An Investigation into the situation of migrants whose asylum applications are being reviewed in the UK suggests that British authorities detain them unlawfully and for indefinite periods of time.
The Guardian newspaper published the results of its investigative report into the situation of some 8 percent of migrants held in the United Kingdom on Thursday, saying many of those people were being tortured or maltreated in detention centers across the country.
The report said more than half of those surveyed, around 200 migrants held in seven deportation centers in England as of 31 August, were identified as an “adult at risk”. It said most of the individuals were held without a clear reason and in breach of the Home Office (interior ministry) guidelines saying migrants should be incarcerated in extreme cases.
The report, which was conducted in cooperation with 11 law firms and charities that work with those facing deportation, said more than 80 percent of the respondents to the survey were under an open-ended detention as they did not know when they would be released.
It showed that UK authorities imprison the migrants for an average four-month period although half of those incarcerated had not committed a crime.
A third of those migrant detainees had dependent children in the UK, a majority had lived in the UK for five years or more and some had been in the country for more than 20 years, said the survey.
According to the Home Office figures, some 2,500 asylum seekers are under detention in the UK. A spokesperson of the ministry defended the detentions as “an important part of the immigration system” although acknowledging that further improvements could still be made to the system which the official said must be “fair, dignified and protect the most vulnerable”.