Demanding the impossible
Home Office mistreatment of expert medical evidence of torture
Our new 'Proving Torture' report reveals how Home Office asylum caseworkers disregard or mistreat expert medical evidence of torture and make clinical judgements about survivors’ injuries that they are not qualified to make.
This goes against a clear Home Office policy and leaves exceptionally vulnerable people terrified of being returned to face further torture.
Read on to find out more and take action to support our Proving Torture campaign
For many survivors of torture, proving what has been done to them is becoming near impossible, even when they present extensive medical evidence.
Freedom from Torture's expert clinicians provide in depth evidence documenting torture scars and psychological trauma in line with international standards as part of a torture survivor’s asylum claim.
But bureaucracy and poor decision making mean that torture survivors can be wrongly refused asylum and they experience months and often years of disbelief and uncertainty.
When a survivor of torture is wrongly refused asylum, they experience unimaginable distress. For many people, it’s life or death. They know that when the wrong decision is made, they could be forced to return to their torturers. Legal appeals are harrowing for them and costly to UK taxpayers.
Our new Proving Torture research
Freedom from Torture's new report provides a detailed analysis of how a cohort of 50 expert medico-legal reports documenting physical and psychological evidence of torture has been treated by asylum caseworkers in the UK Home Office.
The research illustrates that existing policy guidance is not being followed and that expert medico-legal reports are poorly handled by caseworkers. Read our report, downloadable on this page to find out more.
My concern for safety was very real. Any more delay and the window of opportunity would close. I couldn’t stop to collect evidence to prove my age, to prove that I am fleeing from torture to save my life, to prove that I was coming from this particular country, to prove that I was who I said I was saying to be ~ Member of the Survivors Speak OUT network
Take action to support our Proving Torture campaign
We're working to ensure that medical evidence of torture is treated fairly in the future and you can help.
Please email your MP and ask them to pressure the Home Secretary Amber Rudd to take action to improve asylum decision-making for torture survivors, as outlined in our Proving Torture report, including complying with their own policy and using the training they have developed but never rolled out.