Letter: Who is Britain to lecture others about human rights?

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The Independent Online
Sir: I was appalled by your report 'Woman suffocated in deportation struggle' (5 August), which has exposed the horrifying and excessive force meted out to deportees. I agree that deportation is necessary for illegal immigrants, but surely not in a body bag. As the judge on the recent 'home-alone' case said: 'I would not even do that to a dog.' If an animal had been treated in the same way as Joy Gardner, I'm sure the RSPCA would have been involved with the prosecution.

It is laughable that Ms Gardner's relatives were initially informed that she had died from renal failure. Restraining techniques that constrict the airway would put the person at high risk of brain hypoxia and death. The onset of hypoxia is marked by an acute confusion, which may have been mistaken as further resistance to arrest. Paul Condon (the Metropolitan Police Commissioner) has rightly acted decisively, and if the Government does not do likewise with a full public inquiry, it will have no right to lecture other countries on human rights.

Yours faithfully,



West Midlands

5 August