Home Office found to have unlawfully detained refugee child who fled torture in Syria

Wednesday 4 May 2016

Following a judicial review, the Home Office has conceded it unlawfully detained a Syrian child refugee for a month, during which time it failed to consider abundant and compelling evidence of his minority age, despite being urged to on several occasions. The 16-year-old boy travelled from Syria through nine countries without his family. Raza Halim Garden Court Chambers represented the refugee child.

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Following a judicial review, the Home Office has conceded it unlawfully detained a Syrian child refugee for a month, during which time it failed to consider abundant and compelling evidence of his minority age, despite being urged to on several occasions. The 16-year-old boy travelled from Syria through nine countries without his family. Raza Halim of Garden Court Chambers represented the refugee child.

The child fled Syria last August, leaving behind his family in Damascus. Documents provided by his uncle in the UK, conclusively showed his date of birth as 25 August 1999. These documents included the child’s Syrian passport, certificate of education and his civil registration record. The boy submitted that he had been kidnapped by Syrian government officials, tortured and forced to transport ammunition for the war. A Home Office doctor later confirmed he had injuries consistent with torture.

On 15 April an urgent judicial review application was lodged at the High Court to secure the child’s release. The Home Office subsequently conceded it had detained a child and released him into the care of social services, almost one month after first detaining him.

Raza Halim of the Garden Court Immigration Team was instructed by Asif Anwar of Duncan Lewis solicitors.

This case has been reported in the Guardian.

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