01 July, 2008
Digging a little deeper
Now I can't comment on the allegation of violence. Certainly, Group 4 -- and privatized prison guards in general -- have a possibly deservedly indifferent reputation. It may well be the case that, as the tenor of the article subtly suggests, that her G4S escort took the opportunity to beat the living shit out of her because they "don't like darkies" and fancied a spot of nigger bashing to pass the time. At the other end of the scale, it may well be that she was struggling so violently and putting up such a fight that she brought her injuries on herself. Restraining a violent and unco-operative prisoner without hurting either the prisoner or the guards is a difficult and not always successfully deployed skill even for a properly trained officer. The deportee, Ms Toumi, will doubtless have learnt during her sojourn at Yarl's Wood that a deportee who causes extreme disruption at the airport and, in particular, on the aeroplane, might succeed in having the deportation attempt abandoned.
The truth of this aspect of the matter may, or possibly may not, emerge in due course. That is not what I am interested in pursuing here. Rather, I would draw the reader's attention to the basis of Ms Toumi's asylum claim, mentioned by the Indy as incidental information not requiring further comment.
Her injuries were so serious that Belgian immigration officials refused to allow the escort team to fly her on to Cameroon, claims Ms Toumi, who fled her home in March after being tortured and abused by a village chief.
So she was badly mistreated by a village chief in Cameroon and, perhaps not unreasonably, fled. Not to another village out of the chief's reach. Not to Yaoundé, where she might have been safely invisible, but all the way to good old soft-touch Britain.
Stephanie Toumi seems to have no case for refuge in the UK, other than, I very much suspect, the conviction of victimist entitlement that seems to infest the vast majority of Third World migrants who choose the clandestine and asylum routes of entry. If her G4S escorts did use inappropriate violence then they should be punished for that, but otherwise I have absolute no sympathy for the woman. She is an opportunist cheat.