A father-of-five being deported from Britain was unlawfully killed on a plane to his native Angola, an inquest jury has found. Jimmy Mubenga was on a British Airways flight to the African country when security guards noticed he was not breathing.
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who has dealt with allegations of brutality against asylum seekers by security escorts, said today that today's ruling over the death of a man being deported from Britain was a "victory for the rule of law". Mr Tatchell said:
If a person has been ordered to be removed it should be done so humanely and without resort to violent criminal methods sometimes employed by security staff.
This judgment is a victory for the rule of law. It establishes the premise that in a democracy we should not violently maltreat people facing deportation, regardless of the reasons for their removal from the UK.
It's incumbent in Britain to abide by the high moral standards that we espouse, in which case the physical abuse of illegal immigrants and failed asylum seekers is unacceptable.
The Home Office has said that they expect the "highest standards of integrity" from their outsourced private contractors, after an inquest jury found Jimmy Mubenga was unlawfully killed as he was deported from Britain. A Home Office spokesman said:
Our thoughts and sympathies are with Mr Mubenga's family.
We are very clear that we expect the highest standards of integrity and behaviour from all of our contractors.
The co-director of charity Inquest Deborah Coles has said today that Jimmy Mubenga's death was "waiting to happen", after an inquest jury found the father-of-five was unlawfully killed as he was deported from Britain.
Ms Coles said: "There are longstanding and well documented concerns about the conduct and accountability of the private removals industry and a pattern of complaints about the use of excessive force".
Keith Vaz MP, chairman of the Home Affairs Committee, has said the 'unlawful killing' ruling of Jimmy Mubenga was "another stain on the reputation of G4S", after an inquest jury found the father-of-five was unlawfully killed as he was deported from Britain.
He said: "This is yet another stain on the reputation of G4S. The case is now stronger than ever for the Government to take past performance into account for companies in receipt of procurement contracts.
"The Government must realise that now is the time to implement a central register of 'high-risk' procurement companies as recommended by the Home Affairs Committee after the Olympics security fiasco."
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is to reconsider its original decision not to bring criminal charges in the case of Jimmy Mubenga after an inquest jury found the father-of-five was unlawfully killed on a plane to his native Angola as he was being deported, a CPS spokesman said today.
After the verdict, a Crown Prosecution Service spokesman said:
Following this verdict, we will consider our original decision in light of any new evidence or information from the inquest, including any conclusions reached by the jury.
Security agency G4S has defended its handling of a case in which a 46-year-old man being deported from Britain was 'unlawfully killed', an inquest found today.
A G4S spokeswoman said: "The death of anyone in our care is deeply felt by all of us and the death of Mr Mubenga was a very tragic event.
"The welfare of those in our care is always our top priority and we take great care to ensure that our employees on this contract, which has been carried out by another provider since November 2011, were made aware of their responsibilities in this respect.
"Our employees were also trained, screened and vetted to the standards defined by strict Home Office guidelines.
"We believe that at all times we acted appropriately and in full compliance with the terms of our contract with UKBA and it should be noted that the Crown Prosecution Service found no basis on which to bring criminal charges against G4S in this case".