Freedom from Torture - Growing pressure for inquiry into Home Office mistreatment of torture evidence

Growing pressure for inquiry into Home Office mistreatment of torture evidence

More than 5,000 people have emailed their MP, urging them to call for a Home Affairs Committee inquiry into Home Office mistreatment of torture evidence. This is the latest step in Freedom from Torture’s Proving Torture campaign, which aims to improve asylum decision-making after research revealed how claims are being wrongly refused, with grave results for those affected. 

Freedom from Torture’s Proving Torture report was launched late last year with cross-party Parliamentary support. The Home Office acknowledges that issues exist and change is needed, but there has been little progress. Please help to build the pressure by asking your MP to take action. If you have received a response from your MP, please share this with us by emailing info@freedomfromtorture.org.

Torture evidence disregarded by Home Office caseworkers

Our investigation revealed that Home Office caseworkers frequently mishandle and disregard expert medical evidence of torture. Amongst those cases we examined where the final outcome was known, three quarters of claims initially refused were overturned on appeal – an unnecessary delay causing significant distress for torture survivors as well as costs to the taxpayer. In almost three quarters of claims, asylum caseworkers replaced the doctor’s expert opinion with their own unqualified speculation on the cause of injuries.

“When the medical report was refused by the Home Office you feel very bad. In the refusal letter you feel like they didn't even go through the report to read it, to understand it. They just refuse like that. It was a very bad experience."

Join the campaign

Following the publication of our Proving Torture report, more than 40,000 people signed our petition calling on the Home Secretary to ensure that asylum seekers received the protection to which they’re entitled. Our report was repeatedly discussed in a Parliamentary debate, at which the then Immigration Minister committed publicly to improving Home Office systems, and ensuring that the problems we’d identified would not be allowed to continue.

Following the June election, a new immigration minister has been appointed and it’s vital we urge him to honour the commitments made by his predecessor, and ensure that the fragile progress we’ve secured is not lost.

Your support is essential for making this happen. Please take action and ask your MP to call for a Home Affairs Committee inquiry into Home Office mistreatment of medical evidence.

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