Last week, the newspaper the Observer were passed a top secret document which is circulating among senior police and security chiefs in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which suggests that failed asylum seekers may face torture on their return to their home country. Reports by various human rights agencies show that in all areas of DRC, state security forces are continuing to act with impunity, committing many serious human rights abuses including unlawful killings, disappearances, torture, rape, engaging in arbitrary arrests and detention. However, it now seems that despite concerns of these human rights abuses, the Home Office are continuing to detain dozens of Congolese nationals for removal.
Top Secret Document Orders Torture of Failed Asylum Seekers
The document leaked to the Observer and circulated by the Congo’s ministry of interior, instructs security chiefs to track down and arrest those who oppose the current government. Once detained, the document suggests that torture could be used with “discretion.” The document calls for authorities to target political activists living in the UK and other parts of the UK who are deported to the Congolese capital, Kinshasa.
The document states:
“The treatment reserved for these people is clear: torture and other things must be done with the greatest discretion. These orders must be carried out flawlessly.”
Rise of Congolese Nationals being Detained & Removed by UK Home Office
A report by Justice First, a UK charity assisting asylum seekers in the UK, monitored 11 Congolese nationals who were forcibly removed to DRC for a period up to September 2013. They found that 9 of the returnees had been detained of whom 8 were imprisoned and two died (one died after being beaten by Congolese officials).
The Observer interviewed a Congolese national currently detained in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Detention Centre who is 5 month’s pregnant. She stated:
“I won’t survive if they send me back. I was arrested last week when I went to sign on in Cardiff. Another young pregnant Congolese woman arrived here this week. There are six women from Congo here altogether and we are all very scared about what will happen to us if the British government sends us back home.”
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