A disturbing insight into G4S's tactics

Zimbabwean sustains broken wrist on flight but deportation guards are cleared

Robert Verkaik
Saturday 30 October 2010 00:00 BST

A Zimbabwean asylum seeker whose deportation from Britain was halted after his wrist was broken while he was being restrained by security guards is to be flown back to Africa tomorrow on a British Airways plane.

Khu Mlotshwa, 31, claims he was assaulted by security guards in June when the UK Border Agency first attempted to deport him from Britain.

During the struggle on the Virgin Airways flight, Mr Mlotshwa, who was handcuffed and wearing leg locks, alleges he was punched and kicked by guards and had his wrist twisted back.

A Home Office investigation has now exonerated the two G4S security officers – even though one of the guards can be heard on CCTV saying that Mr Mlotshwa "put up a good fight".

Earlier this month Jimmy Mubenga, 46, an asylum seeker from Angola, died when he was being deported by G4S guards from the UK. That death is being investigated by Scotland Yard, who have arrested three G4S guards.

Mr Mlotshwa now says he is terrified of being forcibly removed from the UK again. "It was a terrible and frightening experience which I fear will be repeated tomorrow," he told The Independent. "These escorts are evil, they are really evil. They do these things to you and then the whole thing is covered up so that they get away with it."

The UKBA report which Mr Mlotshwa received this month describes some of his bruising and scarring as "self-inflicted" and says the fact it took two well-built guards to hold him in his seat "indicates clearly the level of resistance displayed by you".

The report reads: "It is indisputable that your left wrist was broken at some time during your restraint on the aircraft ... your description of the officer holding and twisting your hand with one hand whilst punching and jabbing your neck and attempting to strangle you with his other hand seems questionable. By your own account you said you were still screaming and the officer was telling you to shut up while assaulting you."

The Home Office investigator dismissed Mr Mlotshwa's complaint: "I am satisfied ... the officers have provided a more credible and accurate account of what occurred on the aircraft."

The report also rejects the allegation that the guards deliberately misled passengers who became concerned about Mr Mlotshwa's treatment.

Mr Mlotshwa arrived in the UK on 27 April 2007 and claimed asylum. For three years he lived in Newcastle-upon-Tyne before the Home Office ruled he was South African and ordered his deportation.

A doctor who examined him after the June removal said Mr Mlotshwa had become so distressed by his predicament that he had contemplated suicide: "Previously he was described as 'always happy' but since the events of 28/6/10 he avoids everyone. He is very nervous of the guards since the experience at Heathrow."

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