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Home » General, News

Death of Jimmy Mubenga Sparks Protest

Submitted by on May 31, 2011 – 6:33 pmNo Comment

G4S protest in London.

Campaigners that gathered outside the annual meeting of security company G4S last Thursday, called upon the organisation to be held accountable for the death of an Angolan refugee in their custody last year.

46-year-old Jimmy Mubenga died in hospital shortly after he was restrained by three G4S guards on board of a British Airways flight to Angola in October last year. G4S was then employed by the Home Office to escort illegal immigrants on aeroplanes to their home countries.

“Our aim today is to draw attention to some of G4S’ activities on the occasion of the Annual General Meeting and to put pressure on the shareholders of G4S,” said Tarin Brokenshire of the Justice for Jimmy Mubenga campaign, speaking outside Ironmonger’s Hall at the Barbican in central London.

“The company should be held accountable for Jimmy Mubenga’s death rather than the individuals,” Brokenshire said. Activists of the Jimmy for Mubenga campaign have asked for a parliamentary inquiry into the use of force during deportations. A number of European countries, including Denmark, Ireland and Russia have used G4S to handle the deportation of illegal immigrants.

At least thirteen other people have died in Europe during deportation processes since 1991, according to research by the Institute of Race Relations, although there is no suggestion that G4S were involved in another fatal incident.

The three G4S employees involved in Mubenga’s deportation were arrested and are on bail until July, while police inquiries continue. Eye-witnesses on the BA flight have stated they heard Mubenga complain repeatedly about his breathing and saw him being restrained by the three guards.

After Mubenga’s death, David Banks, managing director of G4S, told the House of Commons H-A select committee that force in deportation was only used “as a last resort” and that G4S employees followed a philosophy of “care, humanity and decency”.

But some former employees of G4S have claimed that they had repeatedly complained to the company’s management about allegedly dangerous techniques routinely employed by its guards.

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