BNP links to immigration service staff

20Jan09

Home OfficeAn official investigation has been launched after two immigration service staff working with asylum-seekers were found to have links to the British National Party, The Independent has learnt.

One guard employed to look after asylum-seekers at a detention centre has been forced to resign after his name was found on a membership list of the BNP. Another man has been suspended while his employer investigates alleged links to the same far-right organisation.

Both cases raise serious concerns about racism within the immigration system, where membership of extreme political groups has long been suspected. Over the past two years The Independent has helped reveal nearly 300 allegations of brutality, including 38 claims of racism, made by asylum-seekers about private security and immigration staff.

Some of the allegations included abusive and racist language, in which refugees fleeing persecution were referred to as “monkeys” or told to “go back to their own countries.”

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