Beaten, bleeding - and then returned in a wheelchair

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The Independent Online

They came for Beatrice in the middle of the night, an immigration officer, three security guards and a male doctor.

From Yarl's Wood detention centre, in Clapham, Bedfordshire, they led the 29-year-old failed asylum-seeker into a waiting car, drove her to Southampton airport and hurried on to the plane.

She sat quietly in the end row in handcuffs and leg bindings. But when she complained that she was not feeling well she claims was told by one of the escorts: "If you do not go quietly we will beat you." Another is alleged to have said: "I'm very sorry but I have to do it, if we don't bring you to Cameroon they won't pay us."

She started to protest. "They are forcing me," she shouted to the other passengers. The doctor and the female security guard forced her head down into her knees, and covered her head with a jacket. Another escort clamped his hand over her mouth and kicked her legs.

As they moved into the airport at Paris, where she was to transfer to another flight, she saw two French policemen, panicked, and tried to run, but was tripped by an escort and fell. A French policeman knelt on her lower back, and a British escort on her shoulders. She struggled and was "kneed" in the groin so hard blood that poured from between her legs. On the flight to Cameroon, she suffered five panic attacks. By now her condition had attracted the attention of the other passengers, one of whom was a British policeman visiting Cameroon. When the plane touched down the policeman and two other passengers reported Beatrice to Cameroon immigration.

Witnesses claim the airport manager was visibly shocked when she saw Beatrice slumped between the shoulders of two of the escort team. The manager asked them to let Beatrice walk alone without support but Beatrice immediately collapsed on the floor.

She was told by a Cameroon immigration officer: "Normally you would go to the Cameroon prison. But if you died in prison, they would blame it on the Cameroon authorities. If you come back without psychiatric medication, and without injury, we can send you to the prison. Also you have no one to pay for treatment in Cameroon."

At this point the escort team is alleged to have offered to pay $300 to the immigration authorities, but this was refused. At 11pm on 28 August Beatrice was put in a wheelchair and flown back to Britain.

When Beatrice arrived at Heathrow she was immediately taken by ambulance to Hillingdon Hospital, where she was treated for severe genital bleeding and multiple bruising over her body. A psychiatrist said she was "traumatised by events". Beatrice remains at Yarl's Wood waiting for the Government to begin her removal process again.

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