at by the All Party Parliamentary Group Inquiry into Detention has now been noticed by the media (see links below).
The report from the Inquiry will be published next month, and we are hoping that it will be calling for an end to indefinite detention. Liberal Democrats last year agreed that their policy is to do just that. We are the only country in the EU with no time limit on such detention, and this must stop as soon as possible.
The Independent wrote this, likening the practice to the UKs Guantamano Bay, followed by this article calling it the Black Hole of British Justice, and accompanied by an editorial saying indefinite detention is a “terrible stain on Britain”.
The Telegraph too highlighted the problems, as did the Express which quoted the Home Office saying that if it found anyone had been unlawfully detained , compensation would be paid. That hardly makes the situation right, and it has cost £15 million over the last three years in compensation from wrongful detention.
Whatever the results of the General Election, Liberal Democrats for Seekers of Sanctuary will continue to push for our policy to end indefinite detention to be implemented. It will need other political parties to agree with us – but why not ? Such detention is inhumane, wastes lives and wastes money.