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UK Home Office to pay Tamil asylum seeker almost £20,000 damages for unlawful detention

A Tamil asylum seeker who fled torture in Sri Lanka has been awarded almost £20,000 in damages from the UK Home Office for his unlawful detention.

The 29-year-old referred to as KG was unlawfully held in immigration detention for 30 days between January and February 2016 because of a failure to arrange a medical examination within 24 hours of his admission, Asian Image reports.

Alison Foster QC, the High Court judge ruling on the case said that independent medical evidence verified the asylum seeker’s claims of having been tortured and that he was "vulnerable upon his detention in January 2016".

KG's "mental vulnerability was exacerbated during the course of his detention”, the judge said.

KG says he was tortured by the Sri Lankan authorities because his brother was a member of the LTTE.

His barrister said he had mental health problems and “was gripped by fear that he was about to be put on a plane to go back to the place where he had been tortured” after being transferred to a detention centre close to Heathrow airport.

The judge awarded KG £19,500 in damages.