Ombudsman Called in After Death of 12th Immigration Detainee

An investigation has been launched after the death of a 12th immigration detainee this year. Michael Netyks, a 35-year-old Pole, was serving a six-month sentence at Altcourse prison, a private jail in Liverpool run by G4S. He had been assessed to be vulnerable and is thought to have taken his own life. Altcourse director Steve Williams said: “On Thursday 7 December, a prisoner at HM Prison Altcourse sadly passed away. His next of kin have been informed and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.  “As with any death in custody, this will be investigated by the prison and probation ombudsman.”

The latest death will heighten concerns over the treatment of immigration detainees, who have died at a faster rate in custody in 2017 than ever before.  “The numbers keep on rising,” said Deborah Coles, director of Inquest – a charity concerned with state-related deaths in England and Wales. Almost all of these deaths have been self-inflicted, and a majority have been of EU nationals. Yet the authorities have reacted with inaction, evasiveness and misinformation.”

The highest number of immigration detainee deaths this year have occurred at Morton Hall immigration removal centre in Lincolnshire. Just weeks ago, a 27-year-old Iraqi man died there. He is believed to have killed himself. Carlington Spencer from Jamaica, Lukasz Debowski from Poland and Bal Ahmed Kabia from Sierra Leone have also died there in the last year. There have been four deaths of Polish immigration detainees so far, this year, three of which have come in the last three months. Other detainees who have died in the past 12 months have been Afghani, Chinese and Iraqi.

Read more: Diane Taylor, Guardian,

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