UK arrests Lankan asylum seeker; will deport him

UK arrests Lankan asylum seeker; will deport him

June 4, 2015   08:37 am

UK immigration officials have detained Janahan Sivanathan, a 22-year-old Tamil asylum seeker and political activist from Sri Lanka.


Janahan is being held at the Morton Hall detention centre in Lincolnshire while the government tries to deport him. Supporters say that Janahan was “horrendously tortured” as a school student during the war in Sri Lanka, after he was rounded up and held captive for ten days.


His lawyer filed a fresh claim and submitted new medical evidence on 1 June. However his case will not be heard in court until 15 July. The Home Office’s own guidance says that victims of torture should only be detained in exceptional circumstances.


Janahan’s supporters say that his medical case history shows he suffered serious torture and is at high risk of suicide. Doctors are warning that his mental health has already deteriorated while in detention and that he is effectively being ‘re-traumatised’.


He has severe symptoms of psychological distress and complex PTSD, according to healthcare professionals. During Janahan’s first detention at Morton Hall — over three months last year — he self-harmed.


Janahan participated in London protests against Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to Sri Lanka ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2013 and against President Sirisena’s visit to London in 2015.


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