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Former Brook House detainee was ‘treated like an animal’ during attempted deportation to Afghanistan, inquiry hears

A FORMER detainee said he was treated “like an animal” by escorts during an attempted deportation to Afghanistan, an inquiry heard today.

The Afghan national alleged to the inquiry into mistreatment of detainees at Brook House — which is seeking to establish what happened at the centre between April and August 2017 — that he was handcuffed, restrained and suffered injuries after being bundled onto a plane in July 2017.

The inquiry heard that guards “twisted” the wrists of the former detainee, who has been granted anonymity, causing him to bleed and scream out in pain. 

He told them that he was in danger if he returned to Afghanistan and began shouting and crying “uncontrollably.”

He was subsequently removed from the flight by the pilot, and received hospital treatment for his wrists.

The inquiry heard that his wrists were swollen and red, according to a medical assessment by a nurse at the detention centre. 

The probe was called in 2019 to investigate undercover footage showing alleged abuse at the site during these months which was broadcast by the BBC’s Panorama programme. 

The Afghan national, who now has leave to remain in Britain, said his experience at Brook House, where he was detained for six months, caused his mental health to deteriorate. 

He made a complaint about his treatment during the attempted deportation, saying it left him with lasting pain at night time and mental health problems. 

However an investigation found insufficient evidence to prove the officers had behaved unprofessionally.

Home Office documents claim that he became verbally abusive and physically violent on the plane, and headbutted a guard. However the documents don’t mention the injuries to his wrist. 

When asked about this version of events, the former detainee said it was false. 

“I was just crying,” he told the inquiry. “I was just crying then they said you have to stop otherwise we [will] keep twisting your hand.” 

The inquiry heard that the former detainee continues to suffer from poor mental health, including PTSD, and that his experience at Brook House was a significant factor in this. 

The inquiry will continue next week. 


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