Sri Lankan asylum seeker gets deportation reprieve
Image courtesy of Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan asylum seeker gets deportation reprieve

March 20, 2015   12:35 pm

A Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seeker who claims to have suffered extensive torture before escaping to the UK has won a last minute reprieve just hours before he was due forcibly deported to Sri Lanka.

Kannan Kalimuththu, a 36 year old former policeman with the Tamil Tiger (LTTE) separatist rebels, has already attempted to commit suicide on two occasions and is said to be on permanent suicide watch in the UK’s highest security Immigration Removal Centre at Colnbrook, near Heathrow.

A psychiatrist’s had warned that deportation was “very likely” to cause his mental health to “deteriorate dramatically” and leave him at “high risk of suicide”.

Tonight lawyers for Mr Kalimuththu successfully applied for emergency injunction to stop his deportation.

The ruling means he cannot be deported until his case his re-heard – a process which could take a few weeks, Channel 4 News reported.

One person who saw Mr Kalimuththu two days ago described him as being in a “terrible” state.

“He was clearly severely traumatised, very withdrawn and avoided any eye contact. I am very seriously worried about his safety,” she said.

She described how Kalimuththu was suffering from nightmares and flashbacks and said he was constantly disturbed by thinking he could hear his son and wife crying out to him.

He would often awake screaming at night and she feared that as a torture survivor he is constantly re-traumatised by being in detention.

“He’s scared of the men in uniform, he avoids wires and cables and feels under surveillance. I find it beyond belief that the UK is contemplating forcibly deporting this man. It is shameful.”

In November last year Mr Kalimuththu attempted to hang himself using a ligature and a bed-sheet tied to a second floor bannister in Coinbrook Immigration Removal Centre, near Harmondsworth.

He was rescued by another resident who held his legs while raising the alarm.

Mr Kalimuththu will now have to await for a further hearing to decide his fate. That is likely to take a few weeks, but his lawyers insist that his case is so clear and so strong that it would be a travesty if he were not now allowed to stay, the report said.


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