The Home Office must show more humanity to torture survivors | Letter


The supreme court’s ruling that the Home Office “falsely imprisoned” desperate people fleeing persecution (Report, 28 November) is a scathing indictment of Home Office practices. The catastrophic failures carry an economic cost, but more importantly, a human one. Torture survivors who arrive in Britain in search of safety should never be detained. Medical experts and campaigners have repeatedly argued that the detention of vulnerable people risks re-traumatisation and hampers recovery. Yet, at Freedom from Torture, we regularly see our clients locked up for no good reason.

Our report this year, Lessons not Learned, exposed the systematic failures of the British asylum system for the last 15 years. There are signs that some within the Home Office are listening. But ministers must also understand the imperative for humanity to be at the heart of decision-making. Without that, lasting change is impossible.
Natasha Tsangarides
Senior policy adviser at Freedom from Torture

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