Duncan Lewis is representing six people who are being detained across IRC Colnbrook and IRC Brook House who were evacuated to the UK August 18, 2021, but now face being unfairly removed by the Home Office.
Nepalese nationals, as well as Indian nationals of Nepali heritage, many were previously Gurkha Soldiers in the Nepalese military before taking security work in highly dangerous environments. These men were previously employed as security guards and supervisors at the British Embassy in Kabul, with the direct responsibility of protecting the lives of British diplomatic staff in the highly insecure situation in Kabul. Some were employed at the embassy for over 10 years. They were considered high priority targets by the Taliban and in 2016, they saw their colleagues targeted and killed by a Taliban suicide bombing.
After the fall of Kabul, the men were evacuated to safety to the United Kingdom and given leave to remain and permission to work. They began to work and pay taxes in the United Kingdom, serving fellow evacuees at a Home Office hotel. They were promised the right to stay in the UK and had applications for indefinite leave to remain under the ACRS scheme made for them. They underwent their biometric enrolment and were told they did not need to worry, as their leave would be extended until their ILR applications were processed.
Of the 13 men, five were granted ILR, whilst eight were told that they were ineligible. Their paperwork demonstrates that their applications were ‘voided’ as ineligible despite being made on their behalf by the Home Office. They continued to work and live in the UK whilst being given contradictory information by the Home Office about their rights.
On 27th March 2023, the Home Office detained 10 of the men, who were handcuffed and taken to detention centres. One man was arrested in his underwear at 5.30am whilst another was arrested during an appointment with the Home Office to resolve issues with his BRP Card.
Two of the detained men had previously been granted indefinite leave to remain and were unaware of any problems with their status. Three men with ILR remain at liberty.
All were evacuated on the same flight and all of their claims were processed together. It is entirely unclear as to why there has been a difference in treatment between them.
We have received no clarity from the Home Office as to why having evacuated these brave men, they are now being treated in an inhumane and cruel way.
Many of these men have now been served removal directions. We will fight for their right to remain in the UK.
Duncan Lewis solicitor Jamie Bell and caseworker Elleanor Wilkins-Bell instruct Ali Bandegani and Ella Gunn, of Garden Court Chambers.
Jamie Bell is highly experienced in a wide variety of complex and high profile public law and immigration cases. His commitment to his clients is demonstrated by a willingness to take on cases at such short notice and at all hours in order to prevent the unlawful removal of asylum-seekers. Jamie has demonstrated a particular commitment to representing Afghan claimants during his time at Duncan Lewis.
For advice in any public law or immigration matter contact Jamie at via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone on 07342 081719.