Saturday, June 25, 2022

Man on botched deportation flight from Rwanda says he was ‘beaten, kicked and pushed’ by security forces

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The private security firm says it is “confident that our officers acted professionally” despite allegations by the 25-year-old, who fled Iraq

The 25-year-old, who fled Iraq, was being held in Colnbrook House detention center awaiting deportation to the Central African country while his legal claim continued to be processed by courts.

A man who was supposed to be on Tuesday’s botched deportation flight to Rwanda says he was attacked by guards and forcibly taken to the airport.

Speak with Sky newsthe man, identified only as Zahir, recalled the moment private security officers attempted to escort him from the center to RAF Boscombe Down in Wiltshire for the flight.

He said: “They opened the door. There were four or five guards, officers from Colnbrook. They say they came to take you to the plane to Rwanda. I say that the dish is not ready yet.

“They say, ‘We have to take you’ … they take me by force. It was the four of them, two of them take my hands, the others take my feet, and one of them grabbed my head… I said, ‘Don’t force me, I’m coming, I’m coming.’

“I told them, ‘You are the traffickers.’ They told us to do something and we said no, and they hit us, kicked us and pushed us to do it.”

Referring to his experience of trafficking on his long trip to the UK, he said: “It was the same, it wasn’t different.

“You say Britain is a democratic country with human rights? I do not know. What is the difference between them and the human traffickers?

“They put me in a van and told me if I moved they would tie me up. When we got to the airport, I saw my boyfriend and they had his hands and feet tied.”

Security firm Mitie said that “restraint is only used as a last resort to ensure the safety of both travelers and our staff, towards whom we have a duty of care.”

It added: “Our focus is to treat those in our care with dignity and respect and we are confident that our officers have acted in a professional manner.”

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