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There are a number of charter flight removals to Sri Lanka scheduled for this week, I believe that there are at least two on the 19 and 20 September 2012, I am certain of the 19 September 2012 flight as I have a number of clients on this flight that I am actively seeking to have their removal directions cancelled. As a direct access immigration barrister with a long standing interest in the conflict and the persecution of Tamils I find the UK government’s insistence of removing Sri Lankan Tamils to Sri Lanka where they are likely to be treated at best as suspect is disappointing. It strikes me that the Secretary of State for the Home Department sees Sri Lankan Tamils as a soft target, ie one that is easy to remove and therefore looks good on the figures.

I have received an email from the excellent Shivani Jegarajah at Renaissance Chambers containing a report from Freedom from Torture, which used to be known just as the Medical Foundation for the care of victims of torture which makes pretty disturbing reading. It points to a number of cases where Sri Lankan Tamils who have been removed by the United Kingdom Government have been tortured in Sri Lanka.

The full report can be found at

http://www.freedomfromtorture.org/news-blogs/6659
This report details the experiences of a number of Sri Lankan Tamils who have been returned from the UK and who have been ill treated in Sri Lanka. I would urge anyone who has a client facing removal to consider this report and make further representations to the UKBA as a matter of urgency.
Paul Turner is a highly regarded barrister licensed by the Bar Council to provide direct access work and who practices at 10 Kings Bench Walk London EC4Y 7EB