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Detained asylum seekers to be able to apply for bail

24Bangla Mirror Desk :

Hundreds of failed asylum seekers in immigration detention centres will be able to apply to be freed on bail, the Home Office is expected to confirm shortly.
A ruling by appeal court judges on Friday that a “structurally unfair” fast-track asylum appeals system must be suspended is expected to lead to 300 to 400 asylum seekers, who are currently detained, making a fresh plea to be freed.
The Ministry of Justice undertook, on behalf of the government, not to deport any applicants who lose their fast-track cases while a full appeal brought on behalf of ministers is heard by judges.
One possibility is that the home secretary, Theresa May, orders the immediate release of the 300 to 400 failed asylum seekers who are currently in Yarl’s Wood and other detention centres under the suspended fast-track system. But it is thought more likely that they would continue to be detained on the grounds that there is a risk that they might abscond.
They would, however, still have the right to be freed on bail, given the system under which they are detained has been quashed by the judges.
The court of appeal ordered the home secretary, Theresa May, to suspend the fast-track immigration appeals system under which thousands are locked up each year.
The process, under which rejected asylum seekers are detained and given only seven days to appeal, was ruled unlawful by the high court two weeks ago but allowed the system to continue to give the government time to appeal.
However, the charity Detention Action successfully challenged that decision on Friday in the appeal court, which ordered an immediate halt to the system.
The high court ruled the system, which has been in use since 2000, was unfair, with lawyers for the asylum seekers expected to take instructions, prepare statements, translate documents, make bail applications, arrange expert witnesses and make representations to be taken out of the fast track – all within a strict timetable of seven working days.
The use of the “detained fast track”, as it is called by the Home Office, has rapidly expanded in recent years. Latest published figures show that 4,286 asylum seekers were locked up in Yarl’s Wood, Colnbrook or Harmondsworth detention centres under the scheme in 2013. This figure represented a 73% increase over the number for 2012.
Detention Action said the ruling by the appeal court judges meant that the Home Office could no longer impose the tight fast-track deadlines on asylum seekers making appeals while in detention. “Asylum seekers can no longer be detained throughout the asylum process simply for claiming asylum,” their statement added.
Any asylum seekers from any country can be put into the detained fast track if the Home Office consider that their case can be decided quickly. Many of those involved are from countries such as Afghanistan and Sri Lanka and the system is not restricted to those with “manifestly unfounded” asylum claims.