• May 30, 2015


The Celtic League has received a response from UK Home Office Immigration Enforcement following our query about the Dungavel immigration removal centre in Scotland.

We wrote to the UK Border Agency in early May asking if medical staff employed at the Centre are trained to standards set under the United Nations Istanbul Protocol.

The reply from Clare Checksfield is set out below (please note that a table of those held at the centre giving a breakdown of numbers by age and gender is not included but these statistics and others can be accessed at their web site).

“Dear Mr Moffatt

Thank you for your letter of 1 May to Sir Charles Montgomery about access to Dungavel immigration removal centre (IRC). Your letter has been passed to me to reply as the person responsible for immigration removal centres (IRCs).

IRCs are secure but not closed to independent external scrutiny. Under normal circumstances access to IRCs is limited to organisations exercising statutory duties (including, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons and Independent Monitoring Boards), social and legal visitors and other visiting groups such as, in the case of Dungavel, the Scottish Detainee Visitors group.

Independent scrutiny is a vital part of assurance that our removal centres are safe, secure and humane. IRCs are part of a regular and rigorous inspection regime operated by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) and are additionally subject to regular monitoring by Independent Monitoring Boards (IMBs) appointed to each centre by the Secretary of State; Dungavel IRC is no exception. Both of these organisations publish their reports.

Dungavel IRC is used to hold both men and women. Children have not been held at Dungavel IRC since 2010. The table below shows the latest available figures:”

(not reproduced here see our note above)

“Further information on those detained in Dungavel IRC is available from published statistics at:


Medical practitioners are not required to apply the terms or methodology set out in the Istanbul Protocol, relating to the documentation of torture. However, Rule 35(3) of the Detention Centre Rules 2001 (supported by Detention Services Order 17/2012) requires them to issue a report if they have concerns that a detainee may have been a victim of torture. These reports are forwarded to the detainee’s case-owner to consider whether it is appropriate to maintain detention.

Yours sincerely

Clare Checksfield

The Celtic League would like to thank UK Home Office Immigration Enforcement for their response.

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)


The Celtic League was established in 1961and has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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